I get "Franklin" ready to feed my husband. No clue when he will get another meal so I double him up. 2 Cans at once. 8 ounces of water before and after to flush.
All we know about today is that radiation is at 10:00 then chemo right across the street at 10:30. I am hustling this morning to get everything done to be On Time if not early, since we are back to back. Radiation then chemo.
We arrive at radiation early. Whew, Sandy, the sweet woman in white who was my angel Day One is there. Her cancer has spread to brain, esophagus and bone. I hadn't seen her for over a week and I was worried. She's here but looks rough. Not a good sign in the radiation clinic waiting room. Usually anyone that is looking bad is not tolerating chemo well. Sandy isn't on chemo since chemo does nothing for brain tumors. She disappears into the back when they call her name but before I can speak to her. Her husband looks worn and shell shocked.
( I know that feeling well.)
Henry is called. His turn for radiation.
I have become friends with so many patients and family members along the way so I sit by my newest BFF Chris. Chris is fighting AIDS and colon cancer but his sense of humor is addicting. We became fast friends instantly.
We chat about nails and hair and being FABULOUS. Chris was a performer and singer before he got sick. He now walks with a limp and has lost his hair. I love him. He has stage II cancer and only 3 more treatments to go.
Please God let him be ok and go into remission.
This world needs Chris. I need a happy ending.
Henry is finished and out of his 11th treatment and we zoom out the door with a merry wave and cheery
Good-Bye to everyone in the waiting room. Most of my new friends now all have cancer.
We race to the Chemo Pavillion. We check in with "Debbie."
(The name has been changed to protect the inept)
We get there 10 minutes early. Whew.
Being late to me is a crime.
We check in and wait....
One hour goes by. Henry tells me he feels like he did before a Big 10 Tournament Game. Iced.
Time is ticking away. It's one of those "Hurry Up and Wait" moments.
11:30 a.m. Our names are still not called.
I am not one to sit still. I get up and begin to pace.
Two hours gone and we have SIX hours to get the chemo once we get in there!
It is now 12:45 p.m..
I can't take it!
I am ready to freak out. Why are we still in a waiting room? Why is this taking so LONG?
I walk the halls again. Pacing. This time I must have had a very frustrated look on my angry red face.
A research doctor asks if I need help.
I unload and unload with a vengeance.
"We have been here for over two hours and we have six hours ahead of us of chemo!"
She goes to see Debbie at her desk where we first checked in.
"Did you check these people in, Debbie?" She asks.
"Oh, I thought I did but must have forgotten!"
Oh, Good God. Let me at this nincompoop.
I am like a deranged bovine with Mad Cow Disease. I want to gouge her eyeballs out with her inkpen!
I am usually mild and calm. I told her where I thought she could spend eternity!
I am certain the sun doesn't shine there!
Now, what was to be a 6 hour day just turned into an 8 hour day because some lame woman dropped the ball on him.
It doesnt hurt ME but to think this poor man has an 8 hour day ahead of him for no other reason than sheer stupidity makes me see red. Blood Red.
We are called in instantly.
Funny, the President of Public Relations comes to hold my husband's hand and gush big fat apologies. Casey Anthony is treated better.
A glitch. Just a glitch.
Lets move forward from here.
We arrive in the long room where 15 - 20 reclining chairs are lined against a wall. We get to pick out a pretty puke green recliner with a tv.
This is to be our home for the next 6-7 hours.
Someone forgot to tell us about the prescription for the numbing cream for the chemo port. Ouch. Again, someone dropped the ball. No prescript means a very large needle inserted into that port that was just inserted in his chest.
The area is barely numbed with ice and the needle stuck into that very sensitive skin. The bandages were just removed from that incision yesterday! Ouch.
We take our $375.00 Emends to the clinic thinking it will be administered there.
It can't go Down his throat because he can't swallow. Can't go into his feeding tube because it will clog the G-Tube...
Again, someone dropped the ball. A man with a HUGE tumor in the back of his throat to swallow a very large pill? What to do?
An hour goes by while they figure this out. An IV of Emend and a patch to be worn for a week.
We bought the Emends for nothing. I give it to the clinic for someone who can't afford it or has no insurance.
It'll go to good use.
One hour of saline flush.
30 minutes of an IV of steroids.
30 minutes of Emends by IV drip.
The machine beeps when you are finished with each bag.
The Cisplatin is finally administered.
2 hours of this.
If any of you ever have to experience this (I hope you don't!) I am telling you... Never wear heels or dress pants.
I wore a white blouse, black dress pants and heels. Casual wear for a long day, right?
No! Wear a Sweatsuit and sneakers.
30 more minutes of saline to flush the kidneys and the rest of the body.
What a day!
We are to come back every Thursday for this for the next 8-10 weeks. Lovely.
I have a bad attitude today. It happens, right?
So exhausting and it's not me on radiation or chemo.
Next week I am wearing sweats and sneakers. It's butt-cold in here and uncomfortable as hell.
Gawwww. 6 hours in a chair is brutal. I can't imagine how Henry has done it. So exhausting and I am not on radiation or chemo.
Tomorrow is another day.
Thank you all for the beautiful notes and letters. I spent 4 of these hours reading your notes to my husband. It helps more than you know. You may not know it but you are right here with us. Pull up an ugly green recliner and relax.
I'll Tell "Debbie" that you're here. Ha!