Friday, May 8, 2009

Round 2 - Day 2

Hi Everyone...I could hear your mental vibes all day yesterday. I kept hearing: "OK Nurse Dee, what the hell is going on...we NEED an update on Tonto pronto!" OK...OK...Cut me some was a long day and besides "Survivor" and "Hell's Kitchen" was on TV last night and we are totally hooked on both shows. Ha! We really want "Coach" to get kicked off the island!!

So we're back here at the clinic, in room 5 getting Day 2 of chemo Round 2. Yesterday was a LONG day. We had to get up at 5:30 AM to be at the lab by 7:00  AM so they could run another blood sample to ensure Bren's white blood cell count was in the acceptable range for her chemo. We were supposed to start that round at 8:30 AM but didn't get actually started until around 9:so AM. The white blood count had soared so we were good to go.

We got stuck in a place called the "Chair Unit" which doesn't mean poor Bren had to sit in a chair for that should actually be called "The Closet Unit." The room we were assigned to seemed as small as our apartment broom closet!!! They crammed a bed, a chair, a sink, the IV brain and pole set up, and a supply box all in this little, little, little room. If you weren't claustrophobic at the start of the treatment, you sure were by the end. 

At 10:30 AM I went to class #2 on how to take care of Brenda's PICC line. I've passed the Heparin Cap change and Heparin Infusion demos, but I still need to pass the "Dressing Change" demo. You have to go through 2 classes and then give the demo to the Infusion Therapy nursing staff on your patient. I'll do that next week when she needs a dressing change. With the type of material they use as the covering, we only need to change the bandage once a week now. then I went back to the closet. The lunch guy came and we ordered a sandwich. Bren and her "Garbage Gal" nurse really maximize on the lunch routine. We share the sandwich and I usually get the fruit Bren doesn't want, and I always get the cookies!!! YUMMM! Besides being in the closet, it was noisy. But hey...we were there getting the cure so everything was good. We did make the time go a little faster when we watched the movie, "Into the Wild," on the computer. The movie was based on a true story and was actually very good. 

So chemo was completed around 5:oo PM. The first day of the 3-day round is always the longest and usually lasts 7+ hours. Yesterday, Bren needed her PICC dressing changed so after chemo we had to go over to the Infusion Therapy Unit to get that done. We were out by 6:00 PM. That makes for a long day! 

Nurse Dee took the patient home and plopped her on the couch and then walked over to the grocery store to hunt up some dinner. Brenda decided that boiled shrimp, sweet potatoes and rice sounded good. Remember that I'm NOT the cook in the family but I'm certainly educable!! I pulled off dinner without a hitch and we didn't even miss any of Survivor! YEA! Coach still needs to go!

Bren was pooped and went to bed early...the alarm would be screaming at us soon enough. Sure enough as we were driving in this morning it certainly felt like we never left the place. Thank heaven this is only 3 days in a row. 

The PICC line was the right choice because none of the nurses have to go digging in poor Bren's arm to find a vein. You can see them all smile when they see she has the central line in. She feels better about this ordeal and so do they! 

So VP's consider yourself updated. This afternoon I think we'll watch the movie, "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." My Mom said it was really good.  So how are all of you? Michele, Karen and did you like Columbus Isle? We loved the resort and beach when we were there. Did you miss us? You guys ought to be coming back in the next couple days.

OH! I almost forgot...get ready for the next contest to keep Brenda entertained. I'll be laying out the details in the next several days. The last contest was suck a HUGE hit for Bren and I really think for everyone, that we want to start another. We just LOVE hearing from you all and really thrive on your involvement...the connection is FABULOUS!!! to go...hope this report finds you all in good health and happy.

Nurse Dee and Chemo-sabe


  1. A closet - REALLY!!!!
    Columbus Isle is excellent! The weather was exactly the opposite from our Turks experience so we had a blast. It was a bit quiet without Chemo sabe's booming laugh - so get better already - pleaaasssseeee.
    Count us in on the new hat contest - I already have some ideas.

