Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Update on Russ

I realize that a lot of people have been wondering how things are going with Russ. It has been quite a year. If you want to know the full story from the beginning of Russ' diagnosis with throat cancer, you can read the post, "Our life with cancer/ past and present". So this update is for this year.

In January, we went to a clinic in Mexico called "Hope for Cancer". Russ seemed to do well while we where there and it seemed that the tumor slowed it's growth. He felt better as a result of all of the therapies they did. However, it was not enough. The tumor did not die and is still growing. Slowly, but still growing. It has really interrupted his ability to eat, swallow and open his mouth. He has been on mostly a liquid diet all year. I have been making him meal replacement shakes. This summer, it became almost impossible for him to swallow and get enough nutrition and water. He ended up severely dehydrated and malnourished. His heart went into atrial fibrillation on Wednesday July 26th. He ended up in the hospital for 3 days. On Thursday the 27th, he had a stomach peg put in so he can get enough water and nutrition.

All of that leads us to the present. Russ has decided to go a more traditional route to kill this cancer for good. We have succeeded in preventing the cancer from spreading and boosting his immune system which has kept all of his organs in great shape. Until he became dehydrated and his heart decided to act up. Anyway, we got that under control and we will continue to pump all of the healthy stuff in him that his body is used to and that will aid him during this next course of treatment. Russ had his first round of chemo on Monday of this week. He will have another round in three weeks, then one more after that. He will start radiation treatments next Monday the 21st. He will get 7 weeks of radiation 5 days a week. We are confident that this is going to put this cancer behind us once and for all.

I have said in a previous post that I would not change what we have done. All of the decisions we have made were the ones we thought were right at that time. I do wish we would have done the stomach peg sooner to prevent too much weight loss but you can not go back. Only forward. If we did not go to Mexico when we did, we would not have met all of the wonderful people from all over the world that we did. I wish them nothing but the best on their healing journeys.

I will close with this. I can not stress enough the importance of prevention. This has not been an easy road for Russ or the family. I would never wish this on anyone. I will be writing another post soon on how to prevent cancer to the best of your ability. It might not be what you think either. I have learned a lot on this journey and I am sure there is still more to learn. But that is what life is about, the learning as you go. So until then, may your adventures be much more fun than ours has been lately. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we will be rejoicing when this is all behind us.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this, Diane. Have been so wondering how Russ is doing. Am continuing to pray for his treatments and do indeed pray this chapter of your lives will be over once and for all. Am sure little Briar is a huge bright spot in your lives and helps spring hope for you all. As always, your positive outlook is so uplifting. Praying for you all, keep us posted. Love you, Jan Hayter