Monday, November 23, 2009

Digestion. Brought to you by God, apparently.

To quickly recap the last two weeks, Phil started vomiting regularly in the evenings on November 11. We assumed it was chemo-related nausea (why wouldn't it be, right?) and tried all the good anti-nausea meds to no avail. It wasn't until the beginning of last week that I realized Phil wasn't nauseated... rather, he was projectile vomiting whenever he ate or drank anything. He was put on Reglan to help his stomach empty more quickly into his intestines, but it didn't really help. He had no sensation of hunger. He was also constipated, and by the time it was all said and done he went a week and a half without being able to keep down solid food and lost 15 pounds. He got the week off from chemo but still spent some serious time at the hospital getting IV fluids, and finally got an appointment with a gastroenterologist (thanks, Jay!) so we can get to the bottom of what's going on. Phil is getting a scope down his throat at 3:00 this afternoon (wheeee!) to try and get some answers.

Anyway, Phil didn't puke at all on Saturday, which was the first day in what felt like a thousand. On Sunday he woke up feeling okay. I went to the first service at church and came home early so he could go to the second service. (We go to separate services so we don't have to put our kids in children's church and risk the germs.) After he left I noticed that two brownies were missing from the plate my neighbor brought over on Saturday. (Normal brownies, by the way. I assume.) When he got home from church he relayed that some friends prayed for him afterward, and while they were praying he felt sensations of electrical currents in his body. He also confessed to eating the brownies for breakfast (which, you know, DUH) and drinking about 20 oz. of water and said he felt fine.

Then on Sunday evening we went with a whole buncha' friends to Calder Dairy for their farm tour. Included was a scoop of ice cream which Phil dominated. On the drive home he ate the kids' dinner leftovers and then- THEN- when we got home we ordered Jimmy John's. He ate half the sandwich that night and finished the rest for breakfast. He's been eating like a pregnant woman for the last couple of days- or at least how I want to eat when I'm pregnant: cheese and cupcakes. And he feels great.

So considering where we were just a few days ago, with projectile vomit happening after a sip of water, and 15 pounds of weight loss, this whole thing is pretty miraculous and Phil won't allow me to attribute it to anything other than God. He won't even let me insinuate that there were perhaps factors in addition to divine intervention. And I'm cool with that because, hey, no vomit. So thanks, God! And thank you to everyone who has been praying for Phil and/or sending good thoughts our way. It all matters and it all counts, and we are grateful.

We're back on track with infusions this week and are at the infusion center right now. Phil is getting his Velcade push as we speak, but they are cutting down the dose slightly. (Randomized studies showed no difference in outcome between the previous dose and his new current dose.)

Phil's weight is slowly going back up and his appetite is back. He can't eat before his scope today but he grabbed a bag of gummy bears for later. Scandalous.


Kindred Spirit said...

God knows--He really does, and you've seen the proof. I'll keep praying for you all; please pray for my 22 year old son who will have a CAT sccan today in search of an adrenal tumor. "All things work together unto good for those who love God." And He is the ultimate Dominator! :-)

Phil said...

Nice K.S. - I have never thought to use dominator in that context, but you are dead on :) I definitely feel Jesus dominated death so I could get this chemo, dominate cancer and continue to experience the abundant life. Thanks for the reminder!

Brenda said...

Hi, Phil,

Glad to hear that you're eating and things are going better. You're the only person I know who is trying to GAIN weight!

Blaise used to refer to all his chemo adventures as "the Magic Carpet Ride." Once you get on it takes you where it will...Hang on tight.

Prayer works wonders. Keep the faith.

Happy Thanksgiving and love to all,

Brenda N

Heather said...

So glad to hear about the turn around from vomiting! Hoping and praying you beat all of this. Got my bracelets last week and can't wait to send a picture with us wearing them.
Good luck to you! All of us LHS peeps are thinking of you and Cassie!!

Kindred Spirit said...

You're welcome, of course! :-)

{(C)} said...


Cassie said...

Chip, you are so funny. I don't actually know that marijuana would help with paralytic ileus... I think it would probably undermine the "small, frequent meals" that he's supposed to be eating, and make things worse. ;)