You Can't Push A Rope

June 9, 2017

One of Bruce’s favorite sayings. Yet each week we try. 


I wish I had a more positive report regarding Bruce’s recent progress, but the past week left us feeling the June Gloom in more ways than one. Bruce’s days have been filled with a significant amount of struggle. He's seen the underbelly of emergency rooms, had more tests, scans and procedures than most could endure and we’re hoping for some sunshine - soon. 


His line-up of tests included 2 lumbar punctures and hernia surgery. Even in the care of exceptional doctors and surgeons there is always a risk of complications. 


Inconclusive results from the first lumbar puncture were due to contamination; whether it was a complication from the procedure or the results of the test indicated further need for treatment, we're not certain. So, bring on lumbar puncture number 2. This time it contained a heavy dose of chemotherapy infused into Bruce’s spinal fluid, just in case those inconclusive results come back the same - inconclusive. Cue the mind blowing headaches. Next up, hernia surgery. And so it goes, complications from hernia surgery took us through a maze of more tests and the placement of a foley (catheter). The nuances of each situation build on this poor man and are wearing him down. He finds it hard to rest during the day and sleep at night because he’s still wrestling with nerve pain. Radiation left him with burns on his back that he describes as burning from the inside out. Yep, he’s in a bad mood, grouchy and just feeling down, which is saying a lot about Bruce. He can typically find a slice of humor in ANY situation. 


My solution - Netflix. He's currently powering through House Of Cards. If you have suggestions for his “watch list” please text or email them. We need a full library of some juicy shows on deck to get through the next round of treatment. 


As I post this update, Bruce is having his port placed for Nuepogen injections which are scheduled to begin tomorrow, June 9, and continue throughout the weekend on a daily basis for approximately 4 days.  After the injections are given to stimulate stem cell growth, he will go through a collection process which lasts about 4 days. Upon collection, his stem cells are frozen and saved for infusion. Bruce was really hoping for hospitalization to begin on June 19 to begin the transplant treatment, but after meeting with his Oncologist today (and taking one look at Bruce) the decision was made to heal for a week and then head to stem cell transplant the week of June 26. Back to Bruce's favorite saying...he is insisting he stay on schedule. We shall see. 


Aside from feeling a bit down he’s not feeling completely defeated. He's actually holding up amazingly. We’re in survival mode most of the time and I often forget to tell him that his strength is incredible. His mind and body remain resilient through a treatment protocol and surgeries that most could never withstand. Somehow he takes set-backs without much complaint. In opposition to his good nature, I have assumed the role of bitchy advocate. Doctors and nurses avert their eyes when they see me coming. I knock on doctor’s doors, I stop them in the lobby and push through “staff only” areas to ask questions and work toward resolution for my sweet husband. Bruce finds my behavior cringe worthy most of the time, but that’s okay; he gets to take on the role of nice guy, which is a good fit for him. The nurses and doctors all love him and do everything they can to make him comfortable during his chemotherapy, tests, scans, hospital stays and numerous surgical procedures. I know in my heart that Bruce’s spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but sometimes a little arsenic does the trick - especially when you’re battling uncontrollable and unpredictable cancer. 


We’re still leaning and loving your support.


I’ll leave you with another one of Bruce’s favorite sayings…“Assume nothing, blame no one, and do something” 


He’s doing it all.


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