In Honor of My Husband, Ron

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Monday, October 3, 2005: Saw the Radiation Oncologist before his IMRT. Ron's mouth is full of small ulcers (called muscositis) from the radiation. Between the nausea and the mouth sores, he is finding it much harder to eat anything. Even drinking liquid hurts. The RO told us that now is the time to depend on the PEG tube to get most of his nutrition. The RO also started Ron on Triple Elixir to swish in his mouth before drinking or taking pills, etc. It consists of xylocaine to numb the area, Zovirax to heal the sores, and Maalox to coat the mouth and throat. Ron said it tastes horrible, so sometimes he just swishes and spits instead of swallowing it, but it does help numb the pain for a little while. He is feeling much more tired and spent these days. Because of his pain though, he does not sleep much. He is still only taking Vicodin or Tylenol 3 and then only when I make him. He is a stubborn one. He continues to do some chores, but by the time we get home from radiation, he is just worn out so he isn't doing the evening milking anymore. Thank goodness he farms with his brother, nephew, and our son.
Wednesday, October 5: Second Chemo. He is getting 20% less Cisplatin this time because his blood work is showing low WBC's and RBC's. This is not at all unusual--just another side effect of chemotherapy. If his numbers get too low, there are medications he can get to help.
Sunday the 9th, Ron is halfway through treatment! He is now down about 30 pounds. His bloodwork on October 12 showed an even lower WBC count, so he was given a shot of Aranesp. On the 14th I called and asked for a prescription for Ambien so he could get some sleep. He had a fairly good weekend. The following week passed fairly normally with IMRT every day, but his mouth was getting worse. He was getting more sores and now white patches also.
Monday, October 24: We saw a different doctor before radiation. He diagnosed Ron with thrush in his mouth, so he was given Diflucan for that. He also prescribed Fentanyl patches for the pain. This worried me a little because I know how powerful Fentanyl is, but it was a godsend. For the first time, I think Ron actually got some pain relief. He was also given Gelclair for his mucositis. These were little miracle packets! The Gelclair actually formed a kind of barrier in his mouth, which allowed him to drink and eat some things much easier. I was kind of glad we had to see a different doctor. I'm not sure his original doctor would have given him so much relief with that one appointment!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005: Last Chemo!! He is given 20% less Cisplatin this time, also. The following morning his blood work showed low WBC's again, so he was given another Aranesp shot. He also got his IV fluids. Friday the 28th was his last IMRT! He got a certificate for completing treatment, and got to ring the bell to celebrate the end! My sister actually came from a different state to be here for the occasion. She has been such a source of strength for me throughout this whole ordeal. She is an RN, and has been there to give sound advice when needed, or just to listen to me cry when I needed to. I could never thank her enough for the support and love she has given to all of us.
Now treatment is's time to start healing!