Cycle 5

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We are in the midst of Cycle 5 for Josh’s chemotherapy treatments. When we were told that Josh would go through six cycles of chemotherapy, each about a month a part, this at first seemed very daunting. Josh had already gone through radiation and chemo treatments simultaneously, but back when Josh was still a patient at the Mary Free Bed, we had help from the nurses. Once he was home, we would be administering his chemotherapy ourselves.

But, now that we have four cycles behind us, I have to say that things have gone relatively well. There have been some rough patches, even when he wasn’t on the chemo drugs, but we’ve gotten through them. And, Josh never complained, he just took them each night even though it was a safe bet that they would make him feel crappy later.

I can’t speak for Josh, but I have to admit that it feels momentous that Cycle 6 is already right around the corner followed by scans, and hopefully a final diagnosis stating that he will be done with chemotherapy for a long while. I wouldn’t quite call this feeling as seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but rather that if everything comes out good after the last cycle it will feel as though we will have a little less to worry about.

And, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. This winter, he will resume his therapies. He had taken a break from physical and occupational therapy but continued with language. As he has been getting better at getting around with the cane, my hope is that we can begin to work with him on getting back his control of his right arm.

We are also reaching a point where Josh will be able to continue classes at Shepherd High School. He won’t be able to complete as many classes in the year as a typical student does, but it will be good for him to be making progress. It will also be good for him to get back into the familiar routine, and to see his friends.

So, I am hoping that the next couple of months will go smoothly, and that we hear some good news from the doctors in January. I feel like reaching the end of Josh’s six cycles of chemotherapy will feel like completing a journey that started last March when Josh was first diagnosed with brain cancer. Everything that he is still dealing with was caused by the tumor that was in his head or, indirectly, the surgery to remove the tumor. Even if the chemotherapy can end, Josh will still return every few months for follow up scans, but that seems tolerable after everything he’s been through so far.

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