It doesn’t seem like much would change in 5 months. December to May. Often the months will just fly by, and we’ll only notice the seasons changing. However, the last 5 months have been full of all sorts of change at the Hayden house.
Tony completed a 6 cycle regimen of Doxorubicin & Ifosfamide. Now he’s started a new 6 cycle regimen of Gemcitabine & Taxotere. This again will take 18 weeks, but this regimen allows him to get his weekly chemotherapy at an outpatient infusion clinic. You read that right: OUTPATIENT. He’s finished 2 weeks of this new regimen so far. We’re still getting used to the side effects with these agents, but the schedule is much easier than his previous regimen.
As we’ve been praying for Tony’s tumor to shrink and watched him lose all his hair, the opposite has happened to me. The past 5 months have seen me from my first trimester to my third (I am now 31 weeks pregnant). I’ve gone from regular bouts of morning sickness to prescribed bed rest. While Tony’s oncologist encourages him to exercise as much as possible, I try to limit my walking to 250 steps a day.
Though I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs on bed rest, the Lord has seen us through 8 weeks of it so far! I continue to take things easy and pray for each new day, but we’ve also recently allowed ourselves to get more and more excited about becoming parents.
We’ve learned so much over these past few months, and have tried to share many of our insights as we go along. Some additional things we’ve learned:
*If there’s hair in the shower drain, don’t blame the pregnant lady. It likely came from the chemo patient.
*”I’m toxic to my wife”. Tony’s body clears the chemo out of his system for 48 hours after a treatment. It’s recommended that he doesn’t share toilets with pregnant ladies during those days, which is tricky since he lives with one.
*When you feel sick, it is very easy to become self-focused, and very difficult to want to serve your spouse (who just might feel worse than you). Mothers are great in these moments.
*Though very different things are happening in our bodies, often we find that our biggest symptoms are similar: nausea and fatigue.
*If you can’t make it to a birthing class, the library has all sorts of great DVDs from the 1990s on the subject. Plus, they make for great conversation starters when visitors come by!