Lori here. We’re almost through round 1 of 4 in the BEP Chemo Cycle and we’ve learned some useful lessons along the way. Thought I’d share.
Lesson 1: Sugar + Chemo= Nausea
Maarten learned the hardway that if he ate sugar the same day he had a Chemo IV, then it would make him extremely nauseous. Oops!
Lesson 2: Visitors are great, in moderation
Visiting with Friends and family gives him mental strength, but unfortunately takes it’s toll physically. His batteries run out quickly and from one moment to the next he needs to go lie down.
Lesson 3: For Maarten’s well being, Being connected is everything
Having online access in the hospital took an intolerable situation and made it livable. Maarten had a project to focus on other than the Ivan the IV. He was able to stay connected to friends and family and to the outside world.
Lesson 4: Take whatever medicine you can, when you can
In the beginning it’s difficult to ask for something when you’re in pain, but you learn quickly that if you have a slight headache, or slight nausea, it will become a BIG headache or UNBEARABLE nausea. The moment you notice pain, get something for it!
Cancer is a disease that controls you. In a flash, other people are deciding when you get medicine, when you eat, when you drink, when you’ll feel better, when you’ll feel worse. When Maarten shaved his head it was one thing he could do by choice.
Lesson 6: Side effects suck!
After his last day treatment Maarten had the chills for four hours, followed by a fever which hit 40.2 at its highest point. After calling the doctor we were assured this was expected. Maarten put it best when he said ‘This sucks’.
Lesson 7: Ask for help/or learn how to accept it
We are used to being independent and self-sufficient when it comes to most things. I, in particular, have difficult asking people for things. But I’m learning. Maarten is sensitive to the light after chemo, so Sander came by and spent the whole day installing blinds in the bedroom and kitchen (and did a fantastic job!). Friends and family have come over to cook for us (which gives me a rest) and offered everything from toys to support.
Lesson 8 : Never underestimate the value of Bubby-love (our cat)
Everytime Maarten can see our cat, Freddy (whom I refer to as bubby) , he smiles. That’s powerful.
Lesson 9 : With our friends and family there to pull us through, we are guaranteed success