Being a man of my word, I’ve decided to make it a point to sit down every evening and keep you all posted with a quick update on Sara’s prognosis. It won’t be as eloquently stated as my initial post, of course, because I spent about 7 hours writing that one; we’ll consider each of these posts to be “rough drafts” that I never went back and edited. Why am I even telling you this? It’s not like I’ve written any books or anything…
So here’s where we are now, I’ll start with Sara: Sara is about to finish her third day of chemotherapy and she’s knocking it out of the park. Her vitals are good, such as heart rate, blood rate, oxygen level, and whatever the white number is (I’m way out of my league already, as you can tell), so long as she is asleep. Being awake is very difficult for her due to the sedatives she’s on. If you know Sara then you know she doesn’t like not being in control of herself, so she’s become easily frustrated with tasks such as keeping her eyelids up and scratching an itch. It’s to my understanding that these are all side effects of the anti-anxiety medicine, not necessarily the chemo itself. We tried one day without the sedatives (to reduce the amount of lethargy), but her body was reacting way too violently without it so we went back to it. It’s okay though; the more she sleeps the better her body will allow the chemo to do its thing. She’s also been given several medicines to flush the liquids out of her body and keep her from retaining them. So that’s pretty much Sara right now; sleeping soundly and not really doing much at all, besides getting better.
I will say that, though we don’t have any quantifiable evidence that her condition is improving, several physical signs show that she is. Her resting heart rate is down (sometimes) in the upper 90’s/low 100’s (it has been in the 130’s/140’s for weeks), her blood pressure is better, her breaths per minute are close to normal, and her coughs are potentially displaying evidence that the mass in her lung is breaking up. Obviously, no hard data has come back to show any signs of improvement, such as the results from her bone marrow biopsy or spinal tap, but we’ll see those in the next few days.
Actually, there’s also a very special reason that I posted this particular picture of sara and myself. I held her hand moments ago and said, “Hey, I’m right here,” to which she responded to by smiling (she’s not saying much these days). I’ve not seen Sara smile in a few days now, and though it wasn’t nearly as big as the one in this photo, it’s a great start. I’ll take as many of them as I can 🙂
Now, let’s talk about me. Not because I’m a Type A narcissist (I believe that I am), but because many of you have been asking how I’m doing and what I’m doing. Sara’s mother, Kathy, and I have been trading shifts the past few days. I am no longer able to stay by her side 24 hours a day as I had been doing since Wednesday of last week because it’s very difficult on my body now; I sleep in a chair that almost reclines all the way (just enough to keep you from sleeping) and I’m awaken about ever 45 minutes or so by either Sara or her nurses. If Sara needs my help it means that I’ll be helping her physically or emotionally for up to 2 hours at a time, before the next fit begins 45 minutes later. Granted, she’s been very good the past two days, but her first run-in with chemo was very rough. BELIEVE ME – I’m not complaining in comparison to Sara’s pain at the moment; but merely admitting to myself that I’m no good to her if I’m in a weakened condition. Literally. In a few days her immune system will be… Well, quite rankly she won’t have one. So if I’m not taking care of myself I won’t be allowed to be near her, and I don’t want that at all.
I take the night shift; roughly from early evening (4 pm) until breakfast (8 am) and then Kathy comes to spend the morning and afternoon with her. I go to a friend’s house who lives close by and sleep for as long as I can, uninterrupted, and catch up on text messages, phone calls and emails. It’s very therapeutic for me to speak with you all, not only to hear your voices and to be comforted by your words, but also because it gives me an opportunity to keep saying the same thing over and over again, which causes me to believe it more and more each time. So, thank you to those of you who have taken the time out of your day to chat with me.
We’re waiting right now for Sara’s oncologist to come speak with us, hopefully with some good news, so I’ll keep you posted tomorrow. That’s all for now, please continue to pray for us. We need it!