Brad has had a small milestone over the past 24 hours: he was, for the first time in more than three weeks, able to take in some nourishment by mouth without too much difficulty. His main oncologist, who is back as his attending physician for these two weeks, encouraged him to do so, emphasizing that being able to eat normally and support himself nutritionally with his own intake is a key marker of recovery—and crucial to being able to go home. So, over the weekend Brad requested a chocolate milkshake, but even a couple of small sips of that proved too rich and challenging—so he has retreated to the safety of broth, which is easier to stomach. Last night he took in about an ounce of chicken broth and he had a few sips again today at lunchtime. He had a bit of nausea, but it passed quickly, and he said the broth tasted great—a good sign for his appetite returning someday. There’s still a long way to go, but that’s a start, and a good one.
Speaking of food, I’ve been meaning to send a message from the home front as well. We have been amazingly well taken care of by many, many friends with dinners and treats and errand-running galore, and I just want to express my huge gratitude to everyone for the support. Joe and Susan (Brad’s parents) join me in sending out thanks to all of you who have so generously given us both literal and figurative nourishment. Planning and cooking dinners every night sometimes feels overwhelming, and through a great deal of kindness from local friends and acquaintances this task has largely been taken off our plates (so to speak). That has been a huge stress reliever at this very stressful time.
I’m also beyond grateful to everyone who has offered to take the kids for a few hours (or much longer!), sent or brought over flowers, commented here, texted a note of encouragement, emailed or mailed a card (I do read them out to Brad, whose vision is still very blurry), or just offered a hug. All of your kindness and support are keeping us going through this much longer than anticipated ordeal.