Ken’s Story

Site created on September 11, 2018

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Journal entry by Mindy Santema

So today, September 12th, came with it's own challenges and triumphs!  First, I firmly believe with starting with all the blessings.  Ken successfully completed his 2nd day of Chemo!!!! No problems, no adverse reactions and no nausea.  Thank the Lord!  He had 3 chemo's yesterday and one really ugly chemo today.  Today's was a very slow one because it can have some nasty side effects for allergic reactions.  We were truly blessed that my strong husband didn't have ANY of those reactions!  Hooray!!!!  So, that was awesome news.  His only side effect so far from the chemo is being really tired and waking up not knowing what day it was.  That's great though, because he's finally getting GOOD sleep instead of just dozing or not sleeping at all.  He looks so good you guys, it's so hard to realize that he's the same man from 3 days ago compared to today.  He is staying strong and I never expected anything less from him because that's just who he is.

So yesterday when we ended chemo treatment, which he totally rocked at by the way, I thought we'd be done for 21 days... nope!  We were told that he only had 3 of the 4 chemo's that the doctor wanted administered.  So then started the scrambling and a bit of stress (all on me and nobody else I swear).  I put the stress on myself, because, any of you that have more than just a couple iron's in the fire know what it's like to suddenly have just 1 more thing added and you feel like you want to have a melt down.  Ashton had an appointment today in Sioux Falls with his geneticist that was scheduled 3 months ago.  Not an easy appointment to reschedule apparently.  Not that they didn't understand because they really did but it would have pushed Ashton's appointment another 3 months out.  Okay, so I had to take a few deep breaths because I needed to be both places at once.  Of course Ken immediately said that he would be fine and not a big deal.  My thought, this is his first chemo treatment and we have no idea what can happen so how do you choose?  How do you put your husband before your child or your child before your husband?  You talk, communicate, make it work....talking is key.  Talk to your family, ASK FOR HELP!!!! 

So that's what I did, I called one of my brothers that lives 30 miles away (or so, yeah I know I'm terrible at distances and geography so don't judge!).  Our families, and our friends have been a terrific support system and we couldn't do it without them.  My brother right away, said he'd take a vacation day and take Ken to his appointment, stay with him the entire time and send me updates, then take him home and stay with him until I got home.  This was a LONG day for everyone.  He was here at 4:40am this morning and Ashton and I took off a little after 5am to head to Sioux Falls.  

We made it safely to Sioux Falls and the entire time my brother was sending me continuous updates (sometimes comical) about how Ken was doing.  Ken never ceases to surprise me in his strength and love for his family.  Mom once again because she loves us all made sure the boys ate (Ken & Eric) and let me know that both boys had good naps :-)  I love her and glad she stayed to be a great support this week.  She makes sure everyone is staying sane and has been a wonderful sounding board.  

I of course as always was on edge because I wasn't there but I can't be 2 places at once and that's okay...Ashton's appointment went fine and Ken did wonderfully!  Our boys, all of them have been terrific during this so far.  They all understand and have asked really intelligent questions about what is going on.  

Ken has another appointment tomorrow but not for Chemo.  A great friend of ours will stay here with him until his appointment when another great friend will be here to transport him to and from his appointment so I can go to work.  Not sure what we would every do without all these caring people to help.

I am nothing but grateful for the help and support we've had the last few weeks of this, our friends and families all offer to help, it's okay to accept it.  That's the hardest part, accepting the help.  Once I realized that it's okay to take the offered help it was a great weight off my shoulders.  I don't have to do this alone and neither does Ken.  We are blessed that he doesn't have some of the reactions that unfortunately some of the other Cancer patients do and that helps.  My heart goes out to those patients and families that have the adverse reactions.  Stay strong we can all get through this together.

Ken is a Super Dad, literally... a family man from beginning to end that lives for taking his boys places.  Whether it's to a rock concert or to baseball games.  He's always there.  And God willing, he'll still continue to be able to do those things with his boys.  Love him to the moon and back. Keep up the prayers, they're working.  Hugs!
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