Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Live Blogging Event: Chemo #3

Good morning! So many friends, family, and even praying strangers that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet check in here at 3LittleCowboys regularly to get updates on me and my family as we journey down the winding road of The Sickness. Many of you have asked me about my chemo treatments, so I thought it would be interesting (if not fun?) to give you a glimpse of a typical treatment day. I will update this post throughout the day as people come and go and things happen. Check back often, and when you do, scroll to the bottom of the post to read the latest! So, without further ado, here is my first live blogging event!
5:30 a.m. Alarm goes off. I drag myself out of bed and into the shower. Shower doesn't take long because I don't have any hair on my head to wash or hair on my legs to shave.
5:40 a.m. I feel better. I dress, go to the kitchen, turn on the coffee pot and empty the dishwasher.
5:50 a.m. I sit down with my computer and 1/2 cup of coffee in my favorite mug. I check my e-mail and post this verse as my Facebook status: "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
6:07 a.m. I put on makeup, fix my "hair", and start taking my morning pills.
6:30 a.m. I bring Hubby coffee and gently remind him that we need to leave in 25 minutes.
6:40 a.m. I toast an English muffin and finish packing up my stuff to take to the doctor's office.
6:44 a.m. Goliath is sleeping on an air mattress on the floor in our bedroom. I don't want to wake him up, but it sure is hard to make our bed in the dark!
6:46 a.m. I need to brush my teeth, but Hubby has locked me out of our bathroom while he is in the shower. Grrrrr.
6:50 a.m. I am ready. Hubby is not.
6:57 a.m. We rush out the door. We try to be gone on chemo mornings before the boys wake up at 7:00. We are supposed to be at chemo by 7:30.
7:00 a.m. We are driving down our street, and Hubby suddenly pulls over and jumps out of the car. We have a flat tire. REALLY?!?
7:02 a.m. We dash back through the house looking for keys to his truck. The boys are all up. Everyone needs a hug from Mom. We are now officially running late.
7:06 a.m. We forgot to get Sister's wedding invitations out of the crippled SUV. Mom and I are going to stuff them today during chemo to get them ready for mailing. We go back home again.
7:10 a.m. Finally on the road. We have to be there in 20 minutes. I really, really hate being late! Traffic is bad. We are thankful when we finally make it into the HOV lane, but Hubby gets mad when he sees that the guy driving the minivan behind us is the only occupant in the vehicle. He blows smoke out of his big truck onto Minivan Man.
7:45 a.m. We made it! I apologize to the nurses for being late, but they assure me it's no big deal. I can't tell if they mean it or if they just feel sorry for me.
7:55 a.m. Nurse Stephani gives us a few minutes to settle into our room. The only nice thing I have to say about chemo days is that, as an IP (interperitoneal) chemo patient, I have a private room. I don't know what I would do if I had to spend these hours in the "big" chemo room with other sick strangers. Stephani starts an IV. Today my best veins are on my right side, and the IV goes in my wrist. That makes it a little harder to type/write/etc. because I am right-handed, but it's OK. 2 bags of saline fluids are started through the IV drip.
8:08 a.m. Nurse Michelle brings me a cup of water. I can not figure out how to get the straw through the lid.
8:15 a.m. Hubby has to leave. He is going to work at a customer site for a few hours this morning. He kisses me goodbye and promises to be back as soon as possible. I am thankful that there is work for him to do.
8:22 a.m. Stefani came in to hook up the 2nd IV line to my IP port. Ouch. She starts another bag of saline through that line. All this fluid is supposed to expand my belly to make room for the chemo meds later in the day. I have to lay in a reclining position for a while.
8:52 a.m. Mom just got here. She reports that the boys got off to school and that Goliath was grouchy this morning. Sigh. She figured out how to get the straw into my water. Good thing, because I was getting thirsty and I hate drinking without a straw.
9:31 a.m. Nurse Karen came in to check on me. The saline bag attached to my port is finished. She disconnected it. Yay! Mom and I are listening to a new CD she has of kid's music. One song in particular is a perfect reminder for me today of God's sovereignty and love for me. Here are partial lyrics:
Where were you when I crafted you a language?
And where were you when I filled your mind with words?
So you could cry, so you could sing
Sprinkle names on everything
So you could laugh, tell a joke
Imagine towers wreathed with spokes
So you could live and die with dignity
And shake your fist with poetry
Imagining creation from the first.
Where were you?
When I laid the earth’s foundations
Where were you when I set the stars in place?
