Very unlike myself I actually hadn't thought about this appointment at all. That was until I was on Faris, about to turn onto the hospitals drive and my anxiety hit full speed. I've tried to get myself to prepare for worst case scenario so anything better than that is a win. I've built myself up and been crushed too many times now for that protective mechanism not to kick in so as I drove in, parked and made my way upstairs I prepared to hear that the cancer had spread elsewhere.
I was running late so I met Tim in the infusion room. The first speed bump of the day was his port not working and needing to have cath flow placed in it which breaks up clots to get everything moving again.
We met with Heather who found that Tim has an ear infection and possibly bronchitis so he's back on antibiotics (again) as well as some prednisone to open him up. Hopefully this will make a huge difference in how he's been feeling as of late. Heather also informed us that there have not been any changes since his last scan. I hate to sound ungrateful bc knowing that his cancer remains stable is a HUGE answered prayer and this stability is one we've been praying about for some time now but now that we're getting it, it is almost a double-edged sword.
Tim's getting tired and isn't able to bounce back like he once could after treatment. He's still incredibly lucky as he is still able to amaze everyone who finds out he has Stage 4 cancer with all of his physical abilities but the sheer number of treatments are adding up physically, emotionally and mentally. We always have to balance the benefits of the chemo against the side effects and most of the time that choice has been made for us as the drug has lost efficacy as side effects have become too much to bear. This time it's different though, we're reaching a point where we have to make the decision to walk away from a treatment we know is working in order for Tim to get a break as well as running the risk of moving to a treatment that is not as successful. If we choose to stay with the treatment we run into the risk that Tim's body becomes intolerant to the drug itself and the side effects become too much for his body to handle. We're meeting with Dr. Edenfield tomorrow and I'm sure after that will feel much more confident in the direction we should take after speaking with him but just thought I'd give everyone a little insight into how good news is not always as straight-forward as it may seem. Irregardless we won't be making any decisions until after Tim finished his meds and we can see how that changes his ability to weather through additional rounds. Hopefully an improvement in his overall health will change our entire outlook.
Also, Tim and Dr. Edenfield will be on Your Carolina on channel 7 at 10AM tomorrow if anyone wants to see that enthusiasm and positivity of Dr. Edenfields we always speak of that keeps us going! We will post a link after the interview if you're not in the area and want to check it out.
As always, thanks to all of you for your unwavering support over the past four years. We've made it a policy between us to always approach this challenge with positivity but as time goes on and it really sets in that this journey is one that doesn't have an end point it becomes a lot harder, especially as we would trade just about anything for the chance to just be married and plan a future for ourselves without cancer being the elephant in the room. We go through our ups and downs (and have since this began) but these most recent challenges have been bigger and much more intense than anything we've faced before and just seem to be coming one after another, throwing us for a loop more than usual. All of you who have given us a little extra leeway with our moods/forgetfulness/lack of time, my parents and friends who have listened to and comforted me as I fall apart, been able to calm me down and help me take a step back or step in for me when I've become too overwhelmed and for all of you that continue to pray for us and check in on us have made so much of a difference these past few weeks. So far 2014 has been a doozy of a year but hopefully we can start to put of the bad behind us & enjoy better things to come.