Interferon Sucks

We are a few weeks into the maintenance phase of interferon, and as usual in our life, it’s been an endless series of highs and lows.  I’m writing this post from the ER, as I made a command decision to take Kevin in after several hours of vomiting.  I feared dehydration and just knew we needed to get something in him to get him feeling better.  We are awaiting results of labs and to see the doctor before getting hooked up to an IV for fluids and nausea medications.

Overall, this phase of the treatment has pretty much sucked.  Kevin is sick a lot, and more frustratingly, he is sick at seemingly random times.  Often he will give himself a shot and feel okay the next day, but crappy the day after that.  We are trying to figure out the best combo of side effect medications, timing, etc. but haven’t had a lot of success.  This past week has seemed a little worse than the previous weeks and that is also what led to this evening’s trip to the hospital.

Gosh, I’m trying to think about what I need to write here to share updates with everyone, and honestly my mind is  mush.  Let me see, what are some of the things that have happened in the past few weeks?

One huge blessing is that a friend of my sister and brother in law called me up and had his roofing crew come and make the needed repairs in our leaking skylights.  He is also walking me through the right to repair process to sue my contractors for the necessary repairs. Having him take care of this has been a huge load off of my back as it’s just been one more thing to be having to deal with right now.  And get this, the roofing guys discovered that all three skylights were installed upside down!  Seriously?!  Anyway, words cannot even begin to express how incredibly grateful I am that Ty and his family have reached out and helped us in such a tangible way.  Thank you, thank you, thank you again.

My sister and I turned 33 on May 19, and I barely took a moment to catch my breath.  It was a full day with Kevin being sick, Ty coming by in the morning to check out the state of the skylight leaks, trying to prepare to host one leg of a neighborhood fundraiser, and keeping up with two toddlers.  But the day managed to turn around with help from some wonderful friends and family.  Kevin actually felt well enough to go to the porch crawl with me, and we ended the traveling party at our house, tired, but happy.

The next week was more of trying to get Kevin’s side effects under control, and me trying to keep picking up the pieces from the month of high dose interferon, where I pretty much ignored every other aspect of my life except trying to care for him.

But that Tuesday we were given a wonderful treat in the form of VIP concert tickets to the Dave Matthews Band.  Kevin’s cousin Claudia’s husband’s best friend is a concert promoter here in Atlanta, and they got us the hook up.  How’s that for a connection?  Anyway, it was awesome.  I had told Kevin during his last week of high dose interferon, when he was feeling so discouraged, that I was going to be able to reward him for pushing so hard with tickets to the DMB.  It was exactly the encouragement he needed.  And the day before the concert, we found out that we were getting the VIP treatment, with VIP parking, passes to the VIP room, and 7th row seats.  What made it even more great was that we live just a few minutes away from the concert venue, so it was a fun, easy night out.  Kevin was feeling pretty crappy that day, but was determined to make it to the show, and the ease of having the concert close by, the up-front parking so no trekking across a giant parking lot, and the awesome seats made it just a truly wonderful night for both of us.  Thank you, thank you Clay, it was an awesome night!

After that it was back to more interferon shots and more trying to get the side effects managed.  Kevin is still able to work, and we’ve discussed whether or not we need to think about alternate arrangements, but he says that honestly he’d probably be doing worse if he were to take a leave of absence or something.  He feels like work is a welcome distraction and gives him something else to focus on.  Plus, he’d probably be feeling depressed if he was just sitting around all day feeling like crap.  So instead, he goes to work feeling like crap.  But well, have I mentioned that that man is amazing.  How he gets up every morning, throws up for twenty minutes, then showers and goes to work is beyond me.  He told me that this past week he had to get off a call to go throw up.  But he is pushing through and we are truly taking it one day at a time.

Alright, I always write up posts and then never publish them because I want to revise and edit and make it all cohesive and put pictures in and whatever, and then I never get around to it and then the post gets hopelessly out of date and then I get to where I haven’t posted in like three weeks, so let’s just call this long, slightly incoherent, picture-less post a miserable update and we’ll leave it at that.  Please keep praying, ya’ll.  We’re hanging in there but it’s tough and there’s still a long way to go.  Thank you all for the love and prayers.

5 thoughts on “Interferon Sucks

  1. It was nice to have something to look forward to in the middle of his misery. Kudos to Larry and Claudia!! Every time I read about Kevin throwing up, it reminds me of my pregnant time of my life. I was so miserable everyday for months. They told me it would only last a few week, or it would be just in the morning – HA – well it turned into more like 90% of the entire pregnancy! But the only thought that kept me clinging to the O toilet bowl was that after all this has passed then I will have the reward of holding my newborn baby. Kevin, you have a much bigger reward here for all this – to have your kids and your wife watch you grow old. That is my hope and prayer for you. Hang in there!

  2. So sorry Rachel – I posted my response to this blog on the previous blog –
    hope you can find it – I have no idea how I managed to do that.
    Irene

  3. Has any one recommended medical marijuana? Someone suggested that
    when I told them about Kevin’s vomitting.
    Irene

  4. Thanks for the suggestion Aunt Irene, it has definitely crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, medical marijuana is usually used to ease the pain that the actual cancer is causing cancer patients, and sometimes for pain related to chemotherapy. It doesn’t usually affect nausea (although there are several different drugs that help with nausea, and we have moved on to a different one that seems to be working for now, thank God!) Also, with interferon, since the drug works differently than chemotherapy, medical marijuana can actually interact with it and increase the side effects… blech!

  5. I appreciate your response Rachel – excellent information.
    Kevin is fortunate to have you doing all the research plus “bed side
    nursing”. You and Kevin make a great team!
    Irene

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