This week, mom started Cycle 3 of Chemotherapy. We didn't start on a Monday as usual because it was a holiday here (Memorial Day) Tuesday was her long day. We got to the center at 9am and didn't leave till about 2 pm.
Tuesday was the first time using the new access Port. It looks great and seems to be healing just fine, but it had not been quite two weeks from the surgery and as you can probably imagine, still a little tender. Mom was a little nervous to be jabbed with a needle in the chest. The nurse showed up with her medications that they give her before chemo (fluids, steroids etc) and a massive looking needle. Because there is still some swelling, she was having some trouble locating where the entry point to the port was. She stuck her twice without success.
At this point, mom started getting even more anxious. Especially since one of the main "selling points" of the Port was that she wasn't going to have to be repeatedly jabbed over and over again. She started to look a little pale and sick to her stomach, so the nurse reclined her chair and gave her a minute to relax.
A second nurse came over. This one is apparently very experienced with Access Ports. She got the needle in with the first attempt. She did mention that she thought next time, they should use a longer needle. A one and half inch. (Gasp! Those suckers are pretty thick too)
So sigh of relief and the drugs start dripping. Next thing you know, the nurse walks by and says "Oh oh. Looks like you stopped dripping. I was worried that needle wasn't quite long enough" The look on poor mom's face!! She thought she was going to have to be jabbed again! The nurse started checking the connection and the lines and realized there was a kink in the line that was stopping the flow of fluids. Yea! No need to stick her again!
A sweet older man sitting in the chair next to her's, was very quiet the whole time. He was very pleasant, and smiled and at everyone, but he pretty much kept to himself. He leaned over to mom and said "I was praying to Jesus that there would be an easy fix, and they wouldn't have to stick you again" I replied to him "Thank you. Obviously he was listening to you"
Mom was thumbing through some magazines and was looking at different recipes. This made her hungry for soup. So I ran over to Olive Garden which is a few minutes away from the hospital and got her soup and breadsticks and a sandwich for me. Even though we are at Chemotherapy - it was still fun for us to hang out and eat lunch together and chat for hours. Maybe mom is getting tired of my constant chattering though - she said she was envious of all the people who could just lay back and sleep the whole time!!
Wednesday morning, mom convinced me take out her stitches for her. The nurse at chemo said they were ready to come out, but the doctor couldn't see her till next Tuesday. The stitches were driving her crazy, itching and pulling. The nurse couldn't do it for her because of liability issues since she doesn't work for the doctor, but told me exactly how to do it. No biggie. Cut the knots and pull them out with tweezers. I'm not a doctor, but I play one at home!!
Chemo Wednesday and Thursday went smoothly. She actually seemed to have less side effects this round. Other than extreme sleepiness - she could barely keep her eyes open in the car on the way home.
Friday, I picked her up and she said she was feeling out of sorts. I told her she was entitled to. She had her Neulasta shot. All the nurses came up and hugged her and told her they would miss her and good look in Las Vegas. So round three is officially over. Halfway done!