Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Stage 2, Week 2 is Underway
Morning VP's...I think it was all your collective minds that woke me up this morning yelling..."WE WANT AN UPDATE, NURSE DEE!!!" OK, OK, OK! So here's the scoop for Tuesday morning.
Well, it was a hell of a week last week and it really took us until Sunday to recover. Sunday Brenda and I were just tired of looking at this apartment's wall and she wanted to get out a little...if nothing else, just to have me drive her around. She has just been so exhausted that the thought of trying to sit up for any amount of time in the car was just too much. But she also knew that it was important to try and get up and walk around to get some exercise. Considering how hot and humid it is outside...we headed to one of our favorite Houston locations...the big air conditioned Galleria. We walked and did a little shopping, but as you can imagine, in no time she was really pooped and I needed to get her back to the couch.
So I got Chemo-sabe back to the apartment and tucked her in with her pillows and blanket on the couch. I took off for the grocery store to pick up some supplies and a movie for our evening enjoyment. We rented "Henry Pool Is Here." It's a really good movie about "believing" and "miracles." We really are trying to tap into all that so the movie was really a good one for us. Rent it. You might enjoy it.
Yesterday we were back in the "clinic" mode. Bren had an audiologist appointment at 9:00 am so we had to get up and out much earlier than we do usually. Dr. Hall (the audiologist) was a really, really great guy. We had a nice time talking to him. He was really friendly, funny, talkative, and very informative. Because of the Cisplatin (the harshest of the chemo drugs) Brenda's hearing is being permanently affected. Right now it's in the high frequency ranges, but there is a definite change. We might both be visiting the hearing aid store sooner rather than later!! Most of you know my hearing is going too...we're already asking each other what folks said!! We're quite the pair!! Ha! No one likes loosing any of their senses but that's why God helped brilliant minds create things like hearing aids.
We did have a food emergency on our way back from the clinic after that appointment. Brenda really struggled with her radiation appointment on Friday for a lot of reasons...discomfort, dry mouth, lack of focus to deal with the treatment, med routine off, exhaustion. You really do need the weekend to try and recover. All weekend her system was just "off" and we just couldn't get it under control before Monday. She didn't sleep well at all Sunday night and got up around 5:30 am Monday. She had a bowl of cereal in the morning but it didn't stay with her and by 10:30 am she started getting a stomach ache and shaky. By the time we got home she was in total food, bad stomach, overload. We got into the apartment and immediately got her an EAS Protein drink to help. This was not good at all and just sort of put her over the edge. The good thing was that she got to rest and recover until we had to go back to the clinic for the radiation treatment at 6:30 pm.
Thank heaven, her XRT (radiation treatment) went OK and she didn't experience the problems she had on Friday. You might think, "How difficult could it be to lie on a table while they treat you?" But remember that her head is back, her already dry mouth is forced open by the mouth stent for the entire duration of the treatment (usually 20 minutes) and the thing is almost gagging her without everything else that goes on. Then her arms are strapped down and a big mesh mask is put on her face and bolted to the table. Frankly to me it sounds more like the Inquisition than a treatment thats supposed to help and heal you. YIKES!!! It takes a lot of focus to get through each treatment. I think you get the picture.
So I figured out a system that we can keep Brenda's very delicate system under some sort of control. We talked about her need to eat some small amount of food every 2 to 3 hours. Since she's not eating the volume of food she did before, it was important to get small amounts of protein and calories in sooner rather than later. Than I put together an"emergency backpack" that we can take with us everywhere...especially the clinic where we're usually held hostage for HOURS. So the pack has water, crackers, energy bars, sugar-free gum and mints, her rinses and anything else we can think of. The is constantly changing and so we're really getting good at adapting.
That brings us to today. Bren got a good nights sleep and that makes all the difference in the world. I think all the VP's can relate to that. We got a bowl of cereal with some peaches in her tummy and she's feeling much better today. These are the ups and downs of cancer CURE treatments. Thank the Lord, we only have one appointment today...and that's XRT (radiation) at 1:45 PM. So we'll eat lunch and I'll call ahead to see if their treatment schedule is on time or not. Doing that really cuts our having to wait around. We have another movie to watch..."Bedtime Stories"...so hopefully it'll be an easier day. Tomorrow is going to be a nightmare...way too many appointments that we'll try and adjust.
Tomorrow night Doc Vic arrives and on Thursday, I head back to Phoenix for my union break. Vic will fly home on July 6th and our dear friend Toni will fly in and take over nursing duties until I get back on July 11th. Brenda said that I couldn't have any more union breaks until we were ready to head home TOGETHER with the CURE!! That's just absolutely fine with me. I want to take us home in the worst way but only when she is CURED. AMEN!!
Brenda's over there playing Scrabble on the computer...watch out Vic and Rhonda, the girl continues to practice daily. I think I'll head over to the gym and work out before my soap comes on!!! HA!! STOP LAUGHING ALL OF YOU!!! We hope that your day is wonderful. We send good tidings and blessings to each of you. Thanks for hanging with us through this LOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG journey! Write on the blog and let us know what you all are up to.
Hugs all around...
Nurse Dee and Scrabble Queen Chemo-sabe