Well, the mass they found on my son Patrick’s spine was not a dealbreaker for the clinical trial and the docs at Dana Farber think the new protocol may actually help with that issue and possibly shrink that so it doesn’t cause as much pain.
They also strongly urge him to ‘man-up and med-up’ and take the pain meds they prescribe.
He hates to because he wants to be more awake and alert and he is afraid to drive medicated and also because he will have have to rely on his wife Jean more.
And also... that huge stigma about opioids, which he has never taken.
Dear lord...he is in the final stage of his battle!
Here is Pat with his son and dad two summers ago.
He is two weeks into the trial and suffering.
Thankfully the hospital provides discount hotel rooms nearby so he can stay up in Boston as needed (about two hours away).
We reassured Jean that we are here for them and she can accompany him whenever he and she want or need.
Her district will not allow her to teach remotely as they had too many teachers who requested it and they have prioritized the teachers who are over 60 or have their own health issues.
Jean will not go back, will use her sick days and then go on unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, which just means they will keep her job open and provide health insurance, although she will have to continue paying whatever her share is.
This is how folks go broke because of major health problems.
Plus, Pat had to leave employment in April, after 3+ years of powering through with stage IV colon cancer and will start SSDisability this month, another financial hit for their family.
They will not send the kids back to school, either, to protect Daddy, which the kids understand, but of course are disappointed about.
I am going over later to help Jean set up their ‘outdoor classroom’ on a huge sunroom they have..how fortunate that they have that after moving from a tiny house last year. It will be good until the very coldest winter months.
So my job is to help with the kids as much as possible (we will be helping with online learning as well), support Pat and Jean through this, keep cooking meals and sending them over there and keeping ourselves healthy so we can be as much help as possible.
I am not a worrier by nature but it’s getting pretty difficult not to lately.