Our schedule for week two included going to the cancer center on Tuesday for bloodwork, a doctor appointment, and a chemo treatment. Allen was not improving by Monday and we were in contact with the doctor and nurse to try and figure out how to prevent weight loss and keep foods down. Overall, he lost about 20 pounds and was looking pretty terrible. He was still nauseated constantly and we were nervous about getting him down to his appointment. When we arrived on Tuesday, he was completely dehydrated and couldn’t walk on his own because of fatigue. I pushed him around in a wheelchair. It was so crazy to see him looking the worst out of anyone there that day. The needles were a struggle because of dehydration, but they were able to take his blood and sent us along to meet with the doctor.
When we met with our oncologist, he struggled to know why Allen was having such severe reactions to the chemotherapy. If things didn’t improve, they would modify his treatment in the coming weeks. We asked questions about how to treat his side effects and felt prepared to treat things at home and see if Allen could feel somewhat normal again. The doctor wanted to see us again two days later to monitor Allen’s improvement. Allen had his chemotherapy treatment afterward and they also filled him up with saline. He was looking and feeling much better once he was hydrated again!
There wasn’t a lot of improvement in the next day, so we called our doctor to see if there were other options for getting his GI issues under control. They wondered about an infection and wanted to run some tests on him the next day when we came to the appointment. We went to the appointment and they ran tests, then sent us upstairs for some more saline to hydrate him. This was one of the hardest things for Allen. The nurses were trying their best to give him an IV, but since he was so dehydrated they had to try three times before getting a good line. I felt so helpless watching him as he sat there, squeezing my hand while he faced one of his biggest fears over and over again. It was painful and I knew that. It’s never easy to watch someone you love suffer through something like that, even when you know it’s going to be okay.
We went home that day and waited to hear the results for the doctor. Sure enough, Allen had a bacterial infection called C. diff that was causing so many of the problems he was having! We were relieved to know there was an antibiotic he could take that would help rid his body of the bacteria. And it was so nice to feel like maybe we would be able to handle his next chemotherapy treatments and manage his side effects when there wasn’t a bacterial infection coming into play! That helped eliminate some of the discouragement we felt after trying our best to keep food in him and retain calories, but seeing him suffer and lose so much weight.
After taking just one or two of the new antibiotics, Allen was starting to feel better. It was night and day! I couldn’t believe how the C. diff was causing so many of the complications! Allen started to gain weight and felt like he could eat more, sit outside with us, and read books to the kids. It was amazing having him back! 🙂 He was even able to go to church with us on Sunday and watch Benson and Katelyn in their primary’s musical program, which was so sweet! We love those kids! It felt great just to be together a little more as a family. Allen continued to improve over the weekend, and we were so encouraged and ready to take on the next week’s treatment. Heavenly Father had blessed us for sure, and we were grateful for Allen’s recovered energy and health! Thank you all for praying and fasting for us! I know that has made a really big difference.