Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Very Rough Week

Bradley finished his first five days of this chemotherapy treatment on Friday, February 26. He had that weekend off from chemo and we were hoping to be able to enjoy New York a little bit. However, Bradley felt very sick and nauseaus all weekend so we stayed in at the Ronald McDonald House.

Monday, March 1 Bradley began his second week of this chemo cycle. The doctors addressed his nausea with multiple anti-nausea medicines, none of which really seemed to work for him.

On Tuesday, March 2 Bradley and I went to see The Lion King on Broadway. Bradley’s chemo nurse knew of our plans for the evening so she gave Bradley about every kind of anti-nausea medicine they have before we left the hospital, hoping he would feel well enough to enjoy it. Thankfully, Bradley felt well, and we had a very good time at the show. The masks and costumes were amazing. We were so happy we chose The Lion King, it was very neat and entertaining.

Bradley finished out the rest of his chemo week with more nausea. Also during the week Manhattan received 4-5 inches of snow. Bradley was so excited by this, and he kept hoping for more snow. It did not stay pretty for long with all of the taxi cabs on the roads the white snow quickly turned to black slush. Bradley received the “ok” to leave on Friday afternoon since all of his blood counts were holding up well.

Saturday, March 6 we woke up early to begin washing our linens at The Ronald McDonald House and cleaning our room. The guest is responsible for all of the room cleaning prior to check out at the house. We finally started out at about 10:30 am for our long drive home. Poor Bradley delayed his morning dose of pain medicine in order to drive us out of New York City. I guess in the long run this probably caused him less pain than dealing with me trying to maneuver us out of the crazy city. So after about 25 minutes I took over. Bradley routed us home differently. On our drive to New York we faced multiple toll roads. We are not talking 50 cent tolls either, rather 8 dollars and up per toll. Our drive home was much more scenic. We drove through the most beautiful farmland in New Jersey and Pennsylvania while saving about 50 dollars in tolls. The downside to this drive was a lot of it was two lane highways that were very bumpy and full of pot holes, something you try to avoid with someone who just had a major surgery. We stopped at about 7:30 pm for the night in Waynesboro, Virginia. We grabbed a very quick dinner, Bradley and I were both very, very tired.

We returned home at about 6:30 pm Sunday, March 7. Our dogs were home to greet us, and it felt great to be home again. Bradley was feeling good and wanted to go to the grocery store. So after spending all day in the car, we got back in the car and went grocery shopping. We got back well after dark, at about 8:30pm, to find we had surprise visitors. Meaghan and Jack had come to visit us and welcome us home. We enjoyed visiting with them for awhile, but again we were tired. It had been a long, full day.

Monday, March 8 Bradley started feeling very, very nauseaus. He also had severe abdominal cramping, another symptom of the chemotherapy. He was in a lot of pain due to the cramping and could not get comfortable during the day, nor sleep at night. This continued into Tuesday. I called his oncologist in NY. They said it was completely normal, and that Bradley was having a delayed reaction to the chemo, which is common. They instructed him to begin talking his pain medicine, left over from his surgery, to try to lessen his pain from cramping. They said if need be he could also double the amount he had been taking. This continued throughout the rest of the week, with his symptoms really not improving from day to day. We only made it to get lab work once during the week instead of twice, but thankfully his labs looked good. While he did feel terrible, at least he did not get his typical low white blood cell count and the neutropenic fever that accompanies it.

On Saturday Bradley was still not feeling well. Keep in mind that this was supposed to be his “good” week to enjoy before he started chemo again. Bradley has also not had much of an appetite throughout all of this. His pre-surgery weight was 173 lbs. and he is now weighing in the high 150’s. He also went from taking no medication, including pain pills, to taking anti-nausea meds and double doses of pain medicine around the clock, which were still not even helping.

Sunday, Bradley began to feel ever so slightly better. Maison, Ashleigh and the boys and Meaghan, Nathan and Jack all came over to visit and just hang out with Bradley. While he was still not feeling well physically, this was important to him emotionally and he really enjoyed the company.

Monday, March 16 Bradley began his 12th round of chemo, his 2nd round on the Irinotecan. We arrived at Emory at 9:30 am for the usual doctor appointment and lab work and mostly waiting around. His chemo drug is infused in only an hour, yet we still did not leave the hospital until 5 pm. It was after 7pm when we finally got back home. It had been a long day and again we were both tired. Oddly enough though on chemo again, Bradley was feeling better than the previous week.

Today is Wednesday, March 18. Bradley is still nauseaus and eating only small meals. Despite all of this he is still feeling better than he was all of last week. I am hoping his “good” week is just that and that he is able to enjoy feeling well for a change. We are thinking that maybe he felt so bad because he started chemo so soon after surgery, only 1 week, and that maybe he needed more time to recover his strength and his appetite. As yuck as Bradley is feeling now, we look back and are very thankful for how well he felt with all of that high dose chemo. He truly had very few side effects from all of those rounds, and we are reminded of how fortunate he was. Hopefully very soon Bradley will feel well enough to resume writing future posts.


  1. Read your blog and you are both in my constant prayers. Hoping Bradley will enjoy his week off from chemo. Looking forward to seeing you both when I get home! Love, mom

  2. So glad that this week has been somewhat easier. just wanted to say hello! As always, you're both in my heart and in my prayers!

    Jill Powers and Family
    Dyersburg, TN

  3. Thanks for the update. Your Dad has been keeping us somewhat updated but he didn't tell us about the Broadway show!How exciting. Glad you felt well enough to enjoy it. As for the snow,I can imagine that with all the traffic, it turned ugly quickly. Should have been here. We had 7 inches, downtown Jackson had 10. It was beautiful but was completely gone in 3 or so days, which was fine--enough for a few good pictures then I was ready for it to be gone. We'll continue to pray for both of you. When you're feeling good, eat lots of hi cal food!! Aunt Grace Ann & Uncle Bob

  4. Hi Bradley, Hi Marissa. My name is Shane Dennehy from a place called Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland, and my brother Denis (27) was diagnosed last month with DSRCT. Our lives have been thrown upside down completely, although Denis has been showing unbelievable strength in dealing with it (a bit of a fighter like yourself Bradley i think!). Just reading up on your website here, and it gives us a lot of hope. Myself and my sister are on the DSRCT yahoo chat group ( and my own e-mail is if you ever feel like dropping a line to give any advice. In the meantime, I'll stay glued to your website, and hope you and Marissa are keeping well. All the best Bradley. Shane

  5. Hey man, I hope you can get some sleep tonight. I know tomorrow is a big day, and we are all praying for you. I am sure your results will be good. After all you have endured you deserve it. So get some sleep and get home safely. We love you and take care
    love, prayers, and positive vibes-n8