Thursday, September 16, 2010

Infused and Confused

As we walked out of the infusion center around 6PM last night, Clint asked me how I felt.
"Infused and Confused" was my answer, then I started laughing. I thought this was the funniest answer in the world! Because it was true!!!

It was a long day. We left the house a little after 7AM to drive downtown to Jeff.

When we arrived we had to go to the 2nd floor to check in a get my labs and blood work done. I signed in at the desk and tried to find a seat. It was mobbed. People did not stop coming in! Every time the elevator doors opened more people filed into the office, standing room only with folding chairs lining the hallways to seat the excess.
I looked around~"it's a epidemic!!!" I said. Everyone has Cancer. I was floored with the number of people I was waiting with, young, old, healthy looking, sickly and everything in between. I was in a lot of company.

I started the day with getting my blood drawn and signing forms and answering questions. Then I went up to the 4th floor to meet with my oncologist. He went over everything again, including the list of nasty side effect. He told me they would start me on a certain dosage of these drugs and then tweak it from there according to my symptoms and reactions. I would be closely monitored.

Back down to the 2nd floor for the infusion.

I was assigned my chemo nurse, put in a cubicle, one of about 40 partitions, with a lounging chair and a TV and a seat for the nurse and a seat for Clint. These cubicles were in a large well-lit room filled with the pinging noise of machines administering chemo and loud with the sounds of TV's.

I looked around and realized that all those people in the waiting room would be in here soon. 

More paper work to sign, doubling checking my wrist band, my birth date, my name and my meds. They hooked me up a little before 11:30. Each of the medicines would go through the IV separately. First a pack with several anti-nausea medicine, then a infuion lasting 1/2 hour, another lasting almost two hours, one for 15 minutes, another for two hours and so on. Ellen, my chemo nurse looked at me and said I would probaly be here until close to 6 PM. I was shocked. What would I eat?? I was starving! I had a bagel for breakfast but now at 11:30 I was ready for lunch!

Now I tell you this beause it is a good sign when I am hungry and thinking about food!
I was just about to send Clint down stairs to get me something to eat when Ellen mentioned that they had a food service table in the corner. YEA food!!!
Clint came back with a tuna sandwich, some chips and a cup of warm water. No cold stuff for me.

One of the chemo drugs I will be receiving has a big reaction to cold. I am not allowed to have anything cold, no ice cream, no ice in my drinks, no cold drinks, no going near a freezer or fridge. I am to wear gloves and breath through a scarf if it is cold outside. I asked the doctor if that meant~ No Frozen Maragarita and he laughed out loud!

So all in all it was a good day. Long day but very pleasant. The nurses couldn't have been nicer. Explaining everything over and over. Answering my questions with calm and reassurance. Making this as pleasant as they possibly could.
I was there a long time, seeing new patients come and go. Clint took a little snooze, he can sleep anywhere! His years as a shift worker for PECO taught him to sleep anywhere. I fiddled with my phone and read and ate of course!!!

The room was filled with pings and beeps, nurses bustling around changing chemo bags hanging on poles, escorting patients to the bathrooms... all that liquid they pump in has to go somewhere!!!

As my day wound down I realized that what they say is true. Your thougths about something are most often worse than what really happens.

I know by checking my phone and messages that everyone was sending thoughts and prayers my way ... I have to say that your energy carried me through this day of drugs and anxiety. I was on a cloud and surrounded by Angels. I was in a great mood- laughing and joking with the doctors and nurses and people around me. You all helped me through this and I thank you!!!

I came home a little"SHUNGOD"(I know that is not the spelling) as they say in Italian... goofy, light headed and maybe a bit confused.
But, my spirits were up and I know that is because of all your prayers and good energy! I do believe in that!
I came home to dinner on my doorstep, flowers on my porch, cards in my doorway and packages sent in the mail. I came home to realize that I am so lucky to have so many people who care for me in my life, who are on this journey with me, who lift me up and send me healing energy. I am lucky indeed!!
My kids tell me I use too many exclamation points when I write but you know what???
I have to because that is me and exclamaiton points are a good sign that I am feeling good!
Thanks you everyone! I am so grateful for your thoughts and prayers adn support.
I can do this, I AM doing this. I will be OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I'm a little behind, Susan; I didn't know...but I will be sending you good vibes and sunshine from southern Italy from now on :) xoxo

  2. OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy to hear that you got through the day with flying colors. Guess you'll need a mink coat now for when you open the fridge and the freezer!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Keep up the POSITIVE Attitude. NEVER EVER stop Smiling or Laughing :)

  4. Keep up the positive attitudes and always SMILE : )

  5. I think along with that mink coat, you should "google" the many "hot toddy" recipes on the web, try a few then add your favorite to our next cooking class!! Good 1st day, you go girlfriend!