Friday, September 28, 2007

I survived another chemo

Yesterday's infusion went well. Listened to my mp3 player for a few hours while the meds dripped at their prescribed rates into my port to go after some more cancer. My benadryl high was tolerable. I didn't feel like passing out drunk from it and its effects wore off a little faster. We were there from 1:00 p.m. till we shut the place down at 5:00 p.m. And I got a present delivered. Elizabeth at the Palace and her husband bought us a Scene It movie trivia game for all the cooped up time I have lately. Awesome! I love this game, but didn't own it. Thanks Elizabeth, you and Cody Rock!

As we left the Cancer Center I called in an order at Mr. Gatti's. I was starving and needed pizza. And it was a good call. Hot pizza at the time just before chemo steals my taste buds for another week.

The nausea started about an hour after we got home. And instead of taking the evil phenergan, I took half a tablet of Unisom and a vitamin B6 tablet, and you know, I think it helped. Didn't get rid of the perpetually queasy, rolley, sick feeling. But it did ease it. And best of all there was no Parkinson's-like body jerks and shakes like with the phenergan. So that is good news. I took Ativan at bedtime to sleep and when Jackson called out at 4:45 a.m. I had to wake David up to check on him cause I was too drugged to do it. Could only stumble. So note to self - no long-term Ativan usage. Chemo day plus one or two only.

Today was not my best day. I guess I am just tired and overwhelmed and unlike the last three rounds of chemo I had Jackson at home. David's folk have been so awesome in taking him for three days on chemo weeks, but this time they have family from Germany with them and it was understandably not possible this time. And I have had help. But even though my mom and Tonya and my Dad have been here to help, it is still hard. You can't escape the two-year-old need and the accompanying whine. And I love him dearly but he isn't able to deal with 'no' and can't comprehend that the whole world doesn't revolve around him. And all he wants to eat is candy and chocolate and other junk food and I know he is hungry, but he just won't eat jack. But cupcakes, he will eat.

Sigh. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood on chemo week is enough to bring on the tears. And today there have been tears. Just too much. I got overwhelmed.

And this was the last straw:

My doc decided with my blood count blowout last week and the subsequent rescheduling of chemo, I needed to get the Neulasta shot this time. But the Georgetown Cancer Center is closed to patients today because they don't have a doc on duty there. Apparently you can't push chemo drugs without a doc in the building. This happens occasionally, but not often in Georgetown. Point is that I had to go to the North Austin branch to get my Neulasta shot. No big deal, really.

Except when I got there at 5 til 1:00 the cold career receptionist who finally came to the window to talk to me said that the person was at lunch so I would have to wait 5 minutes. Ok. Fine. I took the time to look around the tiny, sparse, crappy lobby of this branch. No fish tank. No free hat basket. No bar with water, juice, coffee, crackers and the occasional hand-made cookies from hospital volunteers. Not what I am used to in luxurious G'town. After waiting 15 minutes I went back to the humanoid at the window. "Is my person back from lunch?" sigh "I'll go look."

My person was indeed back. I heard her complaining through the window. "Who is this? I don't have a chart?" "She's from Georgetown." "Oohh" No smiles, no warmth. Just bitchy blahs. My person, who didn't introduce herself of course, led me back to the meager infusion area for my shot. I felt sorry for the patients who were getting their chemo in this stuffy, small, cramped and devoid of human warmth excuse of a cancer center. I only saw 4 chairs, though there may have been a few more around the corner. And there weren't chairs for family members. The patients were sitting by themselves. Georgetown is so open and nice and full of windows with foliage everywhere. This place was depressing.

So the nurse proceeded to give my my shot. It hurt. Another one-minute-grit-your-teeth experience that I normally handle stoically. But today, inexplicably, or maybe not, I started to cry. Silently. Just couldn't keep a few tears from escaping. It wasn't the pain, or it was, but it was also the last few days of being anxious for chemo and rescheduling and getting blood draws and failing then passing. Then chemo and coming home to be sick and Jackson and now this cold, crappy cancer center made me feel unimportant.

The nurse noticed my tears and said something like "Brought the tears to your eyes, did it?" Yes. Yes ma'am it did.

And I could not stop crying all the way home and then off and on all afternoon. My poor dad is not always comfortable with crying women. But he totally understands that I am over medicated with poison and then the drugs to keep me functioning while being poisoned and that I am just overwhelmed and allowed to have an emotional release. So there. I feel better already.

Dad and Mary are going to pick Jackson up at 9:00 tomorrow and bring him home around 6:00 p.m. so that David and I can have the day to ourselves. We may do something, we may not. But it will be nice to have a break from the all-consuming task of balancing the small boy's M&M intake with vegetable.


Jooley Ann said...

There's no excuse for the way you were treated at the N Austin Branch. The nurse's response to your tears is unacceptable, in my opinion. Perhaps it's worth mentioning it to your doc? Those guys pull a lot of weight, and he might want to know if his patients are being treated poorly. What jerks. *angry face*

I hope you're feeling better today, and that you and David had a nice, relaxing day off!

Fire Berry said...

Ack! You're so entitled to this outburst of emotional catharsis.

And you WERE treated poorly. Hope your weekend made things better.