Thursday, May 31, 2012

To Michigan For Chemo...Yay!!

Lauren and I left for Michigan Wed. morning at around 8:15. We stopped and got breakfast sandwiches and big drinks at McDonald's as usual. Large Diet Coke for Lauren and large iced tea for me. There is so much construction on the turnpike. The speed limit in these zones is only 50mph, which nobody does, but we definitely go slower than 70. We got to U of M Cancer Center at around 12, which was when her labs were scheduled. About an hour before we get there, Wo puts Lidocaine on her chest where her port is so it is numb. She covers it with Saran Wrap.

She hadn't had her port accessed for around a month, so I was worried it might be clogged or something. She said blood came out very easily and everything worked right. While Lauren was back getting her port accessed, a lady came up to me and asked if she was my daughter. I said yes and she said she just had to tell me that she was gorgeous. This happened about 10 more times (no exaggeration) throughout the day. There is never a time when Lauren and I go somewhere that people don't come up to her and tell her she is beautiful. I love that because Lauren hasn't always had a lot of self esteem. She deserves every ounce of attention she gets. And she so appreciates it.

Lauren had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Zalupski at 1. We always get up there early because labs don't take very long. The medical assistants all love Lauren and are so sweet. They are the ones that take all of Lauren's vitals. We were called back to a room and saw one of Dr. Z's Physician's Assistants named Gwen. She greeted Lauren with a huge hug. She asked a bunch of questions and examined Lauren. Lauren's chest was feeling a bit better, since taking the Hydrocodone instead of Morphine. Lauren told her all the refills she needed for her medications. Gwen then went to get Dr. Z. He came in and examined Lauren too. He asked how her chest was feeling and said to keep taking the pain meds and it should gradually get better. He asked her if she felt up to getting chemo and she said yes, she couldn't wait to have more chemo. It's really weird, but chemo makes her feel better!! Gwen said Lauren's bloodwork looked totally normal. You would never know by looking at her labs that she even had cancer. Dr. Zalupski wanted to have her scheduled for a CT scan at the end of June. We got all of her refills and went to the scheduling desk. She had her next two chemos and CT scheduled. We then proceeded down the hall to the chemo waiting area and Lauren checked in.

Lauren and I in the chemo waiting area.

We didn't have to wait a really long time and got called back. Darn. We were in the big semi-circle room that neither of us like. There is no privacy there. People are sitting so close together. Lauren likes the curtain pulled around her, but we feel sometimes this might hurt people's feelings that are next to us, so we are careful. We didn't pull the curtain this time. So we chatted with an older man that has been getting treatment for 6 years for Multiple Myeloma. Then a lady with a husband getting treatment a few chairs down heard us telling the man we were from Ohio. When I went to get Lauren and myself a bagel in the nourishment room, that lady was in there and asked me where in Ohio we were from. I said Uniontown and her mouth almost dropped to the floor. She said I wasn't going to believe this but she was from Uniontown, but now lives in Michigan, but two of her sisters still live there. She said we looked familiar, but we never figured out how we might have known each other. I said maybe we just had a little ESP thing going on and were drawn to each other. Really freaky!! Then there was"sleeping lady" next to Lauren who didn't wake up until Lauren was about done. She said she had a reaction to her chemo and they gave her Benadryl and it knocked her out. She was really sweet. After the chatterbox older man left, a lady that conducted business while having chemo sat in his chair. She actually ran her office in the chemo chair, taking calls, receiving calls, all the while typing on her computer. Crazy!! Bruce came to see us after he got off work and left to go work out. Sis came a little while later and stayed until we left. We really couldn't wait to get the heck out. We thought we would get out early, but there always has to be a major catastrophe. This time Dr. Z only signed one page of the chemo order instead of two, so they had to page and speak to him and then to a PA in the chemo area to get everything straightened out before they could hook up Lauren's 5-FU pump that she wears home for 48 hours. They finally got it straightened out and we were free.

Sis left to get her car and we met her at Chilis. Lauren's choice. We always get this cheese dip with chips and we are full before our meal. I called Mark and told him all about our day. Bruce was supposed to meet us there, but when Sis called him he was sleeping and didn't feel like coming out. So we ordered him some food to go.

We went back to Sis's and Bruce came out and helped us unload the car. I think Lauren went upstairs and changed her clothes and never came back down. She got ready for bed and laid down. We stayed downstairs for a little while and all went to bed at around 10. I got on FaceBook for a while and read my Kindle for a little bit. Lauren said she didn't sleep well because she kept thinking about the story we were talking about at dinner. Some guy high on drugs that was eating another guys face. So gross. It freaked Lauren out. I set my alarm for 2 and got up to give Wo another Compazine so she wouldn't get nauseous. I never heard Bruce and Sis leave for work. It is always before the sun is even up. I finally got Lauren to get up at 11. We got all of our stuff packed up and went to Bob Evans for breakfast. We then went and got big drinks at Wendy's and some gas at Meijer. We were then on the road for our long ride home. We had some major traffic slow downs on the way home. So much construction and so many trucks!! We didn't get home until 6. Lauren was wide awake and in a good mood the whole way home which makes for a more pleasant trip. Sometimes she is really sleepy and sometimes she is really grumpy. But this time she was a real joy! Loved it.

We were only home for about half an hour and Gio came to pick Wo up so she could go to bowling with him. Lauren likes to go sit and talk to her friends there. So that was our last few days. Thanks for reading. Please keep all of Lauren's CC friends as well as Lauren in your prayers. Our friend, Julia from England, just lost her dear sister, Susan, to this horrible disease. Also our friend, Cindy,who has CC, had some bad news yesterday. Her son-in-law was shot at an apartment complex in Indiana by a crazed gunman. He is ok, but very shaken up. Until next time...

Love, -Pam

This is one of Sis and Bruce's dogs. His name is Stinkinstein or Stink for short. He is the calmer of the two dogs. He has a funny habit where he pulls a blanket out of the laundry room and lays down and sucks on it like a pacifier. So cute.

Wo and Sis at Sis's house last Fall. They were painting their nails and Wo set a paper towel with nail polish on the table and it  ate the finish off the table. She felt so bad and was afraid Bruce would be really mad. He was great about the whole thing. They keep really cute placemats on the table and you never see it. They are probably going to kill me for posting this pic because neither of them look like they have make-up on!!

1 comment:

  1. Great Update!!! Great pictures. I love that baby dog sucking on his blankie!!! Glad you got thru chemo...I know that can be hard. Lauren is absolutely beautiful. Those sparkly eyes are gorgeous. I am sure you are just a proud Momma. Hope you guys have a great week. Take care!

    Love, Teresa