Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Paul started round two of chemo yesterday.  So far it hasn't knocked him out with fatigue yet.  He managed to go to work today.  He's very tired, yes but not exhausted. 

According to Dr Bhandari all of the bloodwork is coming back strong.  Paul's swallowing is slowing down a bit.  The phlegm is continuing to be a major player and will not let up.  At this time it has a choking effect on him.  That's because it is SOOOO thick!!

Happy (Belated) Birthday Jeannie on 02/09!! 

Lynn, thank you for lunch on Thursday.  It was a nice distraction to all that's going on!! I'll have to see your cabinet on Wednesday. 

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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Paul had the swallow study on tuesday Jan 31st.  It all went quite well.  Jaclyn and Dr Blanco do not feel that his esophagus needs dilation at this time.  Everything was flowing nicely down his throat.  They do agree that his muscles are still not strong enough for solids. 

Unfortunately, the chemo has made it difficult for Paul to feel like eating or drinking for that matter.  I am thankful he has a feeding tube right now because he would not be eating much on his own otherwise. 

Last week was Paul's week off chemo.  He did have a checkup with Dr Bhandari.  We asked him how many chemo sessions will he need.  He told us he could potentially have as many as six rounds.  Each round is considered, three weeks on one week off.  Paul will be starting round two on thursday morning. He will have a CT Scan after this second round.  This will help Dr Bhandari determine if a third round will be necessary.

Fatigue has taken over big time.  He continues to go to work when he can make it.  He missed last monday and wednesday.  Today he came home early.  Tomorrow will be a trip in to Annapolis for bloodwork then home for hydration.

We are having a quiet Birthday celebration tonight for my son Gary.  He also went to settlement on his first home last friday.  He purchased a condo in Elkridge much closer to his work and friends.  I will be going over tomorrow to help him start painting the living and dining room before moving in. 



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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Paul had his third chemo treatment on Thursday, 01/26/12.  The fatigue has finally started to take over.  He slept most of the weekend.  Yesterday he literally slept all day, in bed.  Got up for a little while once I got home from the shop.  But had a hard time staying up and was ready to go back to bed!

Tonight, the inevitable has begun.  He is losing hair.  He emerged from the shower leaving behind a huge handful in the tub.  Then he went to brush his hair and the brush picked up more.  This is not sitting well with him.  He is a "hairy" fella, and is not taking this well.  I would advise no mentioning of this in your entries.  We had asked Dr Bhandari if this would happen and he just said everyone is different. 

Tomorrow we are off to GBMC in Baltimore for another swallow study.  This will hopefully determine if Paul needs another esophageal dilation.  He is still having a hard time swallowing thick purees.  Dr Blanco thinks his esophagus is closing a little.  Paul does continue to do pretty good with swallowing water, juice, etc. 

Today was the first day since chemo started Jan 12th that he was not able to go to work.  This week is his off week.  The next scheduled chemo treatment is Feb 9th, our seventeenth anniversary.  Wow....seems like yesterday!!  

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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Barbara's flight home to NH was last night.  We had a really nice visit.  She got to experience a lot of what Paul and I have to do on a daily routine and then some.  She was a trooper, getting up early and out the door with us on some mornings!!  She did get to sleep in a little on Sat morning :-) .

Paul is having some stomach growling and sharp pains issue today.  But no nausea for now.  He is also a little more tired.  He got to rest quite a bit today and even took a nice long nap. 

Our weather is cold, icy and now we are getting some freezing rain as I write.  Good thing it didn't happen last night on our way to the airport.   

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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

The second chemo treatment was today and it went well.  Last week he did not suffer any nausea feelings at all.  He is slowly experiencing more fatigue and gets tired quicker.  However, he did manage to go to work his usual Mon, Wed, Fri schedule.  He gets home exhausted but he naps and it gives him a purpose. 

Paul's sister Barbara arrived on Wed morning for a four day visit.  She wants to integrate into our daily routine so that is what we're doing!!  

Since finding out about the cancer spreading, Paul's speech/swallow therapy got put on hold.  I have stayed in touch with Jaclyn via email.  She has talked to Dr Blanco and they want Paul to have another swallow study on Jan 31st to see if his esophagus is starting to close up.  He is still doing good with his swallowing when it comes to liquids but the thicker foods continue to give him a "choking feeling".  Dr Blanco had said Paul may need one or two more dilations, so this will tell.  Jaclyn feels he is ready for the next step in swallowing and this will help to determine it. 

I'd like to extend a BIG thank you to my friend Lynn aka: Pink for helping me last week at Annapolis Antiques.

Also a big thank you to Gayle!  It's was nice seeing you and getting a chance to catch up!!

A quick shout out to "Lil" Bonnie....hopefully we'll stop playing phone tag and catch up soon!!


