Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here we go...

The reality of the situation has been sinking in slowly...
We have used every defense from humor to denial to help us cope with the hand we have been dealt.
Meeting with the oncologist was a big reality check and we have been feeling raw and anxious since.  When you read in a book that someone feels like they have been punched in the gut, that is exactly what it feels like. It hurts and is a nagging ache that does not easily go away.

I had been researching all of the possible treatments for her cancer at her diagnosed stage. I had planned in my mind what chemotherapy I'd like her to have and anticipated the side effects we would face together. I felt the best approach would be to balance efficacy and toxicity and choose medications that were more gentle.  I pulled dozens of studies comparing the treatment options available and tried to think through the consequences of each one.  Pharmacy school trained me well in understanding these studies and interpreting the results so they can  be used in real life situations.  But neither pharmacy nor PA school prepared me for the emotional turmoil of trying to relate these studies to our situation...  to decipher the data and use it to save my wife.

I was surprised when the oncologist told us that she wanted to be as aggressive as possible despite the side effects and toxicity.  She wants to put a port into JaNae's chest through which we will willingly infuse poison every 2 weeks for 6 months...  JaNae will likely lose her hair...  She will be sick... She will be more tired than she has ever been...  Her immune system will be shocked by the chemotherapy to where she will not even be allowed to hug the kids in her Primary class...  She may lose feeling in her hands and feet permanently...  And after all of this... we meet with a radiation oncologist next week to decide whether to use radiation as well.

She will be on oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and 5 fluorouracil. All of these are pretty standard but some people don't have to take the oxaliplatin... and she wants to use aggressive doses with JaNae.  She will take other  medications to help with nausea and other side effects.  She'll have a surgical procedure on July 5th to place the port in her chest and start chemotherapy July 9th.

Like I said, after all of my reading I was very surprised by how aggressive the doctor wants to be with the treatment of this cancer...  but then she looked at me as if she knew what I was thinking and said "We HAVE to be offensive and use every weapon we have to get ahead of this cancer because once it gets away from us, it is very hard to stop... and you have a five year old at home who needs his mother. It's my job to save her for him... It's your job to be a supportive husband."


  1. Oh...You poor sweet people. What a blow. Thinking of you tons. Love your updates. Wishing you well. You will do a good job at being a supportive husband. I know you will.

  2. Praying for you.
    We haven't mailed my daughter's latest batch of cut off hair to locks of love yet. Does JaNae want it? ;)

  3. Praying for you guys! I have an ex-brother-in-law that could hook you up with some weed to get your appetite back during treatment if you wish.

  4. Hey you guys, we just found your blog so we can follow along for the ride! I am so sorry this is happening to you JaNae, I have put your name in the temple every week. Later this summer, when you know it is going to be a bad week with treatments, Ashley and I would love to buzz over and help out a few days (cook, clean, run kids around, etc). Let us know when would help you the most. :)
    Aunt Becky

  5. This really stinks. I am glad that they are being aggressive about it. It sounds like you are up for a bumpy ride (to say the least). I hope that you can feel my prayers on your behalf.

    Hang in there~