  2. Sweetie you look marvelous!!!! Michele, who said it was a hat contest? I'll bet it's a toenail painting contest...and you will win....I have a photo!!!!
    TGIF ! I'm home from work, getting a Beck's buzz and waiting on a pizza. Life is good in the burgh! I will be in Houston 2 weeks from tomorrow giving you kisses all over your face and trying to figure out what kind of food your taste buds are in the mood for! Oh, and I have a surprise for you!

    Love to you both,


  3. Hey there ND and Chemo Sabe!!!

    You loooooook Maaaahvelous!! Repeat after me, "I Love my Picc Line," "I Love my Picc line!" These are words I have heard many times. It's such a relief huh?

    You look, Bren, like you're feeling well. I hope the nausea is under control. I was so impressed with your dinner choices. Did you put anything exciting on that we should hear about? Sulfuric acid, BBQ sauce, Lemon Meringue?

    Please tell the folks at MD Anderson that I said you worked HARD ENOUGH TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!! You don't want to go back in!! Tell them you need a SWEET....SUITE!!! OK? None of this closet stuff. Though I guess this could be your second coming out, huh? This sounds like a video in the making....."Chemo Sabe...Flies out of the Closet, Cured from her disease FOREVER!!" I would buy that video!

    Miss you guys so much. I'll call you this weekend to check in, PLEASE don't hesitate to call if you need any support or have any questions. It sounds like Mary the NP is all over it.

    Love you tons and just one more day and you are 2/3rds of the way through this first course!! Pretty cool huh?


  4. Vicky, we must have been writing at the same time, we're both channeling Billy Crystal! Very cute. It must be a doc thing.... :)

  5. still look GOOD even though you have that yuky chemo going through your veins. Keep the strength! Don't they know your NOT a closet person....te he...tell them you want a bigger room next time :) Give Nurse Dee major kudos for all of her training, she could get her medical asst. certification real soon!! An honorary one for sure!!!! She could come and work with me now :) Go Peeker!!!! Dee funny how the household role reversal works, you can hang with Paul big time now ha ha :)
    We have a huge group walking the Susan G. Komen tomorrow and tail-gaiting party, should be a hoot! Will put Brens name on our backs as well, it's not breast cancer but still a cancer, we will have you in our hearts. Love you both! oxoxoxoxo Rhonda

  6. Hey family....just checking in and caught a glimpse of the most beautiful sight, your smile and the thumbs up. What's that closet shit about???? Don't they know the secret of Kato's quarters? Dee you better fill them in on the requirements. Vic will be there soon and I'm sure she'll explain the accommodations and dietary needs!
    Working the weekend; the burg will be pinked for the Race for the Cure, you will certainly be on the top of our list.
    Michele, Karen miss your smiles and the spin the bottle secret.
    Kato, I'll call you this weekend...I love you both oxoxoxCallie

  7. Great minds think alike! I have never met Amanda, but we had the exact same thought: Hell, she fought her way out of the closet years ago! Don't let 'em put you back in, Brendita.

    But, I can certainly reminisce about a few fun escapades involving cramped quarters. . . (oops -- better not go there -- for some reason, truths revealed tend to spoil the fondness of the memories!) Hee hee.

    And I have to agree with Callie. You look good and appear to be in good spirits. I love that about you . . . just telling that cancer who's boss. Keep it up, woman.

    To sister Rhonda and any other Moms out there. . . have a wonderful mother's day.

    Can't wait to hear Dee's idea about a new contest. Perhaps this time I will have a chance to come up with something creative.

    Think of you often throughout the day.

  8. At the end of nurses week (some people thihk it's wrong that we get a whole week instead of a day) I've been celebrated far more than necessary this week and I really feel strongly that I have the authority (30 years since I graduated from nursing school) to appoint Dee as Nurse of the Year. Congratulations. This comes with a tote bag, plaque and free meals. Screw all this, Helene says there's not a plaque - it comes with the utmost respect, admiration and love for what you are going through.