Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hiccup Day

Round one day two

At least they smile at you when they are giving you poison! Posted by Hello
AKA Hiccup day.

The first noticeable side effect: hiccups. Frank never gets them, had them twice before we arrived at 8:30am. Turns out the nurses are prepared. Got a problem, they got a solution. script was written (Frank would want me to tell you that it is Baclofen*--click for side effects), sent to the Dr. to sign and within the hour he had two more rounds of the hics (not the red-neck type) and some medicine to help control them. The in house pharmacy filled them while he was getting saturated (saline). He was up and down and up and down to pee several times. Did we mention they give him saline? Did we mention that this is a good thing? If he weren’t going so often they’d put him on something to make him pee. Self starters have to take less meds.

He got a window seat near a plug so as to use the 'puter to watch a movie. We're switching off on plug time on the 'puters and I've been trying to get picture posting understood so as to share here later. Too bad there isn't a hot spot in the chemo room. Perhaps it would interfere with the pumps, or the chemicals. Who knows. Maybe it’s just a generational thing.

As far as ages go Frank is pretty young in the room, the generation most likely to get chemo is not yet (and unfortunately I do mean not yet) the one that will expect to be able to be wired wirelessly wherever they go.

One thing I realized yesterday morning during chemo teach. Some of these people are very sick. Not well enough to get port a caths or central lines. Every treatment is on an “if you are well enough and we can find a vein” basis. Frank's not yet been sick, he may have (OK will have) days ahead that are going to be bad. But he will get better. Others will not, by virtue of age or disease or combination there of. 35 years ago men died from what Frank has. His chances are in the 95%. I've told him that given the uniqueness of this disease and his ability to be unique as he walks through life that his uniqueness with this disease must end here. In the back of my mind I know that someone has to fall w/in the 5% range. I am determined for it not to be him.

Mid morning a TC survivor from the area came by to talk with Frank and the other young guy in the room w/ TC. It is always good to talk with someone who has been there. Thanks for stopping by.

I am also acutely aware that we are approaching our current situation from the perspective of the upper middle class. Translation: We are smart people; masters degrees. Frank is, as those who know him, frightenly brilliant. He knows where to go for information and support; the links are just a few of the places he’s found. We have been gathering as much information as possible so we can “understand” this thing in our brains. But just because we have brains full of a lot of carp (my new word for the day, I mean to type crap, but carp comes out of my fingers and just seems so apropos) doesn’t mean we always KNOW the right way to be. Nevertheless, our brains tell us that the more we know the better we are.

That is not always so….When Mom (AKA the titanium woman) had back surgery 14 months ago a former back surgery patient told her to not spend too much time dwelling on how bad it was going to get. Yes it will be bad, but why try to imagine it? You never imagine exactly how it will go and why would you want to go through it more than once? Wise words.

In the same breath I can say that it still doesn’t stop our human nature wanting to know exactly what to expect so we can be fully prepared. (Also another reason taking with survivors and swapping stories is good.)

So but our brains together with our human nature and that means that we can have a tendency to push emoting (feelings that is) aside until it finally overcomes us. So don't let all of our heady-ness fool you. It is just easier to write about the facts not the feelings of what is happening here. Even though you may not have been present to see it, we have been in tears (me more so than Frank, but I am very proudly the reigning queen of "sap" and my crown is permanently attached to my head…a tiara if you will), and will have our share of tears yet to come.

At the same time we are not feeling sorry for ourselves. Life is happening and we are dealing with it. There is a good outcome at the end of this journey. We will not let go of each other. AND we are eternally grateful for the wide web of people who are hold us close all the time and closer now that we are in the middle of a crisis.

It is just after 5 pm, today’s chemo took from 8:30am until 1:45pm. We went for lunch at Bob Evans; he was craving chicken fried something. Then he had me take him into the office for an hour or so. (When the inmates run the asylum the caretakers have to do their bidding.) Then I was the crazy one and took him to the grocery store. He was sent on small tasks as I whisked through the isles. Good thing Mom taught me how to shop with a list in my head, mapping out the store so as to maximize my time. Presently he his sleeping and I am getting ready to go to church for 3 meetings that are happening simultaneously. I’ve not master being in three places at a time, but should I come across the technology, rest assured I will make a ton of money marketing it.

The minutiae of this may be tedious, but thank you for visiting our world. We’re keeping this journal just as much for ourselves for posterity and as a way to let you who care about us know what is going on. Again, thanks to all who are posting comments and emailing us directly.

The Rev.


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Anonymous said...

Hey there guys...didn't sign in or create an account, so I'm posting annonymously...AKA mother of the giver of balls...

Seems to me that I'd rather have hiccups than all of the side effects from the anti-hic medication. I'm sure you will be thinking that a lot in days to come!

I'm proud of both of you for being so strong, yet vulnerable throughout this challenge. You will be the better for having come through this together! We are with you, too...so don't forget that you have shoulders to cry on, or places to vent...or people to watch Tom Green videos with you!!

Love to you both!

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's the chemo not the bubalicious or what ever. Baclofen, good stuff, Titainum woman was on that for a while, giver of hats was pleased with the results, even if she wasn't.

Mother of giver of balls should have more patience when dealing with these new fangled kom-put-ers.

Keep on keepin on....

Andrew Molenda said...

I forgot about the hiccups, those really do suck. You are right about the age difference. I was/am usually the youngest person in treatment. I bought a gameboy last year when I found out how long the chemo treatments took. I think by the 2nd or 3rd cycle I just slept through it all except for the occasional mad dash for the restroom.

Anonymous said...

If Sarah is the Queen of Sap...I'm the Queen of Hiccups! Got them when I was in the womb...it freaked my mom out, having her tummy jumping like that. The only thing that works for me (and whether it will work for drug-induced hiccups, I don't know) is drink a big drink of water and then hold your breath as long as you can. That, or Sarah ask Frank to hiccup for you on command...that's how my 3rd grade teacher always stopped us from hiccupping so we couldn't go get a drink. :( But she was a good teacher, and I've used it a few times with students and it mostly works, too. Didn't sign in...it's JoAnna...love to you both!!!