Friday, December 28, 2007

Update on Tiina

I have neglected to inform everyone with an update to Tiina's treatment of breast cancer. I believe I left off with her coming home after the surgery and recovering from that.

Tiina began chemotherapy on the 5th of October. She tries to explain to me what everything is and how it works but for the most part it goes over my head. I know that there consists a total of six treatments. The first three were Taxotere (brand) docetaxel (substance) & Herceptin (brand) and the last three called CEF.

She continues to work even during the treatments. She is able to juggle her schedule in order to do so. I think she has some pretty understanding bosses. She could just as well taken five to six months of medical leave as was offered to her before treatments began. She declined this because she doesn't want to sit at home thinking about it. By keeping busy it helps her mentally to deal with it.

The first treatment seemed to be the worst one after a few days. Tiina had so much pain one night that no matter what she took the pain wouldn't go away and there wasn't anything I could do to help the pain go away. She cried and I cried. She wasn't able to sleep and yet during all of this she was more concerned about me getting my sleep because I had to work the next day. I told her that work was the last thing on my mind and that everyone understands if I am not able to make it into work on time or even at all after a treatment. So she decided to go upstairs and watch TV to help keep her mind off of the pain. I was able to sleep but for only a few hours. When I got up at 6.30 to go to work I saw Tiina back in bed and sleeping like a little baby so I knew she was feeling better. She stayed home and rested that day when she had planned to attend class. She also cancelled two of her courses she was teaching in Hyvinkää just to make sure she wouldn't need to do so at the last minute.

Tiina's hair began to fall out on the 14th day after treatment. She managed to take enough of it and tie it with a ribbon then had me cut the rest off. That was harder than I thought it would be for two reasons. One is that she has such thick hair and the other is that I hated to cut it off. She cried and so did I but after discussing the fact that it will grow back we both felt better. I continued the shaving and then we both went to sauna where we calmed even more. Tiina did get a wig but she doesn't like wearing it as she says it makes her too hot. She mostly goes without anything or wears a knit cap or just a scarf. The latter makes her look like a pirate or Gypsy.

The doctor told Tiina that beginning with the second treatment that she should use Panacod before she goes to sleep so that she doesn't feel the pain. She had this all along but hates the way it makes her feel. The doctor told her that she would be sleeping anyway so by the time she woke up most of the effects would be worn off. So she did that and it worked good for the second and third treatment. She only had to use it twice each time.

She had her fourth treatment with the CEF on the 7th of December. It wasn't the same as the first three. This made her quite nauseous. She remained in that state for a least ten days. She said she preferred having the pain because at least she could make it go away.

Now she has had the fifth treatment today. So far she has vomited only three times. Her treatment began at 11.30 am and it is now 11.58 pm. She said that she is getting used to the vomiting as opposed to the last time. She knows now that it just has to be and no need to try to put it off as long as she can. I suppose it makes her feel a bit better just to go and do it as well. Still, it must be no fun. The boys are a little stressed about it. I kind of explained to them why it is happening. They mostly think it just sounds so terrible, which it does.

Well Tiina has the meds she needs to fight the nausea so all we can do is wait and see how it works out for her. She is a tuffy and will do just fine. Right Babe? Right !! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matti, what a lovely way you show how you love your wife. I can't imagine the difficulty for both of you...

You're so supportive. I wish you both well!