Lauren made it through another round of chemo and we are home. I will give you a recap of the last few days. We had another person taken by CC this past week. I had just become friends with a lady on Facebook that also posts on the CC.org website. Her husband had CC. His name was Dennis and he seemed to like cars a lot. He would've gotten along well with my husband and Dad. Teresa is his wife and she is such a kind, caring lady. She also has a daughter named Lauren and two sons. This cancer is so bad. I wish they would find a cure.
Lauren and I left for Michigan at around 8 in the morning on Wednesday. As usual, we stopped and got sausage biscuits from McDonald's and big drinks. We only hit one major jam on the turnpike where three lanes went down to one. It wasn't too bad. We stopped at one rest stop to stretch our legs and for Lauren to stretch her back. We got to Michigan a little early, but went straight to the hospital because we really didn't have enough time to stop at Sis's on the way.
Lauren had labs first. So we went and checked in and she was called back fairly quick. She had the same nurse she has had for the last few times. When the nurse called Lauren's name, she looked at Lauren and held her arms up and said yay when she saw her. They have a fun time together talking about makeup and girly stuff. I think she always wants to be Lauren's nurse and I have noticed it usually takes Wo twice as long to get out of the lab than any other patient. I think they have a great time back there!!
We then went upstairs and checked in at the waiting area. It was so crowded. I just cannot believe the amount of people that have cancer. Everyone gets called to a small hallway and gets weighed, bp, and temp. Then it is back to your seat to wait some more. We finally got back to a room and had to wait some more. Dr. Zalupski's PA, Gwen, always comes in first and asks a million questions. She said Lauren's labs all look good and gives us a copy. She usually listens to Wo's heart and feels her liver. Then she goes and gets Dr. Z. He asks all the same questions about how she did after her last chemo. Lauren asked him if she could try some muscle relaxants for her back pain. He said, Sure what kind do you want? Well, Lauren had no clue and we thought that was funny. He gave her a low dose and told her if one didn't work, then she should try two. We are not really sure if her pain is muscle or bone. She can't tell. She knows it feels better if she has Ben Gay put on it, so she figures it is muscle. I asked him if they could have a bad reaction with her other pain meds and he said no. They might make her a little tired, but that is ok. She gets liver pain sometimes, but her main pain is in her back. Dr. Z said she will have one more chemo after this one and then another CT scan to see if it is working. I sure hope it is. He wrote Lauren's prescriptions for her two types of Morphine and her muscle relaxants. We then went to the scheduler/cashier area and got in line. A lady came out of the doctor's office area and cut right in front of us!! Lauren was having a fit that she did this and kept telling me to say something. I didn't feel it was appropriate to make a scene in a Cancer Center, so I didn't. It ended up, the lady right in front of where we were standing, came back from lunch and we got waited on first. Lauren said that lady that cut was shooting daggers at us with her eyes. I really don't know what is wrong with some people. The scheduler got Lauren appointments for her next lab and doctor visit, but said there were no chemo appointments available so they would have to work on it and call us. I am sure I will get impatient and call them before they call us. They are usually very good about handling things and calling us though.
We started walking down to the chemo infusion waiting area. All the sudden, I heard someone shouting, Pamela, Pamela. I turned around and a lady asked if I was Pamela. I thought that was weird someone would be calling for me and not Wo, since she is the patient and also nobody calls me Pamela unless they are reading my name off a form since that is my whole name. I always go by Pam. It turns out it is a lady I met on the CC.org website. Her name is Melissa and her Mom has CC.
I always reach out to people that I find out go to U of M, since not many people have CC, let alone have CC and go to U of M. She recognized Wo from this blog. We had talked about meeting one day, but her Mom usually had her appointment on Mondays. They were here for a consultation with Dr. Z. It was nice to talk to her and put a face to a name. We didn't get to talk for long since Lauren needed to get to her chemo appointment, but it was nice to meet her. What a small world. Oh, and the reason she called me Pamela is because my screen name on CC.org is Pamela because Pam was already taken.
We walked to the chemo infusion waiting area and Lauren signed in. She was happy that she was in the main infusion area and not at the Med Inn. It is such a hike to walk to the Med Inn. She can get there ok, but always needs a wheelchair when we leave. They called us back and she was in the big room which has about 20 chairs and is a big semicircle with a lot of windows behind the chairs. It's nice but we don't like that area because nobody pulls their curtain and everyone is just open to everyone else. We are more private people and don't feel real comfortable, but oh well. Lauren got her nausea med and her steroid. She had a small bag of hydration and then her Oxaliplatin. She becomes sensitive to cold almost instantaneously and has to drink room temperature drinks or it feels like she is swallowing glass. I went and got her a sandwich, chips and a drink. They also gave her an Ativan this time because she had a weird throat thing happen last time and they thought it might have been some kind of reaction. She spent most of the time on her computer and she was done around 5:00. She felt ok enough to walk to the elevator and waited on a bench outside the Cancer Center while I went to get the car. She was very tired, probably from the Ativan. I asked where she wanted to go for dinner, and she chose Denny's.
I called Sis to see if she was getting off work soon. She said she would be leaving at around 6, so we asked if she wanted to meet us for dinner. She said she would come, but Bruce was on call. So she met us there. Lauren started feeling really crappy at dinner and only ate about half of it. She got really hot, dizzy, and nauseous. She thought she was going to pass out. As soon as we got to Sis's she went upstairs and got in bed. She slept the whole night, except when I had to wake her to take meds. I think it was from the Ativan. She only takes that at bed time and it usually knocks her out. Poor Bruce got to come home around 9:30, only to be paged back to work at 11, and didn't get to come home until 1:30. Sis is doing an OB rotation, and is on call every 4th day overnight. Those pregnant ladies sure do love her after she has given them their epidurals!!
Lauren woke up feeling much better on Thursday morning. Bruce was home and helped us load our car. We went to breakfast at Bob Evans. Lauren still was not very hungry. We went and got gas and drinks and were on our way home. We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and got all of Lauren's prescriptions filled. We got home around 4. Lauren took a muscle relaxant and she said her back hurt worse. So today if her back hurts, she will take two and see if that helps. Gio came over after bowling last night and rubbed BenGay on her back. What a way to stink up the house!! I haven't really talked to Lauren today. If she is quiet, that means Leave Me Alone!! So I do. I am posting two pics I took at the hospital during chemo. Thanks for all of your support. Love, -Pam