And they all sang together
They all sang together up in space.
Allelu allelu alleluia
Allelu allelu alleluia.
9:58 a.m. My "friend" from the room next door just poked her head in to say hello. She is quite the Chatty Cathy, and is not always reassuring about what is coming next for me. Still, today is her last treatment, and I am happy for her. The lady in the room across the hall is on her 3rd phone call. She uses treatment days to catch up with her friends on her cell phone. I can hear everything she says--her grandson Braden has a sore throat that she hopes is not strep. Mom and I are about to get started on the wedding invitations.
10:25 a.m. Karen came in and started the Emend drip. Emend is an anti-nausea medication. I will also take it in a pill form at home tomorrow and Thursday.
10:50 a.m. Stephani started me on Zantac and Benadryl drips. We had better hurry up and finish the invitations before I fall asleep!
11:03 a.m. Zantac and Benadryl are done. Stephanie started the Aloxi (another nausea med) and the Decadron (steroid) drips. These are the last of the pre-meds before the actual chemo drugs get started in a little while. We are about halfway through with the invitations. I told Mom that I hope she doesn't die from licking all those envelopes, like Susan on Seinfeld.
11:18 a.m. IV pump is beeping. It does that sometimes when I move around or it just is in a bad mood. Nurse Stephani to the rescue! The last two pre-med bags are empty and she just brought in the Taxol bag. Taxol is the drug that goes through my IV port, and is responsible for my hair loss. I'm not a fan of Taxol. Stephani flushed my IV line with Heparin to make sure it is still working. It is. I can hear someone vomiting down the hall. Mom has an envelope-licking-induced headache. Hubby just called to report that he is meeting our good friend Jamie for lunch and offered to bring us Pei Wei. Yes!
11:34 a.m. Stephani came in with the lunch menu. Dr. M treats all of his chemo patients to lunch on treatment days. He's really a nice guy. I'm holding out for Pei Wei, though, so Mom went down to the vending machine and brought back peanut butter crackers and Skittles to tide me over until Hubby's return. The regular receptionist is out today because her daughter had a baby last night. The sub receptionist lacks people skills and wouldn't let Mom back in the office. She is not a favorite of ours!
12:09 p.m. My brother is on the phone with our mother complaining about the length of this play-by-play post.
12:55 p.m. Hubby is back and Pei Wei is here! Orange peel chicken--yum!
1:03 p.m. Invitations are done! All 215 of them are stuffed, sealed, and set to be mailed out later this week. You're welcome, Seester.
1:22 p.m. Stephani says it's time to start the Cisplatin. This chemo drug goes directly into my abdomen through my port. It is responsible for the nausea and all the food upset that I've experienced. I'm not a fan of Cisplatin, either, but they tell me it's saving my life. I am taking out my contact lenses and getting ready to watch one of my favorite movies: Dirty Dancing. If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I've fallen asleep. Thank you, Benadryl.
2:11 p.m. Stephani came in to answer questions and discuss important dates that are coming up. One thing to note is that I will have a CT scan 2 weeks from today. I am a nervous wreck about this scan...the one I had in January did not show the 2 tumors that were growing, so I've lost whatever confidence I had. Plus, the scan itself makes me sick. But Stephani assured me that the scan is important, and if it raises questions, Dr. M will not hesitate take action and order further tests. The lady across the hall is on the phone again discussing speed limits.
2:34 p.m. Taxol and Cisplatin are done! Stephani took the needle out of my port. There is still 1/2 a bag of saline flowing through the IV pump.
2:48 p.m. Stephani added Lasix (a diuretic) to my hydration. Johnny Castle and Baby are practicing lifts in the lake for their Sheldrake Hotel "Mambo Magic."
3:11 p.m. Hubby just left to go pick up the boys. We will all meet back up at home in a bit.
3:25 p.m. IV pump is beeping again. The hydration is empty! While we wait for a nurse, Mom and I are reading your precious blog comments and Facebook messages to each other. What an encouragement you are!
3:28 p.m. Michelle disconnected the IV and I am headed home!
4:39 p.m. We made it home and I am safely in my own bed. Hubby is on a work-related phone call and Mom/Nana just left with the boys to get some Baskin Robbins. All is well. I feel icky, but I am asking God to show mercy and favor during the coming days.
This concludes today's live blogging event! I hope you've enjoyed following me today. Who knows? Maybe we'll do it again sometime. Thank you so much for caring and especially for praying. I continue to stand on my faith in the Almighty God and trust Him, quite literally, with my life. He is good, and He does good.


