Last week was very busy.
Bruce had an MRI and we saw the neuro oncologist (NO).
Last month he began what they call 5/23.
He takes Temodar for five days straight. That is followed by 23 days off.
Temodar is chemo in pill form. After what oncologists call the SOC (standard of care), patients then move to a higher dose. Standard of care for Bruce has been two craniotomies (where the surgeon goes into the skull to remove a tumor, or to drain a brain bleed or hematoma), chemotherapy, and radiation.
Labs are drawn twice over the final week, and after his case goes before the tumor board of oncologists, the next step is decided.
The “less than one centimeter” sized spot they are watching has improved. It has not grown in the last month, it now has a dark center, and perhaps the very best: there is no blood flow now to this area.
Cells need a constant supply of blood in order to divide and grow. That the spot is the same size indicates it’s probably dying; that the center is now dark indicates it may be necrotic (dead).
Words fail to describe the relief, the immense relief, of that moment.
The next step is a higher dose of Temodar. The specialty pharmacist delivers it to the house. The first, SOC dose was 140 mg/day. Now he will try 400 mg/day.
He starts today.
On the lighter side:
When vacuuming on Saturday, I saw in a corner something dark and rounded, something curled up. It could be a leaf, I thought.
I accidentally caught the dark thing in the head of the floor attachment. Uh, oh.
As per usual, I unhooked the next sleeve up in case the object freed itself. We have a central vac system and I wanted to avoid a blockage farther up the line. I reached inside the attachment with two fingers to remove the thing, and was pretty proud of myself when I was able to pull it out.
Did I mention I was in the mudroom, where we keep two cat litter boxes?
Uh, huh. You get the picture. A 59 year old woman who should know better, I found myself standing there with a cat turd in my hand.
It was a fairly fresh deposit, I realized, as the odor permeated the air in front of me.
I stood there, holding a fresh calling card in my hand, staring at the thing. My mind wandered:
I’ve had cats my entire life. Old turds don’t stink, I knew, and started thinking about old turds versus new turds. Somehow the smell mostly dissipates when a deposit isn’t fresh. I then wondered how a turd found its way across the room from the boxes. Was it deposited there, or was it played with? Had Otis and Gandalf played a friendly game of kick the turd?
These are cats, I told myself; a turd could be found anywhere in the house. I recalled that Otis was feral but has never had an accident in the house. I trained him myself. Gandalf has a history we know nothing about, but was completely box trained when I brought him home. He, too, has always had perfect aim. This was perplexing, until the absurdity of my thinking registered. As I stood there asking myself these questions, I started to laugh.
I was still holding the thing.
I don’t think I was spotted holding a turd, talking to myself. If I was, no one has said a word. Bless them.
The sun is shining. It might snow tonight.
My hair is full of electricity.
The rash on my face is fading (with a little help).
I’m sleeping more each night (with a little help).
Bruce is working every day, swimming most days, and driving.
His NO said he’s as “strong as an ox.”
Life. Is. Good.
Blessings and thank you for reading. ❤