19 March 2009

Round 2 Day 1

Sorry this didn't post last night. I wrote it and assumed that it had posted, but it wasn't posted when I checked this morning. Here is the update:

We made it through Ford's second round of chemo today without major incident!!

This experience is obviously not my first choice of things to do if we could choose, but since we have to go through this, the HCI is a great place to be. I love the staff of nurses, doctors, and care personnel, especially in the infusion room. They take wonderful care of everyone that comes in for treatment as well as the family that comes along. They do a lot to make the patients comfortable and in helping them through this tough time. And when there is a problem, they do whatever is necessary to see that it is resolved in a timely manner. They are very hands-on and personable. If ever there is a question about treatment, there is no guessing or assuming. They work at a team with all involved. Everyone is very cheerful and upbeat.

We checked in at the infusion room and had blood drawn. Then we went back down the hall (a very long hall) to the clinic where we checked in to see the doctor. (Going to the infusion room first got us in line. It is a very busy place and sometimes there may be a wait of a half to full hour wait, depending on how many need treatments on a given day.) We spent more than normal time with the doctors reviewing what has happened and discussing what to do next, i.e. what we learned and what we will be doing differently. The decision was to change the pre-dose but leave the dose the same as regularly planned. The doctors seemed very happy that we were staying close and could come back early in the morning to be checked. They also put a BIG limit on his fluid intake. This is not going to be an easy adjustment.

Back at the infusion room, we were ushered right in to our seats. There was a little bit of a wait because the orders with the change of the pre-dosing had not made it through the system. Once the regular chemo drip started, Ford sailed right through. No reactions, no problems.

Today was the first day for me to give Ford his Lovenox injection. These have to be given at the same time each day and are given in the abdomen. The nurse in the infusion room that was attending to Ford today walked me right through it. She was great. This is another one of those things that wouldn't be at the top of my choice list, but we have many months ahead that Ford will need this done and today we got a good start.

The biggest pain that Ford felt today was in BYU's loss in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. He was very disgruntled, but found a comfortable position and fell asleep for a while. The pre-dose meds made that a bit easier. A lot of the staff are keeping up with March Madness and several of them and some patients were cheering for the Cougs. We are in the heart of Ute Country, so this was a little interesting. Tomorrow all eyes here will be on the Ute game.

The regular chemo took about 5 hours. We were told that since he did so well, the next round would only take about 3-3 1/2. They speed up the rate of the drip once they know it can be tolerated. From listening to what was going on around me, I gather that one drawback of the speeding up is that it has a potential of increasing side effects.

On the way out, Ford need to take a pit stop. The men's and women's bathrooms are side-by-side. All of a sudden there was a loud crash. It took everything I had not to open the door to the men's room and see if he was all right. I called Ford's name through the big, thick door, but there was not response. One of the nurses from the infusion room had been going down the hall and she came hurrying back asking if Ford had fallen. We both heard a bit of noise coming from the women's bathroom so she opened the door and asked if everything was okay. There was a woman with several children in there. One of the children had knocked a paper towel dispenser off the wall. WHEW! Ford came out oblivious to the activity. He knows how hypersensitive and hypervigilant I am and helped in reassuring me. Lots of deep breaths.

We've checked into the University Guest House on the U of U campus just around the corner from the hospital and we will see how everything goes tonight.

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