The Horton Family said...

Enjoying your play by play. Thanks for the live feeds. Wish I could make it all go away.

Anonymous said...

Prayed for all of you last night and this morning. Glad your mom is there to get the boys ready and off to school. Loving the play by play. Believing God's report for your life and standing with you!

Kristin Cox

Kandice said...

thinking of you..thanks for putting my "problems" in perspective..I love you and I hope this round goes the best it can!!!!

Stephanie Click said...

I'm logged in from work ... ask your mom not to tell on me!!! I HAD to keep up with your progress today.

I'm praying that you and yours have a peaceful, restful, and non-nauseous week. You are a hero to many, many people.

Amanda said...

I love the play by play and I thought the Seinfeld bit was great...hope she didn't try to save money on the envelopes!!!

Anonymous said...

You are the only person in the world who could make your report on chemo treatments entertaining. We love you. Been praying all morning.

Christina and the Gibsons.. and your grandmothers.

Sue Vaeth said...

Went in to see Dr. Allen for an appt. She saw my "allyson bracelet" and wanted to know what it was for. I told her for my friend who has ovarian cancer; she said, Allyson? Yes, she remembers you, I didn't even tell her your name! She wishes you the best and will pray for you. Also, she wants your blog info. so I forwarded to her. Hope that's ok. She says you are wonderful! Another allyson fan; go figure! Sue V.

3 Girl Mommy said...

I do believe you are the only person that can make chemo day sound entertaining. It's 3:31 so I'll check back later for more updates. :) Love Dirty Dancing! Been thinking of you today...and praying!

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Hi Allyson,

Thank you for taking us along for your chemo day. I am praying for you and your family. Please give your mom a hug for me, and one back for you.

Love, healing prayers, and many blessings,


3 Girl Mommy said...

Woo Hooooooo!!! Home sweet home. Glad #3 is over with. CANNOT wait until you are posting that you are headed home from #6!!! Love you sweetness!!

Gran said...

Half way there sweet girl!! Praying for a non "nauseous" night. Love & Prayers

Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed your play-by-play! You are a very gifted writer! I am and will continue to pray you through these next few days and the next scan and am asking God to show your doctor everything that he needs to see to determine the best course of action! Oh and - I never thought about you not having to shave your legs! If there is any minute glimmer of a bright side - I would put that on the list!

Praying still!


Anonymous said...

You are amazing - what a day! I'll be praying that your night and next few days are good ones. I'll also pray about the scan.
Betty H

Anonymous said...

Dear Allyson,
I have been reading your blogs all along but never wrote a comment. I have to tell you what a writer you are! You show such courage and honesty in these blogs and I am humbled by your taking us with you on your journey through the telling of it.
I am praying continuously and the blogs help me know more how to pray.
They also help me feel like I am not so far away from you and your family when I wish I could be nearer and offer more help.
You are amazing and I see your mom and dad in you.
Love and prayers,

Lew Campbell said...

I hope you will put your writing gift into a book sometime. I am so blessed by your blog and thought live blogging yesterday was such a cool idea. Prayin' for ya!

Lew Campbell

Melynda said...

I'm so sorry I missed the fact that that you were doing this, but I enjoyed reading it today! I'm so glad you keep a sense of humor about all this yucky stuff. I'm praying for you especially through these next few days. I have to tell you I smiled over the conversation with Baby because Jordan was recently the ring bearer in Eric's sister's wedding, and he had similar "bear" confusion, and when I saw the word "Seester." MY sister Jenni started the three of us calling each other "Seester," and it's like special little bonding moment when we use it. Love you, girl!

Susan Carter said...

Hi Allyson - I work in the Accounting Dept at SCBC- love your mom! Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your blog from yesterday, so tell your bro to "cool it" with the comments on length (grin). You are a talented writer! (us acctg types love detail)
Just know that you and family are in our prayers daily, and whenever someone asks me about my little teal wristband, I tell them I'm praying for someone special and keeping her in my heart. Keep those great blogs coming. With love, Susan Carter

Katherine said...

Know that you and your family are in my prayers. I have been reading your blog, it is a blessing and helps put life in perspective.
Love and prayers,
Katherine K.

Anonymous said...

Allyson, your faith is amazing!It's so humbling and encouraging to me. You are in my prayers.

Jennifer and Jason said...

I was working on letters for our district summer school program last night and Jason made the Seinfeld comment to me about not licking too many envelopes. Great minds think alike! :)