Sunday, September 12, 2010

Promised Update

Sorry it has taken a few days to update, but we've been really busy. I still can't get online at the hospital, but the social worker told me she could get me a wi-fi card on Monday. (I'm not counting on it, but I'll keep my fingers crossed).

On Friday they gave me the first chemo—called BCNU, or Carmustine. The nurse asked me if I drank alcohol, and I told him very rarely. He said that the drug is mixed with alcohol during the infusion, and would probably make me feel drunk—slurred speech, facial flushing, light-headedness and dizziness. It did all that, and I was glad when it was over. My doctor came in afterward and said he could probably ask me anything right now, and I'd answer it. :o) It took a couple of hours before I started feeling better. So far I haven't had any of the bad side effects it can cause, but those usually occur a few days later.

Today (Saturday), Sunday and Monday, I'll get Etoposide (VP-16) and Cytarabine (Ara-C) twice daily. I got the first doses this morning at 8 AM, and will get the next two at 8 PM this evening. (Got them and tolerated them very well so far).

Then on the last day of chemo, I'll get an infusion of Melphalan, which they tell me is the “bad one.”

All of them can cause all sorts of side effects, but so far I've gotten through them okay. The doctors and nurses are good about giving drugs to keep problems at bay. The doctors and nurses have been telling me that the worst time will be after the transplant, and the worst side effect is usually mucousitis (not sure of that spelling).

I've had lots of company today. Ron was here at lunchtime and brought me a chicken basket from DQ. One of the nurses came in and said, “Oh, DQ! Is that what you like about Texas?” :o) She's cute. Ron told her that was one of the things he likes about Texas. (It's a little ditty from a commercial, for my non-Texan readers—DQ, that's what I like about Texas).

Ron left, and within minutes Kelly came in. She said she saw her dad driving out of the parking lot, but he didn't see her. We talked and walked around and around the ward a bit. She brought me two more books from a series she loaned me. After she left, I found a little handmade bookmark in the book that says, “I love you, Mom.” My heart melted. I love you too, Sweet Girl.

Then I took a shower, and had 2 phone calls while I was in the shower. And when I got out, Sandi and Mom were here. My nurse had put them in the family room to wait for me. I really enjoyed their visit. They just left to go to dinner. Sandi likes coming on the AF Base, or on Army bases. She said today that the military is a whole different world (true). They had to go to the visitor center at the gate to get a pass, and she enjoyed seeing the guys in fatigues and hearing someone ask where the latrine was. She said, “Army talk!” Ha! She is so cute. It's fun seeing a world we are so familiar with through her eyes.

Sandi is taking Mom home with her while I'm in the hospital. It is such a huge relief to know that Mom will be okay. Ron and the kids are wonderful to help with her, but they are dealing with enough right now, and this will be a load off their minds, too. Mom loves going to Sandi's beautiful apartment, and Sandi has planned lots of fun things for them to do. Kelly will be keeping Teddy for Mom, since pets are not allowed at Sandi's apartment complex. Family is wonderful.

My first phone call this morning was from Ron, then Cyrise called to tell me that Reece kept saying that he wanted to talk to Gramma. It was fun talking to him, and when he was finished talking he said, “I love you, Gramma. Bye-bye!” :o) I found out that he can come up to visit, after all! Yay! I think he and Josh are coming on Wednesday (Josh's day off). The baby girls are too young—you have to be over 2, so they will stay home with mommy.

I talked to Father Kloster today. I called him to get his advice on the Advanced Directive they want me to fill out. It was so nice to hear his voice, and of course his advice was very good. I wanted to make sure my thinking on it was in line with Church doctrine. We chatted for a bit, and he said that he is doing well. He probably thinks I'm nosy, but he reminds me of our oldest son, and I wanted to make sure he's okay.

And Josh called and chatted for awhile. He was on his way home from work and just called to see how I was doing. He said that he sometimes gets jobs near here, and if he gets a chance he will come and have lunch with me. I love it when someone brings me food, because the food here is bad. It all smells the same, and tastes the same. I always love to see Josh, even if he doesn't bring me food.

They are having trouble getting my blood sugar down—it's been in the 300s. Lots of things can raise it, but the main thing causing the problem right now are the steroids (and the chemo and the stress). So they've changed the plan a bit, and are giving me a slow release insulin along with my Metformin, and they took me off the Januvia, at least for now.

Sorry for the long, rather scattered-thinking post. You are all in my prayers, and I'm offering up any suffering for your intentions. Thank you for your continued prayers for me!


Jennifer Mulkey said...

Am so glad you were able to update us. Have been thinking of you and knew you were getting chemo every day.

Great news that you can see your grandchildren and children, that will be wonderful for both you and them. Even though they are little, I'm sure they worry. My granddaughters still talk about Gramma not having any hair, lol :)

Let us know if there is anything you need, that we could possibly get in the mail to you, wish I were closer, I'd be coming in to see you if they would allow it.

Also glad to hear that your Mom is being well taken care of, I know it must take a load off of your shoulders and right now you need to be concentrating on you :)

God Bless, and continued prayers :)

Kalona said...

Hi Jennifer, I typed the post in my office program and Ron copied and pasted it into the post at home. Thank you for all you do to cheer me up; I know you would be here in a flash if you were nearby. :0). Yeah, the bald headed grammas will no doubt be remembered by our grand forever. ;0)

Sarah Oldham said...

I appreciate the update very much. Holding you in prayer. I'm so happy your family and friends are rallying around you - what a terrific bunch! I love the bookmark - such affection. So glad you can see some of the grands - you so need them, as they do you.
Many blessings to you and your family (and prayers for you, Ron).
Sarah and family