Its 7:20 pm on Thursday
Its a chilly night here in SE Michigan...its around 40 degrees and feels like winter except just like last year,there really has been no real weather to speak of. We had one day of decent rain and last Saturday we spotted our first snowflakes,which I could count on two hands.
First off,my biggest fear about undergoing a second round of chemo is coming true. This has been far worse then what Lori went through the first time around. And we are meeting new "friends" that we hadn't met before.
Monday saw us at the local UM infusion clinic for the first time. This is where we went for the last 5 treatments in the first go around and with a little luck,this will be the last go around. She checked in at 9:30 for labs and I joined her at 10:15 am in time for the chemo treatment. The room was pretty full and our favorite nurse Mel (Melanie) was able to not only steer Lori into her section but also place her by the bathroom. This is nice because at having so much liquids pumped into a person,a close bathroom is a must!
The treatment went by nice and slow,Lori slept once she got her heated blanket and I continued to try and slog through my Martha Grimes mystery novel.
But I had to work at 4 pm so I had to leave at 2:30pm in order to get ready,Mel said that Lori would be home at 3 pm....3 pm arrives and still no Lori. I knew she had one more I.V. drip to go and maybe they were running a little behind but I had to leave for work so I did.
During my break I was able to call home and Lori was there...she was upset because she had a bad reaction to the chemo. Simply put,she didn't a good breakfast and the chemo upset her stomach so much that she had to vomit. Her blood pressure also spiked high and after slowing the I.V. down,she was able to finish the treatment and get home at 5:30 pm!! Needless to say,I was pretty worried at first but Mel explained that a chemo patient has to eat a good meal before coming in. The clinic has muffins/bagels but those are mostly for the caretakers and not the patients.
I wrote in a earlier entry about how we ended up at Oakwood Hospital because of a unrinary tract infection. Well Lori shared that with Dr. Johnston,including the mucus discharge. Dr. J said that was actually normal and not to worry too much,some things just have to be allowed to run their course.
But this week Lori had a hard time in the bathroom,cancer patients often has this problem,this is why they are given stool softeners . This happened the first time as well. but despite going through this doesn't make it any easier.
To help her system out,she also took Mulax...which opened her up in a big way. Good news,yes? Not all of a sudden that discharge is now looking like her poo. This was very alarming and once again we call the UM and explain was going on. Now we know....its called a "fistula in ano". Basically its a fissure between the rectum and the vagina. It causes fecal matter to come out both the rectum and vagina. Her radiation had weakened the area there and add the constipation,it caused the fistula.
We will be getting a MRI scheduled where as they'll shoot a dye to track the fissure and schedule a small surgery to try and fix this problem.
The condition is very painful as it totally irritates the tissue around the vagina. To help out,I had to install a new portable showerhead to help keep the area clean.
Today has been very quiet,we were going to try and set up Christmas today but she has been too weak,she has almost no energy to speak of. The good news (I know,about time,right?) has been that the Nulasta shot aftereffects have been much better then last time because of a tip Mel gave us....to take a Benedryl BEFORE the shot. This has really helped as far as the pain goes but as far as the energy go....its just not happening.
I brought down our two little trees only to find that one of the leg stands is AWOL. I have to tell you,this has not been my favorite week! Got one tree plugged in but will have to wait til tomorrow to see if she has enough steam to decorate,otherwise,I will have her direct me. Lord have mercy!
Saturday saw us doing some Christmas shopping,Macy's was having a 1 day sale and since we had some great coupons,we went there first. The little Westland Mall was booming and that included Macy's. People were everywhere and they were really shopping hard! Its been a while since we have really seen this kind of activity,there were lines at every register!
We shopped for Lori's folks,her aunt Emma and neice Carol. We also shopped for our neighbor Marlene as we got her a killer chafing dish for great price. We ate lunch at the Lakeshore and noticed that the gourmet foods were also on sale for 50%. As we were looking the clerk said that certain items were off 70% as well...as in a bag of 11.00 coffee was on sale for 5.50 and then take ANOTHER 70% off that plus our coupon....we got 4 bags of great coffee for a buck a bag! Also picked up some Maurice salad dressing and some honey glaze for 3.00 a jar...just an incredible bargain to find. Very grateful to the clerk for sharing the sale with us. When cash is tight its cool to be able to get some great deals,especially at a place like Macy's!
But the Force was still strong with us (thanks to fellow cancer fighter and Jedi Master Sean!). We saw that a local supermarket chain called Busch's was having a good sale on meat and we need some items for the deep freezer. We stopped at the Livonia store....but was told it was the Plymouth store who was having the sale as they had remodeled the store and were having a re-grand opening. That store was only 10 minutes away and so we headed there.
Just like the mall,the store was packed with shoppers. Busch's had done it up right with some great deals,sample tables and drawings for huge gift baskets. They had plenty of staff to help guests and everyone was very cheerful. We poked around and got some items and met Norton the Penguin who walking around handing out popsicles.
We filled out a card apiece for the many baskets there offered as prizes and then headed up to the check-out line. As we did so,a man grabbed my shoulder and said "Stay here,I'm going to give away a pasta strainer pot and you'll have a chance to win. But I need a big crowd." So hey,what the hell,right?
Soon he had gathered a nice crowd and grabbed a box. He said he was going to write a number between 1-25 on the box and whoever guessed it first would win...I told Lori to guess 12 and I would guess 25....not only Christmas numbers but also Lori's momma's birthday. We then started yelling out numbers....and the man pointed at Lori and 3 other people who had shouted "12".
He then said he was going to do a tie breaker by writing a number between 1-10. Now while I didn't SEE him write the number,I could see by how his hand moved what he wrote and I yelled "3".
And that was that.....we had won the pasta strainer bowl!.
We walked outside and saw the first snowflake of the season....and then we headed home.
Sunday morning...I was at work when Busch's called the house...Lori had won one of the gift baskets! How cool was that?
Its 2:00 pm on Friday
Lori is feeling a little better compared to yesterday but is still feeling very crappy. I set up our little Christmas tree and brought up the decrorations . And that is the extent of what I'm allowed to do..she enjoys fixing up the house by herself. Don't know how much energy she'll have but I know she'll give it her all.
Yesterday was a complete washout for us...I insisted she rest and take it easy. I don't know how she thinks she will be able to go to work feeling like this and having to deal with the fistula-in-ano.
I canceled the trip we were hoping to make to Eastern Market in Detroit,just feel that would be really pushing the limits of her health as of now.
Am going to try and get out to a movie tonight....but again,just not quite sure if that is a good idea or not.
Just read that Hostess and their union can't agree to a new deal and that Hostess will be forced to shutdown. Wow....once again the union workers are showing just how stupid and clueless they are. Instead of taking a pay cut,they rather lose thier whole damn company. So now 18,000 workers are going to lose everything in the middle of the holidays and winter. I can't wait til they try and find another job...good luck with that,especially now in this new underemployed normal we are being forced to adjust to. The old days of striking and forcing companies to increase pay and benefits are long gone and if these 18,000 haven't been paying attention to what has been going on....they're going to find out the hard way.
That said....we picked up a couple of Ding Dongs for the freezer....
Well,that is all I have time for,need to head to the bank and pick up some plumber's tape. Hope whoever dropped by and read this has a great day and leaves a comment or three. Its nice signing in and seeing that someone did take the time to do so.