OK...so here's how it went. We got some lunch and then headed over to MD Anderson for our day's activities. First we had to find a parking spot in the garage...that's sometimes easier said than done. We figured that the population of the entire state of Texas could take a month vacation with all the money they make in all the Texas Medical Center parking structures in a week...well I might be exaggerating just a tad...but not by much! Dang!
So we toodled up to get a blood sample first. Man! Are they efficient up there. I thought it would take forever with all the people waiting for their "numbers" to be run...NOPE! They were johnny on the spot and got her in and out in record time. They didn't use the PICC line because they needed special orders from the doctor to do that. Brenda said the lab folks were really good so it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately needles are needles! OUCH!
Then we headed across the clinic to the Infusion Therapy Department were we got her PICC line dressing changed. She picked the kind of covering bandage that needs to be replaced twice a week so Nurse Dee has got to get on the stick and get her certification or we'll have to go back to the clinic each time the bandage needs to be changed.
Then it was back across the clinic and up to the 10th floor for our appointment with Dr. Hong. We were really early so we sat around for a while. We're going to have to learn not to be so eager...the waiting makes us crazy nervous! So here Brenda was waiting for Dr. Hong to come see us in the little box they put you in. She was wearing her new Yankees hat thinking it would make him smile because we thought that was his favorite team...now we were caught up in that rabid sky diving interval so we totally screwed that one up. He isn't a Yankee fan...He's a RED SOXS fan!!! Dang!! So now we'll go get a Red Sox hat. How did we get that so messed up?
Dr. Hong corroborated that the tumor sizes in Brenda's neck were decreasing...yes! Brenda had felt them decreasing shortly after the first round of chemo was over. He wants her to go see all the other specialists on her medical team just to keep them in the loop and the chemo will continue for now. We didn't have all the info on the blood count so we had to wait a tad for that. She'll see all these other docs after this next chemo round.
When we got home, Mary called...that's Dr. Hong's key medical assistant. She said that Brenda's white blood counts were too low right now and they wanted to get them stimulated and in the correct range so they could keep the chemo on track. So tomorrow night and Wednesday night, we have to go back to the clinic so she can get a shot of Neupogen which will stimulate her body to produce more white blood cells. This will also help her fight infections which is critical. Infections are a BIG NO-NO and we're being so obsessive about keeping her out of any bacteria laden environment. It's really amazing that she feels so good right now compared to how she felt during the early days of chemo, we thought those numbers might be OK. She is on a high dose of the drugs and it takes a while for your body to produce these while cell goodies so Dr. Hong will keep her on this drug after she finishes this next round of chemo so those numbers can stay in the correct range and she can stay infection free. That's a good thing.
Some of the reading I've been doing about our nutrition says that we really need to stay away from processed food. I'm just wondering if all those chemicals in our food might be one of the reasons we have so much cancer these days...think about it. We could probably all do ourselves a big favor and eat better. So Chef Dee went over to Whole Foods and got us a nice rotisserie chicken, some fresh asparagus, a couple yams....and some organic BBQ sauce! It was a really yummy dinner. I'm really going to put a lot of effort into this cooking thing...the right way...with the right food...it'll be great for both of us.
So that should bring you up to date. It's really a good thing that we're here because they have everything so organized and timely. Although it's a HUGE place you don't have the feeling that you have fallen through some crack in the system. That's amazing. The battle plan gets adjusted all the time and they definitely know how to deal with that. Some of the medical facilities I've been in could certainly learn some lessons from this place.
Now we HAVE to go find that Red Soxs hat!!! Night all...
PS: I wish I could claim ownership of that hilarious Tonto / Lone Ranger post but that was compliments of Bonnie & Jackie who have been absolute crazy gals with their Photoshop program...ladies...all those have been nothing but masterpieces. Please keep em comin'.