Merry Christmas to you all! And thank you so much for being a part of our lives, even if we’ve never met before. Maggie and I are happy that we’ve been given this time to be together, create more memories, and just live.
Last year right about this time things started getting pretty hairy for us. Little did we know we were just at the start of real, gen-u-ine adventure! And what an amazing adventure it’s been!
Friday’s Spa visit went fine. Dr. Loukas is ready to schedule our next CT/PET scan to verify that the new FOLFOX treatment is doing its job. However, given end of January visit to MD Anderson and the challenge that Humana has continued to be about paying for necessary scans, he will not likely schedule one and, instead, use the one performed at MDA. However, Dr. Loukas insists that the scanner at Austin Radiological downstairs from his office is much better calibrated than the one at MDA.
After treatment was complete, Maggie took an unusual route (especially judging from the reactions of the staff at The Spa) – she chose to not connect the pump (“You can do that?” they said. It was funny.) Later that evening was the Wenholz First Annual Christmas* Party and she really didn’t want to haul around her Chemo Buddy. The wine glass stem tends to get hung up in the medicine line. So we told them we’d be back Saturday morning to get all connected up, right proper. We’d also pick up the Neulasta shot and her Aloxi (intravenous nausea medicine.)
* Yeah, I said “Christmas” party, not “holiday” party. If you have a problem with that, well, God bless your politically-correct heart.
The Wenholz Christmas party was a hoot! All the usual suspects from Maggie’s office were there. I personally was proud of the way I represented the Weaver clan – I fell asleep on the stairs somewhere around 10:30PM. But Maggie raged on. We had a really good time.
Saturday morning was a little rough, though. We grabbed some pre-chemo koloches and then sat in the Spa for a pretty long time while they juggled too many patients for too few nurses. We had taken the quickest route to the most convenient seat just to stop walking and were blessed to sit beside a very chatty guy finishing up his treatment. We had a very nice conversation the gentleman who was having his second round of lung cancer. He was probably a little older than me, maybe 42. Nice guy.
We finally got all hooked up with the Chemo Buddy, assembled our travel pack of heparin, saline flushes, alcohol wipes and were nearly out the door…. All except our Aloxi, an important nausea medicine that Maggie gets when they unhook her Chemo Buddy. They weren’t too keen on sending that home with us, for some reason. Since we’d be in San Angelo on D-Day (Disconnect Day) that was a wee bit of an issue. But I wrote down all the info about dosage, how it was to be given, and we headed home. The rest of the day was sleeping. LOTS of sleeping.
Flash to yesterday and time to get the Chemo Buddy disconnected. Aunt Sara was kind enough to help by acquiring and preparing the appropriate dosage of Aloxi. She even found the magic guy who knew exactly what to do with it. He seemed a bit nervous about the whole mess unlike me, the rock.. But when I said “I know the flushing and disconnecting part. What part do you know?,” he visibly relaxed. “I know the rest” he answered with a slightly hidden smile.
So, together, we made the medical magic happen. He helped deliver the Aloxi properly, following proper protocol and sterile procedures. I then flushed, disconnected and finished it up with one in-the-arm Neulasta shot. All of it went flawlessly, like an example straight out of medical school training. Other than when I squirting about $2,000 of Neulasta partially on Aunt Sara’s shelves, the floor, and a little on my face. I did get at least two or three drops onto the napkin I had actually planned to use. Oh, and so as to immortalize the comedy here in writing for the world to read, while very, very carefully pushing the excess air out of the saline flush, I squirted myself right in the face. This was right after I did the whole one-handed juggle of the syringe while swearing loudly, finally grabbing it mid-air from a free-fall toward the floor. I was just a shining example of medical safety. I should have spit on her port-o-cath just to seal the deal.
Apparently, after all was said and done, I was visibly shaken. Aunt Sara suggested I should probably try to breathe. Timeless advice I’ll try to remember.