Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last day of radiation therapy

Today will be Steve's final day of radiation therapy and the last day of this first round of chemotherapy.

The radiation oncologists did not add on to the total days, but he did miss treatment last Thursday, when the weather turned snowy and the roads were packed with nervous drivers. This nervous wife called off treatment for the day, extending the treatment plan to today.

Dr. G, the resident, explained to Steve that this final treatment will hit the maximum tolerance recommended for the areas they're targeting. He also learned that they've avoided shooting X-rays through his ear in order to save his hearing -- very thoughtful! You can see where the X-rays have entered, as there are cute little bald spots surrounding his ears.

Steve is having a rough day. He's normally up and out of bed by 6 a.m. His body just wouldn't cooperate today, so he's staying in bed until we have to leave for treatment. He says his body feels extremely heavy, as if he's filled with sand. And his headache is excruciatingly painful today. We're not sure if it's accumulated fatigue, which has been catching up with him the past few days, or the reduced dose of Decadron, which dropped to 1 mg yesterday. It's probably a bit of both.

When I took Cooper to school this morning, he told me he never wants me to break the law. I told him I already try not to (well, except for driving a bit over the speed limit, which he admonishes me for frequently) and asked why he was worried. He answered that there would be no one to take care of Daddy if I was in jail and that Daddy would have trouble taking care of him and Katie. I promised to do nothing that would land me in jail. We talked some more about his concerns, and then he had to walk into the building.

Steve was able to go to the regional Destination Imagination tournament on Saturday. Cooper and five of his first-grade friends performed their play in front of judges and a huge crowd of parents and siblings, completed an instant challenge and were recognized at a rousing awards ceremony that afternoon. The tournament was at Plano Senior High School, which I compare to a junior college campus -- multiple buildings are separated by courtyards, a pond and too many stairs for a guy who's having trouble walking. We were thrilled that Steve was able to attend and see what the team had been working on for months, but he was exhausted by the end of the day and spent most of Sunday recovering.

At the DI tournament Saturday

This first round of fighting the Damm Spot has been made so much easier by countless folks. There's not a single need or request that has gone unanswered. We are surrounded by the world's best and most patient drivers, chefs, baby sitters, dish washers, hand holders, note writers, gift givers, prayer warriors, dog walkers, bakers, clothes folders, shoppers, teachers, coaches, co-workers, doctors, nurses, errand runners, listeners, huggers, singers, surprise arrangers! Thank you for easing the burden, showering us with love and reminding countless others that goodness and hope abound.


Anonymous said...

Tyra, you are everything wives are meant to be. Your strength gives your family hope and determination. I always have you in my thoughts. Steve is looking awesome :-) and I'm thrilled he was able to get out!!!!

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

I was happy to read on your blog that you both were able to attend DI and see Cooper's team do so well, even though the effort emptied Steve's energy bank.

It's great that Cooper feels safe expressing his concerns. I'm not sure if our mutual friend, Mary, shared with you my book, When a Parent has Cancer (a guide to caring for your children). In case she hasn't, it discusses many common issues that arise when Mom or Dad is going through ca treatment. High on the list is children's natural concern about being cared for.

Most of all, congrats on finishing radiation therapy. The treatments are over; the effects are still working.
with hope, Wendy

Anonymous said...

Steve & Tyra,

Please just know that we love you, we pray for you daily, and that we feel your daily highs and lows.

Mel and Vera

Chitnis and Chahal said...

Steve and Tyra, great to hear you are done with round one.
Needless to say, I think of you guys every day and read the blog few times per week and look for new information. It was great to talk to Steve the other day.
Its great that kids can communicate well with you even at such a young age, keep it up.
Our prayers and best wishes are with you at all times. Will stop by and see you guys soon.

Laura said...

Tyra & Steve,

Round one is done! Yeah! So much more lies ahead, but it's great to recognize that you've hit an important milestone.

We wish you both the best and send hugs & kisses to your little ones.

With love,


Hooray! It's so hard to be patient and wait around for the April exam in Houston, but we'll continue to pray for you while we wait and know you'll have lots to do and enjoy in the meantime. Spring is my favorite season because it holds so much promise. We hope Spring brings more hope and relief for you in your fight against the Damm Spot!

The Tarun-Stogsdills