We arrived today for Hank's first day of Chemo. Having not really spoken with the doctors since hearing the pathology reports over the phone Friday, we were eager to hear the full game plan and get a better grasp of what our foreseeable future would look like.
After speaking with our Oncologists, we are now mentally grappling with the 42+ weeks of Chemotherapy, combined with 5-6 weeks of Radiation therapy somewhere in that mix, which Hank will undergo. With the expected delays of Hanks weakened immune system, we are realisitically looking at roughly a year before the finish line is in sight.
New realities for us will include avoiding crowds, taking meds more regularly, weekly visits to Childrens, giving Hank shots from home, preventing Hank from digging in the dirt, keeping an eye on Hank's temperature, wearing masks around sick people, planning our lives around treatments, investing stock in sunscreen and sanitizer, bottled water, looking at Hank's poops (okay, he forgets to flush a lot so this is more regular than not), and a multitude of other things I never anticipated being a daily "thing."
We will alternate between the types of chemotheraphy Hank will receive, in order to reduce the amount of toxicity he is exposed to. So some weeks we will be in and out in a day, some weeks we will have to go in 5 days a week for outpatient injections. The details on radiation are still unclear for now, beyond that we know he will need it. While the side effects can be heartbreaking, the likelihood that the cancer would return is almost certain without radiation. Hank will need cosmetic surgery in the future, but we'll cross that path when we get there.
Starting next week, Wednesdays will be our Chemo days so that both our oncologists can pop in and check on us. Today one of them made a special stop by to see us and help us get settled. We are continually thankful for our gracious and compassionate doctors. They felt our pain as we took in all the bad news from the morning, and handed us tissues and made themselves avaiable to us anytime.
Perhaps in another post I will share more details of what is to come, but for today... this is enough and will give you all a broad idea of the journey we have all entered into with Hank.