I talked to the medical oncologist today. He is recommending that Paul have chemotherapy along with the radiation now. He's prescribing an oral drug called Matulane, and Paul will take 2 capsules 3 times/day. They expect that it will make the radiation therapy more effective and double his expected survival time.
There are potential side effects - nausea, other gastrointestinal problems, low blood counts, which could start in about a week. They are doing a CBC every week so they will be checking blood counts. We're supposed to call him if Paul has any other side effects and he will prescribe medication to counteract them. I'm reading a book called The Chemotherapy Survival Guide, which also gives lots of tips to help counter side effects.
Paul will be on the chemotherapy for 30 days, then he'll have a 30-day rest, and then he'll be on for another 30 days. He's had 11 days of radiation now, and is still feeling ok, although he's starting to get tired more easily now. Still going to work though.
Paul is also getting laying on of hands by two women at our church. They are both pillars of the church - one is a Methodist minister's daughter. They have been interested in healing for a long time - used to have a regular prayer group for healing. One of them met a Japanese woman from Hawaii, who told her about a Tibetan healing method called Reiki. They invited the woman to Park Forest, who taught them the method, and they have been practicing it ever since.
They basically just put their hands on certain areas of Paul's body and hold them there for awhile. They feel energy pass through them into Paul. It lasts about an hour and Paul said he feels relaxed when it's done. He can feel heat in the areas where they have their hands, and they can feel their hands getting warm. I had never heard of it before, but two of my co-workers have heard of it.
They will do 3 days in a row this week, and then will do it on a weekly basis. This was something that they asked Paul if they could do for him, and we figured it certainly couldn't hurt. They do it at the church in a room which is used for worship with some mentally retarded young people, so it's a nice, calm, atmosphere. They start with prayer and then they just talk softly while they're doing it. I found it relaxing just to watch.
Continue to: Aug. 13, 1997
Return to: Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife
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Created: May 3, 1999
Latest revision: July 18, 2010