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Dad had an appointment today with the oncologist and glory be…we got to see the Dr. herself!
Dad’s blood was drawn (INR…2.3 not bad), his case discussed and the decision was made to continue with chemotherapy. The Dr. thought she wanted to go ahead with Taxol again but said, “My nurses may stone me”. We all confered at the chemo room doorway and the decision was made to give Taxotere instead. Dad also needed his Zymeta and would probably be getting another Neulasta shot.
The chemo room was hopping. It looked like our coffee shop at home…every seat taken and more arriving every minute. People were in various stages of rest in their recliners. Many talking, some sleeping, knitting, reading…and us? We eat. I went to Sonic, got Dad a chocolate shake, coffee, bacon hamburger and fries, got Mom chicken strips, fries and black coffee, me? I forgot. I shared some of Moms.

Guess what? Dad tolerated the entire procedure so well I had to pinch myself. I can only hope it continues in this manner. I hope he doesn’t get the bad aches and pains and other side effects listed.

Last time he got Zymeta he couldn’t even move his arms for about a week he hurt so badly. Of course that could have been pain from the blood clots in his right lung, the side effects from his Neulasta, his chemo or god knows what else. It’s hard to say.

Hope it goes better this time.

Cross your fingers.

He’s supposed to get chemo again in 1 week, blood draw in 1 and 2 weeks and 2 days after that…another CT scan…and then another chemo.

The oncologist said the x-ray was dramatically improved.


Dear Dr. Lewis,

My name is Sheryl McCurdy and my Dad, Larry Paisley, your patient, was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer, grade IIIa in November 2005. We have seen you one time in your office…the initial visit. Thereafter we have been seen by the chemo nurses and your Nurse Practitioner, all of whom are very nice.

My dad’s regime included 33 radiation treatments given concurrently with Taxol/Carbo q 3 weeks, and the order was for 6 treatments. Each time the Taxol would start, almost instantly, my dad would have difficulty with his breathing, but after a healthy dose of Benedryl and a dose of Solu Medrol he would be fine and tolerated the treatments quite well. After the fourth dose, again, the same thing occurred, and the nurse did something different…an O2 sat was taken which was <85. An O2 sat had never been checked before, but my dad reacted in the same manner each time. Anyway…side note to this…dad also had blood clots in his right lung at this time (which we knew by receiving phone calls from your nurses and eventually…you)

To make this long story even longer…here goes. After dad had that reaction, the fourth time, the nurse came up and said,

This will be your last chemo treatment…it’s too dangerous.

Well, it felt like, and I admit I was a bit crabby with the slowness of the giving of the Benedryl, that it was not because of dads reaction…it was because of me and the way I reacted to things. Because there was no difference in dad’s reaction this time than the very first time…except the giving of the benedryl was slower and an O2 sat was taken.

Dr. Lewis, we don’t want to feel like the treatment was stopped because it requires a little bit more planning or because I was impatient or crabby to anyone…if the treatment is working and tolerable we feel we need to continue.

I did ask the nurses who made the decision to stop the chemo and she said it was, you…Dr. Lewis. We never saw you that day…where you there? Did you stop by and check on my dad? His family? Reasure us that something would be done to continue to fight the cancer, maybe not this particular drug but something else?
Can you please tell me what the future plans are? Will you use a different chemo? Will you try the Taxol again? The CT scan seemed good…or am I crazy. How was the X-ray? Are the clots there yet?

I know we were supposed to have an appointment on Monday, and due to a horrific snowstorm those plans were changed, but time becomes something very important for all those involved in an illness that includes the word cancer.

If you have an extra minute or two in your extremely busy day we would appreciate any information pertaining to the above questions.

Thank you,
Sheryl McCurdy
(daughter of your patient Larry Paisley)

We will have to cancel Dad’s appointment for tomorrow, the first day of Spring, because of a freak snow storm.
All is well though. Dad is due for a blood draw (PT/INR) and Zymeta again(possibly) on Wednesday.

We went to Kearney today for a chest X-ray and bloodwork and breakfast at Perkins! Dad’s bloodwork was not too bad really. He is still “thin”…by a “tad” and has to abstain from his coumadin for 2 days then resume. I imagine they will have to lower his daily dose. He has another blood draw in a week. We go back to Kearney on Monday to talk with the oncologist (or her NP) about treatment options etc….
We saw quite a few sandhill cranes on our way to and from Kearney. They are SO BIG…and awkward looking. I didn’t realize how gawky and teenager like they were until this year. Mom and I also got a bridal shower gift bought and Alec’s birthday present bought. Productive day.

Dads blood appears to have become a bit more “thick” and that is good. No worries about a paper cut now. His coumadin is at 2.5mg po q day and he gets his regular cbc check on Wednesday…so I imagine they will check a PT/INR too.

Bad note…Mom fell down on the hard pavement of her back porch. She was on her way to water her rooster and was hurrying back inside because she saw a car turn into her drive and thought it was the girl scout she had ordered cookies from.
Yes…I said rooster as in A rooster. Mom and Dad have one chicken and lucky for them…it’s a cock a doodle doing rooster.

She has a metal plate and so many screws inside, her x-rays look like a hardware store. She had a spinal fusion in 1988.

Anyway, they came over for supper tonight and it looked like Mom was a hurting unit. She didn’t eat much and that is not like Mom. She probably needs to be seen in the clinic and have an x-ray tomorrow.

Well, chemo number 4 pulled no surprises really. First we got to the office, had Dad’s bloodwork drawn and waited. We expected the PT/INR to be high and boy was it…still spinning without clotting at 8. The lab came in and drew another tube and sent it to the hospital for clarification as their machine only goes up to 8. The oncologist want’s Dad’s INR to be around 2(ish).
After the okay to go ahead with the chemo they got Dad’s IV started and the NP decided to hydrate him first with a little “saltine”(saline solution) as Dad calls it. Also they would give his Solu-Medrol right before they dripped the toxic waste through his veins. They hoped this would help aleviate his “reaction” to the Taxol. Well, of course, it didn’t. Only this time his nurse was…S….L…..O….W… get his benedryl….in fact she was too slow to suit me and I had to get angry and yell a bit and cause a scene. Damnit! They should’ve had that benedry drawn up and taped to the IV bag. I sure as hell would have if I knew a patient usually had a reaction. GAAAAGGHGHHGGHHG that pissed me off! The nurses also checked an o2 sat…which they never had before and of course it was < 85. They put on O2 at 2 liters per nasal cannula as well. The “reaction” lasted about the length of time it usually does. Soon afterwards one of the chemo nurses came up and said…That’s the last chemo you are getting it’s too dangerous. THAT PISSED ME OFF TOO!! It was like…You have been a bad boy and since it’s too much trouble to give you chemo we are not going to give you any more! I asked her…who has decided this? Because the Dr. wasn’t even in house. They called the Dr. I guess. I said…We are not going to “quite” giving chemo because of this. We may quit this kind but we are not going to just give up on the chemo if Dad needs it! She agreeed with me and then she said, Well, maybe the Dr. will look at the records and try it again or blah blah blah. And I thought yah…maybe she just will…or maybe we will just go somewhere else!!!
All in all…we left home about 8 am and got home around 8:30 pm as the rest of the med had to be dripped in slowly. It was a long day for everyone. Mom felt kind of sick and fluish. HOpe she will not get that crud.
Dad needs to get his PT/INR drawn on Friday and he will await instructions re his coumadin then. Right now it’s on hold. He got a vitamin K shot and a Neulastin shot right after his chemo.

March 2006
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