When Jeff began to lose his hair, it started bit by bit, and then it became a daily occurrence. Once again, Jeff handled it fairly well. It wasn’t a vanity thang, it was a reminder of his daily battle with cancer. I would say to Jeff “is it time?” meaning was he ready for me to become his new barber! I was a Jack of all trades, and master of none, lol. It wasn’t really planned, it was during our morning coffee, that Jeff said “Let’s do this”. So, with his electric shaver, we began. We were both surprised, how with so very little effort his hair fell to the ground with every pass of the shaver. Jeff joked “are you enjoying your new barber job”, although I laughed and said “hey always great to pick up a new skill”, what he didn’t notice was the tears in my eyes as I gave him a crew cut like no other. It wasn’t the loss of hair that upset me, it was that he had to go through any of this! It may not have been evident during these changes, but looking back, I truly feel Jeff and I were connecting on a level like no other. Our bond was growing stronger over this crazy disease. We have always shared a sense of humour and were always open and honest about everything since day one of our relationship, but this was different. The things we thought were big stresses and strains, were now small, and everyday we would try to celebrate the wins along the way.
Before Jeff’s 2nd chemo treatment, he needed to have his port surgically inserted, enter Dr. Jaime. Once again, a trip with Daniel into Guadalajara to Hospital Pilar. Interesting factoid, did not know that I would need to pay cash for the actual port. The port was delivered by an amazing young woman from the local medical supply distributor. As Jeff was prepped and rolled off into his surgery. I needed to go to her office to pay by visa the 12,500 pesos required for the port/catheter. So, trying my hardest to recall my Spanish, off I went with the young woman to her office to pay. This in itself was an comical adventure, she took me for a car car ride in her tiny lime green car, all the while we spoke Spanglish (a little Spanish, a little English) For some odd reason the visa machine just did not want to work, believe me they tried, so off we went in search of an ATM. All the while she told me about her life, me about mine, and she even offered me one of her favourite Mexican treats, that her sister ships to her from the coast. She was so amazing, again the care here from everyone in the medical care sector was thoughtful, and generous as natural caregivers! We eventually arrived at an ATM, I paid her and she kindly and safely returned me to Jeff at the hospital. We never felt alone, ever during treatments or appointments, someone was always there to comfort us. Now with Jeff’s port in, a week later we were back to Anker Clinic for his 2nd and then 3rd chemo treatments.
What came after treatment #3 was going to feel like waiting on pins and needles… The 1st Pet Scan. When people talk about “Scanxiety” its no joke. This was going to be the test that showed whether or not Jeff’s chemo treatments were working. Another interesting factoid, in Mexico all lab and test results, scans, x-rays, and MRIs are physically given to you to take home, as well as sent to your doctors. Fasting, no sugar allowed AT ALL, and bloodwork, the Pet scan took 2 hours, with results received in 4 days!
Dr. Padilla was so happy to report the treatments were working!! Whew, Jeff was winning his fight so far, it was a relief, but we knew we had more fight ahead. 3 more chemo treatments and another Pet Scan would determine next steps….