Friday, April 4, 2008

Chemo Chronicles-Cycle One Day One

We wake to a dreary, cold, rainy day in Leesburg; seems only appropriate for what our morning holds. Mom’s appointment is scheduled for 9am so we leave around twenty til. We stop at Harris Teeter to get a coffee and danish before heading to the doctor’s office. I miss Harris Teeter. I miss Hannaford. I miss grocery stores that make you like to go to the store. Stores that offer specialty items and wide aisles. Stores with big organic sections. But I digress.

So we get to the doctor’s office and check in. They take us back to a little lounge area with about ten recliners for patients and not as comfortable chairs for companions. Mom’s nurse Marla greets us and we talk about what to expect. Marla gives mom information about “cranial prostethetic devices”. Mom and I decide looking for a wig early in the treatment might be beneficial. It is probably a good idea to get one while she still has all of her hair and is not too self conscious about getting out. She says she might just cut her hair really short ad start wearing it to work now. She starts the IV with the anti-nausea meds for 15 minutes, then a steroid, then zantac, then Benadryl. The prep part takes about an hour then we move on to the good stuff. They start the taxateer slowly to make sure she does not have any adverse reactions, which she doesn’t. Once we complete the taxateer we move on to carboplatin.

When we first arrived in the lounge there was one other patient there and the place was a little somber. I guess it would be under the circumstances. Mom and I are kind of chatty so I hoped we won’t bug anyone. I mentioned to the guy next to us to let us know if we need to close our curtain so we would not bother him. He smiled and warmed up; said he didn’t mind our banter. More patients began to arrive. An elderly woman with a woman that had to be her sister came in for about a half hour. A middle age man came in and greeted the man next to us as if they had seen each other before. He said he was in for a long one today and looked like it with his bag of goodies to keep him feed, watered, and entertained. A woman with a head kerchief came in with her husband. It was obvious this was not her first treatment and after starting a conversation with her we learned she had twin 27 year old boys that did not live far from here and one was getting married in June. She is getting treated for lymphoma. A guy came in that seemed to be in his mid forties; he was handsome and jovial. He flirted with the nurses and laughed a lot. He had been here before. I told mom she needs to sit by him when she can. I liked him. He had a good attitude and acted like this was just another thing on his to do list today. I was drawn to him and couldn’t help by watch him. The elderly man on the other side of mom told his nurse he has a drink before diner every night; a martini to be exact, on the rocks. She advised him to not drink the night before or after treatment just to be safe. He was a character.

The husband helps his wife to the restroom. Mom reads allure magazine. I blog. My sister sends a text checking in. Mom fidgets. The nurses attend to patients. Mom has to pee. There is lots of chatter in the room. What was once a room filled with silence and sobriety is filled with laughter and teasing. Although there is an underlying feeling of uncertainty and seriousness this place is filled with hope. The nurses are informative and helpful. The patients are talkative at times and then at times you can tell they want to be left with their thoughts. On the way in to the office mom said her thoughts were of being out of control; unaware of how the process would work today. I compared it to the first day of school. No matter how old I get the first day o school or a new job always make me anxious. Once I get through the first day and know what to expect I feel much better. Hopefully mom will feel the same way.

*The picture is poor becasue I sent Daddy with the camera and I used my cell phone.


Law Student Hot Mama said...

You know, I think dreading anything is the worst part. I mean, when I found out my husband was going to Iraq for 15 months, I was traumatized. That first day that he was gone and I looked at my baby I was terrified. But then the second day came, and then third and fourth . . . and before you know it, it's a rhythm. And it's just putting one foot in front of the other until it's over. I hope that's how your mom finds it. I'm rooting for your mom!

A Buns Life said...

Tell your momma hi for me and her a hug. I hope she is feeling ok...I'm glad you all are there. Today was probably one of the hardest ones, now she knows the deal for this round of treatment and can just get on with it! She's done it before and she can do it again.

Honeybell said...

I'm glad it went well today, and I'm sure your presence made it so much easier for your mom. Thoughts and prayers your way!

Kimmylyn said...

I have just finished catching up with your blog. I am sitting in my office with HUGE tears in my eyes because reading all this is bringing back the days when my mother had to go through chemo for breast cancer. I am sending HUGE hugs and prayers your way.

She will beat this.

Our Crooked Tree said...

LSHM: I agree. Thanks!
Bun: I did and she says hi back! Like Daddy said, she is a tough old bird:)
Honey: I think it did more for me than her!
Kimmy: The fact that anyone "cathces up on my blog" baffles me! I am honored. I hope your mom is doing well. You are right; mine will beat this.

Thanks for the support everyone!

Joeprah said...

I love reading how you are right there with your mom. I have been thinking about you and your mom since you first began posting on the topic. Take care!

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