Monday, April 2, 2012

Meet Tommy

This is Tommy . . .


Oh Wait! Some silly Ninja got in the way . . . but that’s Tommy’s big brother Benny behind the Ninja.





Here’s the real Tommy!








And this is Henry, the youngest of three boys, with Julie their pretty Mom smiling proudly. Henry is just a year old and almost walking. Tommy is in kindergarten while Benny is in the second grade. They are from Oregon and the boys are on spring break this week. We met this wonderful young family in the waiting room of the radiation department.


This is their Dad, Ben who is undergoing radiation treatments following a neck surgery for cancer.

Ben and Julie along with their three sons are staying in their motorhome in the same park as we are.

You’ve read in past posts where I question how other patients and caregivers handle their everyday commitments while undergoing treatment. Well, this family is a great example of how that’s done. Ben is used to living in the motorhome as his job requires him to travel – he constructs and pours foundations for electrical towers and transformers. While he was showing us photos on an IPad of some of his impressive work sites (there is a lot more to it than just pouring cement) he was also interacting in a very mature Scrabble game with Benny on another IPad. Meanwhile Julie had her hands full too.

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Well mannered and polite little boys but very active too. Oh my! I need a nap! Sleepy smile

As expected, The Cowboy has been experiencing more side effects from the treatments and more specifically from the pain medication. He’s been sleeping more but we don’t feel that’s negative as we think that his body is healing and replenishing itself during these resting times.

His throat is quite sore which makes it difficult to swallow but if he swishes and swallows his pain medication (Xyloxylin) a few minutes before meals it enables him to tolerate the soreness. He also has Hydrocodone, another oral solution  that he takes every 6-8 hours or as needed.

His voice is now barely a squeaky whisper but that means that I’m winning most of the arguments now. He can’t holler back. Winking smile

His appetite has waned but that’s partly due to the Muscle Milk Protein drinks filling him up. I know how uncomfortable it is for him and that sometimes he has to make an extra effort to eat; we both know how important it is to keep the rest of his body functioning properly. We just make sure that the food he does eat is nutritional and not just empty calories.

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Yesterday his meals consisted of three scrambled eggs with V8 Juice for breakfast, large bowl of vegetable beef soup for lunch and a salad plate with a small wedge of lettuce, crab salad, cottage cheese and a boiled egg for dinner. He also had a piece of polish sausage for a snack in between.

Not that we have a regular schedule by any means – he eats when and as often as he can. His sleeping/napping follows much the same pattern.

He’s remaining positive as he keeps his eye on the calendar. We’re almost at the half way mark with April 24th being the last chemo procedure while April 26th marks the final date for radiation. Just a little more than 3 weeks to go.

How can we not win this battle with all of you ‘Prayer Warriors’ out there gunning for us?

Thank You!


  1. Such a sweet family!
    They say eggs are a perfect food, super nutritious. We're pulling for you, sending prayers everyday.

  2. Hope this all works for you both, i am praying for you & full recovery, so u can be back traveling soon!!

  3. Those little boys are just darling. Brave family.

    Holding you and Cowboy in my heart and in my prayers daily. So sorry he is in pain but I think you are right about the sleeping. The body has a tremendous ability to heal itself if we let it rest. Glad you are on the downhill side of the treatments. You'll be back on the road before you know it and Cowboy will be right as rain. God Bless.

  4. You have showed great perseverance behind the blog. It's been enriched since the beginning. I love to share to with my friends. Carry on.

  5. I'm sorry Cowboy is uncomfortable, but it sounds like you both handle it as you always have with humor, grace, intelligence, and dignity.

    Fatigue is a big part of the treatment, but fortunately it's a way of healing and not feeling the pain.

    I think of you all the time and can't wait for the day when you're on the road, again.