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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Today was Paul's first day of chemo.  It went quite well.  The treatment itself was only 1.5 hrs.  However, Dr Bhandari and Patti, the chemo nurse decided that Paul's picc line should come out .  Since he had the port, he didn't need both.  We had heard that sometimes the picc lines can be difficult to pull out.  Keep in mind his picc line was about 30 inches long, traveling in his vein in his left arm all the way to his heart.  Patti discribed it like pulling on a wet but starchy spaghetti noodle.  It starts to cling onto the walls of the vein and just holds on!!  Needless to say, it was alittle over two hours later, with the help of heating pads, a shot of an anxiety/muscle relaxer, and massaging of the arm, it finally was able to be pulled out. 

He hasn't had any nausea feelings.  Dr Bhandari says he is confident that Paul will not experience the same horrible nausea he had last year with the first treatment.  We pray he is right but are armed and ready with all four different nausea meds if needed!!   

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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

The new year is starting out on a good note.  Paul went outside yesterday and today to do a little work on the pickup truck.  His energy level isn't up to what it was before the surgery but it's slowly creaping up there. 

His constipation issue appears to be dealt with and he is on a nice "regular" pace since starting the probiotics. 

The swallowing is also doing quite well. He is still averaging about 16 oz a day.  He is also trying some "foods" pureed.  For some reason he is so afraid of it but we're making some progress.  He had some homemade meatball soup the other night pureed.  Tonight we had our traditional new years day meal of greens (cooked some kale with country ham pieces), black eyed peas and ham.  I pureed it all and he had about 4-5 oz!! 

He's staying positive about this go round of chemo.  We're getting ready for the hospital trip on Wed morning at 5:00am!!   



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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Merry Christmas to all!!  Paul is finally starting to get back to a more normal state.  Christmas day he was still tired, sick to his stomach and just not himself.  He spent a good part of the day in bed.  The nausea, constipation and lack of energy was still controlling him.

I decided to go to the drug store on Tuesday and talk to the pharmacist.  I wanted to make sure there wasn't something else we should be trying with his constipation.  Between the stool softners, laxatives and prune juice it should have opened him up!!  I had taken notice of a commercial on TV about probiotics.  Not the ones in yogurt, just the suppliment you can take by itself.  The pharmacist highly recommended it for Paul. 

Let me tell you, within 24 hrs he started being "regular" again!!  He's also not as bloated so I haven't had to give him gas-x.  This stuff is a wonder drug!! 

Paul is also doing very well with his swallowing.  Since he doesn't have the constipation and bloating looming over him, he has been doing much more swallowing.  He does at least 8 oz of water and 8 oz of either ginger ale, green tea or grape juice per 24 hours. This has only been in the last few days so far.  But he is pumped about how good it's going. 

He is scheduled to have his port put in on Wed 01/04/12 at 7:30am.  We have to be there at 5:30am.  At least this time we only have to go to Annapolis and not Baltimore!!  It's an out patient procedure so he will be home that evening.  Another reason he is trying to do well with his swallowing, once he reaches 32 oz a day we can eliminate having to hook him up to his hydration every other day.  

We would like to wish a Happy Birthday to our friend Lynn!!

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Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

The Journey will officially begin tomorrow, January 3rd at 2pm.  This is when Paul will be receiving his first Radiation treatment.  We will also receive "the schedule".  They tell us we should be able to have the treatment at the same time every day.  We hope to get early in the morning. 

I will try to make entries into the journal everyday.  If I miss a day, I promise to catch up on the next day!!  We love you all!!  Please keep Paul in your prayers. 

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Paul’s Story

Site created on December 30, 2010

Welcome to Paul DeLuca's CaringBridge website. Paul & I have created it to keep our family and friends updated about Paul's progress. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries on his progress, visit the photo gallery (we will try to post a few photos), and write us a note, story, one liner or whatever the mood stricks in our guestbook.  We want all of you to stay connected with us as we go through this.  You can share your stories with us as well. 

What started out as a sore throat that wouldn't go away has been diagnosed as BOT (base of tongue) Cancer.  This type of cancer is very difficult to diagnose and usually is not discovered until stage 3 or stage 4.  Paul's cancer is in stage 4 (a).  There are 3 substages to stage 4, a,b,c.  His is (a).  

He is scheduled to start an aggressive dose of Radiation on Monday, January 3, 2011.  Radiation will be given 5 days a week, (mon-fri) for 6-8 weeks.  He will also start Chemo on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.  The Chemo will be given once every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how well the tumor reacts to the treatment. 

It has become very difficult for Paul to chew and swallow.  Most of the food is soft and/or puree'd.  He has had to have a feeding tube put in just in case the treatment makes it impossible for him the swallow.  It is there as a precaution.    We hope he never has to use it!!