Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chemo Day #1 & Scout Dinner

So here it finally was, and there it finally went.  I did not wake up with my game face on, so was randomly tearful though the morning.  Had to be there for the echo at 0645, they don't unlock doors & clock in til 0653.  I was back by 0700, with a male scanner.  I have a mix of make and female physician teams, and their Go-To Nurses are all women, and this is a women's disease, but it will be fine, I thought.  He had the personality of a rock (learning point for me, as I am not always chatty with my patients!), and was very slow and er, thorough, maybe.  Maybe just clueless.  He told me when we were done that a nurse had to start an iv.  Well, hello, if you had told me that a half hour ago, I would have put this nifty little numbing cream on my port.  So they accessed my fresh and very tender port with no good stuff on it, and what we guess was a short needle, so scared me with a very sluggish blood return, thinking we were going to have problems and get that redone.  Lots of tears of frustration, fear, worry, anger, generally pissed.  In the end, got it done with an iv in my wrist.

Breakfast at the hospital cafe - one of their better meals of the day!

Onto the chemo doc - pet scan found a second questionable shadowing on the left breast.  Well, we are treating it with chemo, and cutting it off anyway, and doing radiation.  Treatment doesn't change, really.  Been worried about my head.  Switching words is too frequent for my comfort - I do it all the time. Adds new meaning to"listen to what I mean, not what I say."  Found nothing exciting there, or anywhere else we weren't expecting.  Woohoo!

Chemo time...  had to wait just a little bit, not a big deal.  Best guess is that at 38, I was the youngest patient there by 10 years.  Or maybe I will look 10 years older at the end of this walk.  As a 1st timer, we got a private room.  Next time it will be in an 8 bay recliner area.  We got a "This is Siteman Cancer" movie, a bag and a notebook.  We all have mental places we can't go.  I have a binder for Scouts, for coupons, my tupperware is matched & stacks neatly.  My cancer papers are all over my kitchen bar, shoved in that small bag, or my billfold, or... so a project to work on to separate out the crap. From the cancer side of things, all have been good to us.  I was settled down emotionally by this point, and ready to go.  My port accessed easily (still tender ater numbed, but its only 2 days old!) with a longer needle and all is well with that.  I got a saline premed, steroids, amend premed, then the red devil, as someone else called it.  I called it kool-aid.

 Then the cytuximab, just another clear iv bag, more saline and we were done.  There was a big snafu between neulasta and lunesta at the pharmacy, but we came home with the neulasta finally.

Tom was with me all day, except when I could have used him during the echo - I wend him to fill up the car before he got into the pay parking garage, and then they wouldn't let him back.  My rational mind realized it was just an echo, but 1 1.2 hours later got long.  I prayed for sweet babies and their folks, since they are much cuter on the screen than a lump of cancer cells or a beating heart that could be damaged by one of the chemo drugs.

The cancer day got us back home at 5 - several hours later than expected, and so much for that anticipated nap.

We switched gears by about 180 degrees and got our Scout Stuff on.  Tom has several shirts to wear depending on what he is doing.  He is Treasurer and Pack Trainer for the local group, leads RoundTable for the Cub Scout leaders in the district, is certified to run bb & archery range at day camps, and spends our summer vacations there.  There are worse things, trust me!  When I say vacation, he says"yes, dear, when and where dear."  I try to respect his Scout commitments, he tries to take the boys to as much of his adult stuff as he can to make that a family event as well.  I have lead our Tiger Cubs through their first year.  We met all of our Tiger badge requirements in January, so I can give out patches in February.  I turned them over to one of the other dads with all the support he is willing to use in our local committee, so my official scout jobs are done for the moment.   Back to where i was going with all this...  it was Scout (Boy, Cub, Adventurer) District Dinner Night.  I knew Tom was getting an award of some sort a month (lifetime) ago, and needed to ind a babysitter.  I did.  I was determined to not let my day's craptasticness get in the way of Tom's 15 minutes of fame.  I was oh so glad to see his sister-in-law there to talk to and sit with!  The entire Scout world does not know my story, as most of them don't know me, but it was nice to sit at a table where they all knew my day was long and awful, and just help me get through this for my husband.  And they did.

Tom's dad presented his Badge of Merit award:

He got involved about 45 years ago, and never really got un-involved,  His role shifted to training adult scout leaders, but he loves to tell a story, and comes to tell a story of something to most of the scout camps when he is asked.  He is tired and retired, but never completely retired or you are dead.

Scouts understands the commitment the adults make and sacrifices from family time, and includes the other spouse in the award.  He got the plaque, knot for his shirt and the certificate, and I got the flowers.  Someone commented on Facebook about how lovingly he is looking at me, no, he is looking at me to make sure I was still standing steady and not running for a bathroom to hurl in.  And he knows that I much prefer to be behind the spotlight, not in front of it.  It was a good night for him, and I am glad it turned out so well.

And 10 minutes after we got home, I took the good nausea and sleepy drugs and crashed for 12 hours!

1 comment:

Gayle said...

Being married to your Best friend, gives him an edge on how you are feeling. He truely loves you and only wants you feel better now rather than later..Love gayle