Good news, bad news.
According to the doctor, treatments are going well. All the side effects mom has been complaining about have been expected and medicines have been prescribed to help her through these next horrible weeks.
However… Mom has not been eating and/or more importantly drinking and therefore is dropping weight like crazy… And now needs to come in to the office 3 days a week for additional fluids… At 3 plus hours each time. This full time job has now turned into a time and a half position. The alternative is hospitalization… which we vehemently oppose.
A run down of mom’s week (and therefore mine also) is…
Monday, radiation and doctor visit total out of house time is 2 hours.
Tuesday, radiation in the morning; chemo the rest of the day. Total out of house time 9 hours.
Wednesday, radiation in the morning… Then home, unless there are errands to run like food shopping, pharmacy pick up, and more. Total out of house time 5 hours.
Thursday, radiation in the morning, fluid infusion in afternoon. Total out of house time 5 hours.
Friday, radiation in the morning… then home! Yea! I get to do my own food shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning and such!
Saturday… Fluid infusion. Total out of house time 4 hours.
Sunday… Ahhhh. Other than a run to mom’s to clean a little, make sure she has food, and get her newspaper… It’s a day of rest, or FUN!
For those of you not having a clue as to what getting chemo entails, here’s an explanation.
You arrive at the doctor’s office at the appointed time, where you sit in the waiting room for about a half an hour (on a good day). When your name is called you go to have your blood drawn. Next you wait in the smaller waiting area until you are called to have your vitals taken. From there you are ushered to an exam room where you wait some more until the doctor comes in to check on your progress. Just when you think you are in the home stretch… You have to wait to be called into the treatment room.
The treatment room is divided into two sides… The quiet side, where patients usually take a nap while being infused… and the noisy side where there is a TV and patients can talk on their phones and/or others in the room. It’s kind of a ‘party atmosphere’ in this room and mom always chooses it.
Once settled in the treatment room, in a big soft recliner chair, the nurse comes by and starts your drugs via IV. If you need to use the powder room, you need to unplug your pump and take it and the pole with you down the hall. I get to sit in a hard ‘office type’ chair. At this point you have been in the doctor’s for about 2 hours and you are just now being treated.
Drip, drip, drip, you watch the fluid level in the IV bag dwindle. Mom snoozes after eating the picnic lunch I brought along. She wakes for a cookie break… Then dozes again.
Because the fluid being dripped into her arm is at room temperature, she gets chilled. There is a cabinet in the room filled with blankets… Some are hand crocheted, others are fleece. The next cabinet holds games and puzzles for those so inclined. A library cart in the corner of the room holds an assortment of books, and the table in the middle has every magazine you could ever imagine for your reading pleasure. Mom chooses to nap and/or stare into space.
Family members and friends of other patients wander in and out to visit… bringing food, conversation, and gossip. It’s a very social and happy place to be. Slowly this is becoming my home away from home. Although I will be ecstatic when our total of 7 weeks is over.
My dentist is located in the same building. Next week I happen to have a cleaning appointment at the same time mom will be infusing. Speak about multi-tasking! See, you really CAN be in two places at the same time.