Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Downed Chemo Cocktail #2 (halfway through round 1 and still livin' on a prayer)

Dave here, filling in for Julie. She calls them chemo cocktails. I call them mis-treatments.

I took Julie to her second chemo mis-treatment today. This time her mom came, too. I think we know the drill now. About an hour before the appointment we put some numbing cream on the skin over the port and cover it with cling wrap. When we get to the office, first they take her vitals and stick her finger to draw some blood for a blood test. They have to make sure her blood counts, etc., are up to snuff for the chemo. Today the blood flowed slowly and she told the tech she blames them for taking wine away, which could act as a blood thinner.

Next we meet with the oncologist, Dr. Lower, who is excellent. She gives Julie an exam, reviews the blood counts, finds out how Julie has been and answers questions. This time she told Julie she could have a little wine later in the week, consistent with the Apostle Paul's teaching. Then we go upstairs and Julie sits in a plastic recliner and gets hooked up. Today we sat in a big room with a dozen other people getting mis-treated. Julie was nervous going in today and looking forward to getting the ativan to calm her nerves. Unfortunately they were out of ativan today (Julie said, "Figures."), which only added to her stress. But we had a wonderful nurse name Jennifer who did an excellent job sticking the needle into the port and pushing the meds in. So it actually went pretty well, and Julie did great. She even managed to read a chapter of Emma, which is the next book she is covering in her British Lit class that she teaches at our co-op. Julie's mom read the paper and I got a little work done.

The whole thing from start to finish took about 4 hours. We got home just in time for a delicious dinner with some good friends who had prepared it. This month the co-op is providing dinners for us during chemo weeks. This has been a real blessing - in fact, we don't know how we would manage otherwise. Julie has always cooked the meals for us and it puts a real kink in the system when she is out of commission. So "Thank You!" to all who have been sending meals, from the co-op and others. Bless you.

After dinner Julie went up to sleep off the chemo as much as possible; all the anti-nausea meds make her really tired. I'm not sure what I was sleeping off, but I joined her. I set the alarm for midnight to wake us up so she could take her next round of anti-nausea meds, which seem to be keeping things at bay today, and God-willing we won't fall behind and things will continue to go smoothly. She has a white blood cell shot tomorrow at noon. And we'll all be getting flu shots in the next couple weeks.

In other news, Julie's hair seems to be falling like rain, not in clumps, but one by one. Mikey noticed it first on her shirt this morning and I noticed it on the pillow. And then Amanda had a little too much fun running her fingers through her hair collecting loose strands. You still can't really tell by looking at her, but the thinning has begun. We'll see what tomorrow brings. We may be running out to get a razor.

We haven't named the port yet (these things take time), but we will post all the entries so far and make a decision soon. So stayed tuned. And if there are any other entries, you better get them in.

Thank you all for your love and support. Please continue to lift up Julie in prayer.

Blessings,
Dave

4 comments:

julieunplugged said...

Blessings on all of the Evans who are brave, optimistic, loving and kind to each other. I admire you all and count it a privilege to be a part of this journey with you.

Peace!

Matt said...

waaaaaait a minute whats this "we'll ALL be getting flu shots" thing??? i dont need no stinking shot! =p im immune to the flu...and the needle would break at contact to my skin..so..best just forget that silly idea =p
silly dad

Anonymous said...

My heart just aches that you are having to go through this. Keep your chin up and just know there will be an end to these mis treatments. Quimby can testify to that.
Love you
Carol

Julie Evans said...

Quimby is my hero.