Tuesday, June 12, 2007
My first day of chemo...June 11th
Mom and I showed up on time, of course, and checked in with all the others for surgery. I didn't have to remind my mom too much about pixy dust and stars although there were a couple moments before the surgery. One funny thing she said was, "I am not sure how you could have caught this earlier, Ang. I mean, where would you go? You have been surrounded by doctor's for seven years (with infertility and childbirth) and then when we went to the Colon/Rectal Surgeon, he said, I found something, but we will find out what it is and fix it. No big deal." It was so true and ironic. Then she went on with sometime like, "...you never did do anything half assed anyway..." I just started cracking up and I couldn't stop. I was crying I was laughing so hard. I felt a lot better after that. All the nervousness gone and very glad that I had on waterproof mascara. Insertion of the port-a-cath went very well. As usual, the prep hurt more than the surgery which I was awake for. People have started to remember me like Sam that transports you from Prep to Radiology, Sheila, my lung biospy nurse, that asked how the kids were, Dr. Omdal that said, "Yes, Ms. Grace Kelly Clarno" and Connie that said, after inserting my IV twice, "You are the tough one. I remember..." We all talked about Kauai next March and all the friends that I am going with. We all talked about two year olds. We all talked about happy things. It was like another day at the office, but without the bad stuff. Pixy dust and stars! Happy Happy Joy Joy! Funny point - Mom has been to a few waiting rooms these days and has started "grading" them. You see, when I had my first colonoscopy they told her there was a more "spacious" waiting room down the hall. First mistake. When my mom arrived to the "spacious" waiting room it was a circle of chairs all looking at one another with no windows and a TV crammed in the corner. So now, when anyone says, "I can show you where the waiting room is." She replies with something like, "Please tell me it is spacious!" and looks at me laughing. In recovery, I did well. I was still a little groggy, but they released me in mom's care because I only had 20 minutes to get to Starbucks before my oncology appointment. MUY IMPORTANTE! Oncology went well. Grant met us there. My mom got to meet Dr. Kaplan and, now, she too is a fan. I got an x-ray to be sure the port was in the right place, got my cocktail recipe, and headed upstairs to start. Since it was my first time (and I had an entourage), I got my own private room. Maura, my nurse, oriented my family to everything while I settled in. By 12:00, my meds were started, Grant got me two teas, juice, water, a sack lunch, and a custard. I am not kidding. There is some method to this. One of the most severe side effects of the lung chemo is that I cannot drink or hold anything below room temperature. If I do, I can have mild to severe tremors in my esophagus and/or hands for up to two days. This means all food and drink, not touching anything out of the fridge, washing hands, showers, breathing cold air, etc. etc. etc. The time went quickly, I took a nap, read, ate, watched a little TV, talked to the nurse a lot, paid some bills on my cell (always working!), and smiled with my mom. At the end, they hooked up at two day drip to me that works on my body's temperature to pump. This was slighting in conflict with the icing regimen for my surgery, so I tossed the ice pack (on the recommendation from my doc) and am crossing my fingers. The pump is emptying into my system, so I guess it is working. Sad point - with all the tubes, drip, and the port still healing, it became very apparent that I could not take care of my kids until at least the chemo drip is taken off of me on Wednesday. So, for the first time in Nolan's life, he was away from me last night. I woke up several times looking for him or thinking I would check on Mason. I know that they are in good hands - mom and aunt - but it is just so hard the first time. I will visit them today with all my tubes safely tucked away under a couple shirts. Thank God for nursing bras - they work great for this! :) Happy point - Exactly, one month from my first appointment (for hemorrhoids remember!), I have a full diagnosis and I am beginning treatment - THANK YOU SWEDISH - what a truly amazing and efficient place you are. Last point for today - When I left Radiology after my port insertion, Sheila said to me, "Okay, the next time we see you is when we take this thing out because you are all better, right?" And, with all the doctors and nurses looking at me for an answer, I looked her straight in the eye and said, "RIGHT." Enjoy today, I will. Love, the loving, stubborn, strong-willed mule, very much loved BADASS, (all your words - not mine!) Ang
Posted by Angela Clarno at 5:01 AM
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YAY, ANGIE!! I think your mom is right. You never have done anything half-assed. Such a great comment. I have another attribute for you to add to your list. You are a WARRIOR! Just like Arwen (I think) when she ripped the concealing helmet off her head after killing the unkillable..."I'm no man...I'm a woman!" Strong and powerful warrior woman. Love, love to you from us.
Three words - You ROCK sister! It sounds like things went well yesterday. I know I was on pins and needles waiting to hear how you were doing. Not to mention that Curt and I got a couple of signs last night. We weren't sure what they meant, but we knew is that it had to do with you (because they have been happening off and on for about 10 days now). My step-granddad is definitely looking after you, and he has some funny ways of letting us know. Get lots of rest, watch lots of crappy daytime tv, and just kick some serious "BADASS". Love you lots.
Charlene, Curt & Bailey
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