Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chemo, Crankiness, and Finding A Nice Place

Hi EveryoneI I was being a bit of a procrastinator this past week and decided I better get cracking and write a new post. Thanks to all of you for sticking with us and caring about Lauren!

We left for Michigan on Wed. morning last week. Lauren had labs at 1:45, doctor visit at 2:45, and chemo at 4. Lauren had her favorite girl for labs, then we headed upstairs for the wait to see Dr. Z. We didn't have to wait too long in the waiting room and were called back to a room after Lauren had her vitals taken. That's where they get you. You think you are going to see him quickly, but you are left to wait and wait....and wait. No, really it wasn't that bad, and he is so busy. You see him charging up and down the hallway usually with a nurse or PA following quickly behind. He came in with his nurse, Julie this time. He seemed a little rushed, but the time we had with him was good. He made fun of Lauren because she always brings a big wheelie tote and a huge purse, both packed with anything you could want to make chemo more enjoyable. Lauren told him she felt much better since he lowered her Xeloda pills from 7 a day to 6. No red, peeling, sore feet this time. Dr.Z told us she would have scans after four chemos instead of three, since she was feeling so good and doesn't have any liver pain.

Lauren remembered that she wanted to ask Dr. Z something else after he had left. In case you are wondering, I asked Lauren prior to writing this if it was alright to talk about it. She gave me the ok. Julie came back in the room to give us a prescription and Lauren told her that she had forgotten to ask Dr. Z about some anger issues she has been having. Julie said she would go get Dr. Z. He sat and listened to Lauren and talked with her for over 15 minutes. I won't go into specifics, but Dr. Z made Lauren feel better and then called a social worker that works at the Cancer Center to come and talk to Lauren. Wo said she felt so much better after speaking to her and she seems much happier now. They suggested Lauren see a therapist at home once in a while to help her deal with things and they might try some antidepressants to see if they would help.

We didn't get out of chemo until 9pm. Sis and Bruce were the late people all week and got off work around then too. They had already eaten at the hospital, so we got Panera to go. Lauren ate soup and a little bit of sandwich and went straight to bed. We left for home on Thurs. in the early afternoon.

I called our family doctor, Dr. Steineck on Friday and asked the nurse if Dr. Steineck could refer us to a therapist. Dr. Steineck called Lauren and said he didn't really refer people to anyone, but he would be happy to talk with Lauren any time she needed and would help her any way he could. Lauren loves Dr. Steineck and will probably take him up on his offer. I will look for therapists in the area. I told Lauren, if she goes to one and doesn't like them, we can always go to someone else. The social worker at U of M said she would be willing to do phone consultations as well.

We went to Gio's house Sat. night and made homemade pizzas. I make the crust and Lauren puts the toppings, sauce, and cheese on. They were delicious! We watched the Ohio state game. Wow!! What a high scoring game. I think I was the only one awake at the end of the game. Mark was sleeping in the guest bedroom. Wo and Gio were sleeping on the couch. They had gone shopping all day and they were really tired.

Our friend, Lisa had told us about a place in Fairlawn, called Stewart's Caring Place. It is a place for cancer patients to go for all types of services free of charge. I made an appointment for Lauren to get a massage and to go on a tour. Lauren had a 30 minute massage and I sat in the beautiful massage waiting area. I started a conversation with a man that was waiting for a massage and I guess we were talking too loud because we got shushed by one of the masseuses. Woops!! The volunteers there are so nice. It is a beautiful place all paid for by donations. They offer support groups, lectures, yoga, art therapy, free wigs, massages, etc. What a wonderful place.

Later last night, Lauren was in so much pain from the massage she was crying. I had to rub icy hot all over her back and that helped. She has never had a professional massage before and the masseuse probably really worked her muscles and made them sore. Is this normal? If you have ever had a massage, let me know. I've never had one, except from Mark. I find strange people touching me too creepy.

Well, that is about it. Lauren was a little cranky at chemo and didn't want her picture taken. An elderly man was next to her and he slept and snored really loud the whole time we were there. If you know Lauren, if anyone even lets out a little snort when they are sleeping she goes bonkers. She cannot stand the sound at all. So she sat there most of the time with her finger in her ear, looking really annoyed. I chose a pic to post of Lauren when she was 18. I don't think she looks that much different. She was just as cute back then. Please continue to pray for Lauren and her CC buddies. Thanks and God bless. Love, -Pam


  1. I think a therapist is a great idea. It would be a place where Lauren can express her anger, etc, and not feel she is burdening her family with this. BTW, love her pic, such a pretty girl.
    Lori Vogt

    1. Thanks, Lori. Itotally agree with everything you have said.

  2. Pam, my sister Shirley had the same anger issues...and they referred her to a therapist as well. She never went...there was never time. But I think it is a great idea. Why not talk to someone who is not close to the situation who can listen without worrying about hurting feelings or whatever. And no matter what...Lauren you have a lot to be cranky about friend. But it's no fun being cranky and if there is any help out there...you should try.

    I am not a massage persone either. I got my first massage when we went to mexico on the anniversary of my sister's passing. She LOVED massages. So I tried one. Hated it!! I was sore and they were not gentle at all. Never again!!!

    You guys are going thru so much...just lean on each other and keep fighting thru it. It's all you can do. Nobody can imagine what you are going thru unless they have been in your shoes. Looking in from the outside...I am so grateful you all have each other. Imagine doing this without the love you guys have for each other. That would be sad to deal with it like that.

    I am praying so hard for your entire family. I ask God to keep giving you guys the strength to support this beautiful girl thru this awful disease and I pray for a cure every single day for Lauren.

    Take care and keep fighting the good fight.

    Love, Teresa

    1. Thanks, Teresa. You always know how to make us feel better.

  3. Hi Pam! I was thinking about Lauren today and made time to check your blog - it was perfect timing since you have a new post today. I hope you are enjoying the fall season. By the way, this year Stewart's Caring Place benefited from Kick for the Cure! Since the massage didn't work out maybe Lauren can participate in one of their other offerings. Thoughts and prayers to you. Love the picture.


    1. Hi Michelle. Lauren might give it another try and tell the masseuse to be more gentle. They have many other programs to attend there. She doesn't like doing things on her own and I saw some programs we can do together. So I will keep looking and suggesting. Good to hear from you and thanks again for everything.

  4. Hi Pam! I follow your blog (and many other similar blogs) as my aunt had CC. I'm from Estonia. Just wanted to say about massages - be careful about them. I really would consult with the doctor if massage is OK at all. We were told that to many cancer patients massage is not recommended at all, forbidden even.
    Take care and all the best for Lauren!

  5. Hi Aune! Nice to meet you. I am sorry to hear about your aunt. That is crazy that you read my blog and are all the way in Estonia. I had to google Estonia to see where it was!! We did ask about massages and got the ok. Plus, Lauren didn't want a full body massage, only her back, hands and feet. She was ok the next day, just really sore the night she had it. Thanks for your concern and I am so happy you found us!!