Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chemo Number Two

Friday, June 18, 2014

Steve, and I arrive at Fain 3 for eight forty this morning.  I am one of the first people to here for chemo and get my pick of the pods. I choose number two this morning.  It has a window and is just to the right of the nurses station.

Carolyn is my nurse today.  She takes my blood, and sends me off to be weighed, and have my vitals taken.  From there we go to Dr. Safran's exam room. When he comes in, he tells me all the nurses had told him I look good, and he enthusiastically agrees. 

We learn the results of my PET scan, it turns out there are a few spots on my left lung, but everything  looks fine.  He is not too concerned about the spots, he tells me the chemo will shrink them also, and that they are very faint on the scan, which is a good thing.  There is no other sign that the cancer has spread anywhere else, it is not in my lymph glands or my bones.  He seems very pleased.

I ask if it is alright to exercise, and he agrees it is a good idea.  He doesn't like the idea of running, but tells me biking or power walking are good.  He also thinks that if I lift weights, I shouldn't do more than fifteen pounds.  I wonder where this seemingly random number comes from, but I don't question it. I wonder if he doesn't like women runners with strong biceps.

Chemo goes well, it is four hours of sitting and getting meds through my port.  While I am here I pass the time talking to the nurses and Steve and typing my blog into a small Dell computer that Josh has found for me.  I am trying to get from June to the present.  I am happy to get all of today's post done, and start on tomorrow.  I am a few paragraphs in when there is a power glitch of some sort.  I loose all but one page of today's post. It is very frustrating.

Today I get to eat a hospital lunch during chemo.  This is good news, because I only had a quick piece of toast for breakfast, and I am hungry.

The lunch volunteer is an older woman with lots of energy.  She comes over to me around eleven, and tells me she will have a nice chicken rice soup from the cafeteria for lunch.  She asks if I would like some.  I tell her yes.

This woman is very funny.  When it is lunchtime, I hear her telling other people the sandwich options: egg salad, turkey or ham.  They can have chips if they like as well.  When she gets to me, she asks if I would like a sandwich, but doesn't tell me the options.  From the time I heard the word lunch though, I was hoping for an egg salad sandwich.  She gives me a pre made sandwich on white bread, and lets me have chips when I ask for them.  She doesn't offer me a drink, although she has them and has been offering them to other people.  I have water, so I don't mind.  She does tell me she will be back in a little while with the soup though. I am hungry and the sandwich tastes good.

Steve leaves for a few minutes to get some lunch.  They have food for the patients, but not their guests.  Next time we should plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch.

When my soup arrives it is too hot, so I let it cool a little before I sip it.  It is nice and warming.

After making the rounds, my food friend comes back. "Would you like some dessert?" she asks.  "I would love some," I say.  "How about some ice cream, I have coffee," she offers.  "Oh, coffee is good," I reply. "There is chocolate too," she says in a confidential tone.  I think for a few seconds.  "I'd love the chocolate," I say, and she goes off to eventually get my ice cream.

I hear her go into the pod next door, and offer some dessert to my neighbor.  She has pudding, fruit, cookies, ice cream.  "Actually," my neighbor says, "I would love some of that soup, if you still have it."  The food woman says it is all gone, but she has some in a can she would be happy to heat up.  My neighbor is disappointed.

I am not sure what she decided, because Steve came back in the middle of all this, and I was relating the story to him.  I never heard the food woman offer my neighbor any soup.  It is like she looks at you and decides what you need, and then offers you that, rather than tell you everything she has.  I think she saw me and and decided she needed to fatten me up. 

The meds go in fine, but make my head a little foggy.  It is a funny feeling, and you notice it is happening.  It is with the last of the meds that this feeling washes over me, and everything seems a little dimmer and slow.  Especially me.

I realize just before they give me my last med, the one that needs to go in my pump, that I have left it at home.  I call Kaileigh, who has been helping Sara today, and she brings it right over.  It is nap time, and most of the kids are asleep, so it is no problem for her to leave.

Carolyn gets me all hooked up to my pump, then sets me free.  Kaileigh drives me home in her car. It is just after two o'clock.  Three of the kids are awake when I walk in, and three are still asleep.

I sit and watch the kids who are awake finish a game with Sara.  I get the sleepers as they wake and snuggle until they are ready to play.  By three, everyone is awake, and it is time for snack.  We go into the kitchen to have popcicles and graham crackers.

I pour myself a big glass of cranberry juice from the fridge.  As I take a sip, I get an uncomfortable, crusty feeling in my throat from the cold.  It is amazing how fast that feeling comes on.  I just had ice cream with my lunch, and was fine.  The medicine that is in my pump gets to work fast.

We go outside to play for the rest of the day.  It is hot, which I think is nice, since I was chilly and wrapped in my shawl in the hospital.  The backpack which carries my pump makes my back sweat, but I am afraid that my pump is leaking.  Sara checks it for me and I am fine.

When everyone leaves, I ask if we can have Boston Market for dinner. I realize this is because I was describing my discharge day from the hospital for my blog.  It makes me think of the mashed potatoes and gravy, and I really want some.  Ayla has stopped by, and she and Sara decided to join us too.

I end up getting a vegetable plate, and take a few bites of Ayla's turkey.  I manage to eat the whole thing.  The chemo doesn't seem to be affecting my appetite this time.  Fortunately Ayla has brought a bottle of water with her, because all of the beverages in the restaurant are cold and I  can't drink them.

As we leave, I gather my bags.  I have my backpack and my knitting/diaper bag.  I get all the way home before I realize I have left my handbag at Boston Market. I have to go back and get it.  This is the second time I have done this, left my handbag somewhere on the first day of chemo.  I need to get this under control

We were planning on going to a meet and greet with Jorge Elorza this evening, but I feel too tired to go. I know there will be many of my friends there, but I sleep is what I really need, so instead I get ready for bed.


  1. so frustrating when your work is erased like that...
    how weird/interesting about the nutrition nurse in essence choosing what she thinks you might need/want. funny. i wonder if she really can read people that well...or if she likes having a strange control over things...
    picnic lunches and snacks sound like a good idea. i'd love to bring you some your next chemo...3 weeks from friday? xoxo

  2. This woman is an older volunteer. I don't know if she was ever a nurse, I will have to ask her. She is just very funny to observe. Maybe she gets tired of telling everyone the same thing and tries to mix it up, I can't tell. I just thought she might try to predict or direct things to make it interesting for herself.

    If you would like to make Steve and I a picnic lunch, we would love that! Thank you Amy!