HEALTH UPDATE: Living the dream over here on Engelhart Drive. Winding down on another chemo cycle. The chemo was administered last week on Wednesday, January 15th. As usual, the first three days were pure bliss. I felt like a puppy! Running, playing, licking! Okay, not really. But I got a lot of work done and felt human. The crash in the days to follow was noticeably more difficult than after the prior treatment. My oncologist nailed it. She said as treatments progress, I could feel an increase in fatigue. She was correct. I usually have about a half day of energy and then it is swept away by the chemo-nado. Like a tornado, it sucks up my energy throwing it this way and that way. No rhyme or reason. I’m gone. Flattened. Destroyed. F5 damage. The damage is temporary as I rebuild quickly the next day when I wake up. It starts all over on this new day as I start watching the skies around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. The chemo-nado watch is issued as I scramble to get a few more tasks done. Then the sirens….
Today I visited my friends at the infusion clinic. They hooked me up for an iron infusion along with some fluids. They hope to improve my anemia with the iron. The fluids are to make sure I stay hydrated. Next up will be my 4th chemo treatment (Spa day!!) next week Wednesday, January 29th. The following week will be insane with our travels to meet with Dr. Evans at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee on February 3rd and 4th. February 5th we are going on a road cruise to Rochester, MN. Home of the famous Mayo Clinic. If you haven’t seen “Mayo” on Netflix, it is a really interesting program about the history of this amazing clinic. I will have new CT scans for these appointments. It will be a telling time period as we learn more about how I have responded so far. I am also scheduled for further genetic testing and there will be more to come regarding the trial of immunotherapy that I am qualified to try down the road after 4 months of chemo are complete.
If I knew then what I know now, I think I may have become a nurse. I love nurses. All of them. Even grump ones. Everyone has emotions, right?! They are YES people! The infusion clinic is an open space with comfy chairs and curtains. It’s not private. I can hear many of the nurses. How are you feeling? What can I get you? Let’s make this more comfortable for you. Would you like ice with your coke? See you next time! Let me know if you need anything at all. I got a “bye sweetheart” on my way out. If I was there for emotional repair, I would have been cured!
I’m so intrigued by much of what nurses do. They provide bedside smiles that make sick people forget for a while that they are sick. I love all the tubes, needles and supplies all wrapped up and sanitized. They grab them quickly to get me set up like I would grab a fork and knife. They know exactly what they need. It’s like Christmas all day long, opening supplies. They scan my ID bracelet. Scan my meds. It’s all in the computer. So advanced from years ago. Bing, bam, boom. I’m hooked up. Vitals. Gotta take vitals. I never paid attention before but I’ve noticed my blood pressure has been low so I pay attention now.
Fast paced. I love fast paced. They don’t seem to ever run out of patients while I’m there. They are everywhere and they keep coming. I would imagine their days fly by quickly. I can’t imagine two days are ever the same. I’m not trying to glorify the duties of being a nurse. I can only imagine how hard the job actually is. I know what “code brown” means. I know there can be very long shifts. I know there must be difficult patients. But I also know that if I were a nurse, I would be so proud of myself. They are really good people that help sick people in more ways than they know.
Sending love and warm wishes to all of you!