Thursday, December 15, 2011

round 2 of chemo - i will not be beat!

i'm already dreading chemo today - even though it's a short shot (only 2 hours or so). first part of round 2 was last week. i was delayed an hour seeing the doctor - he had to admit a patient into the hospital. unfortunately, in his line of work, this happens quite frequently (usually just before my appointment)

then chemo was another hour delayed. not really sure why. no one said. so i was there from 9am until 5pm again. makes for a very long day....

people tell me that i'll get through this with the strength of the people around me. my daughter goes to chemo with me, when she can gt home from college. other than that, the strength of the people around me is my friend lois. she decided i WOULD NOT be going to chemo alone, and you don't argue with lois!

she and i are both less than impressed with the chemo nurses - i had heard such wonderful things about them, expected this to be an experience when they were calming, caring, sharing, and talked me through the whole thing.

what i got was a whole different ball game. i went into the chemo suite the first time, red folder clutched in hand, went to the front desk, older nurse wants to know what i'm there for.

seriously? isn't this the chemo place?

doesn't welcome me, doesn't introduce herself, tells me to take a chair anywhere...... and then ignored us for about the next 45 minutes.

chemo started over an hour late that day, while this nurse started her complaints about how i wasn't in the system, i was on paper, because i'm part of a clinical trial, and she's so overworked because there's only her (there was pretty much only me too, though)....

and the whole day went like that. never told me what drugs she was putting in, or what they were for, or what it might feel like...... still no name tag, still hasn't introduced herself......

then there was that little episode where we were up to the clinical trial drug (avastin) - she comes over and asks how tall i am.... i tell her 5'2, 5'3, depends on how tall i'm standing, and the person measuring me......... she apparently has me down as 5'9".......... and 162 pounds (i weigh about 130 right now)

and this is the person plugging these drugs into my arm? really?

in all, i was there for 8-1/2 hours, till it was after hours, and by her attitude, it was clear she was wanting to go home.... finally at the end i challenged her and asked who she was.

she might have gotten the message, the next time i went, she had name tags one.

and last time, when i saw my doctor and told him that someone needed to talk to that nurse, he told me she wasn't working back there anymore.

in the back corner was a whole stack of what appeared to be DVDs - we had no idea what they were, or were for.... lois went poking around, and apparently there are some mini-DVD players back there too. who knew? no one ever mentioned them to us.

there are 2 baskets there that are for chemo hats...... and again, lois went looking. each basket had 1 very sad looking hat.

by the next time (last week), Lois had marshaled all of her/our knitting/crocheting forces (our knitting group as well as her other groups) and brought a dozen hats to the suite for the baskets. the 2 patients who we saw there were thrilled, and took home a new hat each.

she has at least 2 or 3 more hats to take today.

and ya know? the nurses pretty much ignored the whole thing. not a thank you. not a "wow, that was nice of you"..... nothing.

so seriously - if anyone's still reading this, and i haven't bored you to tears, if you were so inclined to make a chemo hat for the baskets for the other patients, it would be wonderfuol. so far, i've been pretty luck, i'm 4 weeks into this, and my hair hasn't fallen out. some people, more knowledgeable than i (and more hairless, might i add) say that if it hssn't fallen out by now, it probably won't.

i won't get rid of the hats and scarves i collected, just yet.

so we'll see. today is the halfway mark. i can do this.

on a happier note, the american cancer society provides a service to people like me, going through cancer treatment. they're sending cleaning ladies to help clean the apartment.

seriously. they're going to clean my apartment.

and they'll be coming once a month for 4 months.

so a huge thank you to the people out there who might have contributed to "cleaning for a reason", and to "the maids" in menomonie falls.... with the help of all of them, my apartment is getting cleaned.

guess i better put away all the knitting projects!

1 comment:

Sharon T said...

You're right, you have the strength from your family and friends to help you get through this. We're all here for you! Thanks to Lois who is an ANGEL to be sure that you are not alone when you go to chemo.