Monday, December 22, 2008

We got in the car this morning at 6:35am. The temperature was 3 degrees. Slightly chilly today! We drove the familiar route to the hospital. 55 North, get in the left lane to exit onto 44 West. A drive that never fails to bring memories flooding back, that I have tried to push out of my mind. Only, on my current routine, I do not get off at Grand to head to St. Louis University Hospital. I go one exit past that, get off at Kingshighway, and head towards Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Center. A place my daddy wanted to be. A place my daddy repeatedly told us was "the best" hospital. We pull into the parking garage that has already become a familiar routine. We have already learned to go past this level, start down the other level, so as to get ahead of the "rookie parkers", and get the best parking spots. We find our way to the 2nd Floor Radiology where I am to get a MUGA scan to test my heart health, establish a base line, before they start the chemo. They stick me once in the left arm, inject me with something. Then, they insert an IV in my right arm and inject me with something else. I am then escorted into a different room, told to lay on my back very still, while they take pictures of my heart with this huge camera thing. The good thing about that procedure is that they let me keep my phone, which I had playing my Praise and Worship songs through my headphones! About an hour later, I am released. We then head to 3rd Floor Radiology Procedures, to have the Portocath installed. That lasted about 2 hours, and they gave me some sweeeeeeet sedation stuff! I was awake, I could hear them, I could even answer their questions, but I felt nothing, and basically didn't care what they were doing, LOL! Then they wheeled me back into recovery, where Keith was brought in to hear the "discharge instructions". I am to pick up nothing over 5 lbs with my left arm for the next 7 days!! And nothing stronger than Tylenol for pain. We then gave my nurse, Karen, a call and she met us in a conference room on the 7th floor to go over my prescriptions and what side effects to expect. I have been known to faint whenever I get really scared or nervous. As we were sitting there in that conference room, as she was going over all the meds; "compazine is an anti-nausea drug blah blah blah, Zofran is also an anti-nausea medicine blah blah blah, lorazepam is an anti-anxiety medicine which has good anti-nausea properties blah blah blah. You will also be given Neulasta, an injection that you will have to give yourself the day after each chemotherapy treatment blah blah blah." The more she talked, the warmer that room got and before I knew it, the clouds were coming in. I mentioned with a shaky voice I needed water. Keith was on it. He saw it coming. I mentioned to Karen, while Keith was gone to get me some water that I was feeling slightly dizzy and she suggested I lay my head on the table. Seriously...... Out of respect, I did that....for about a minute. I realized quickly that wasn't going to slow it down. I said, I am gonna have to lay down on the floor. She began to get nervous, no honey, you don't need to lay down on the floor. By the time she was at the "honey", I was flat down on my back, laying on the cool floor. Keith was wiping my face with a wet paper towel, and talking me out of it. Karen left and returned with several choices of food and beverages, one being OJ!!! Keith set me up, I drank the OJ, and began to feel better. Keith was making excuses about having nothing to eat since yesterday, and it was 2pm. I knew better. That may have played a slight part in this, but I feel it was more the "familiarity of the drugs, the side effects,", the whole deal. It was her talking. It was memories flooding way too fast. It was me not wanting to talk about it, and me not wanting her to talk about it!! It was me wanting to scream "just give me the papers, I can read, besides I know everyone of these drugs and what the side effects are!" I wanted to run out of there, down the hall and back to the parking garage! But, they had one more stop for me to make. I had to go across the hall, get blood drawn one more time, for this one last test they needed to have in their files........a pregnancy test! LOL! Now that is laughable, is it not? They have x-rayed me, injected me with radio active die to make the pictures show the contrasts, etc. I mean, seriously, now they are going to do a pregnancy test?? But, hey, they need that paperwork and test result in their file. Routine. Whatever, we then left and headed for the parking garage. On the way home, we stopped at Arnold Ready Mix to pay a concrete bill or two, then on to Herky to stop and check in on mom. She seemed to be in good spirits, so after she asked a couple times where we had been, I told mom that we had just come from the hospital. She said again? Didn't you say you were there last week having some tests done? I finally told mom, that yes, they had found cancer in my breast. She asked me, rather quickly, what they are going to do about it. I told her they were going to start me on a treatment plan of chemotherapy for several weeks. But then told her the story of comparing leukemia and breast cancer was like comparing an elephant to a mouse. Two very different animals. Breast cancer was curable. And I wasn't going to be in the hospital. All my treatments were going to be out patient, one day a week, for several weeks. I think she was ok with all my explanations. I hope so. I guess time will tell.

Prayers are welcome.....

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