A rough day in a series

The house is quiet. I used a clothes pin to attach a sign on the front door: “Sleeping. Please do not disturb.” It’s Good Friday, and a high chance that unannounced visitors may drop by on their way home from church. My mother is in no condition to receive guests. I’ve put her to bed and shut the door.

The doctor asked to see her today after my mom was complaining of pain, mouth sores, and other discomforts. They gave her some IV fluid to rehydrate her. The doctor examined her and gave us a sample of a transdermal patch for her to use to see if we can get ahead of the nausea that has gripped my mom for a few weeks. She’s already taking two other drugs and they don’t seem to be helping.

I made her a milkshake with some medicine in it. She kept it down long enough for me to take the glass back to the kitchen. So we’ll try again later.

As for fatigue, the nurse kindly reminded me that the nausea drugs and the vicodein (for pain) both have sleepiness side effects. Whatever fatigue she has from the cancer and chemo are compounded by these other medications. One side effect is worsened by the other drugs to treat the other side effects. And one side effect can create a cascade of other side effects. The entire cycle snowballs.

It does feel like we’re running in place.

Round three of chemotherapy (only gemzar) is on Monday. Then she’ll have a week off, and that will be “Cycle One.” Then we start over with Cycle Two: two weeks of combination therapy, one week of single therapy, one week off.

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