All Tuesday night there were numerous interruptions, someone came in about every 30 minutes, then around 7am Wednesday a crew arrived to take Maggie to her procedure. There were five of us walking together down the hall, riding in elevators, and rolling across a sky bridge above the 2nd floor atrium. It felt like a parade. I joked about this with one of the nurses in our group. She said we should have candy to throw. I thought we should be tossing beads. Occasionally, we passed another similar parade going in the opposite direction. The walls may be pretty wide apart, but two rolling beds with at least two infusion hangers per bed is a lot of equipment to negotiate around another similar group headed in the opposite direction.
Maggie got her pain Thursday the afternoon and as a result is now receiving Fentynol.
She had a lot of back pain, and had to remain lying still until about 11:30 pm Wednesday night. She thought that she would feel better after she got up and moved around, but the pain continued to be a problem. Then the nausea got started on Thursday morning. She lost her breakfast, had minestrone soup for lunch and skipped dinner. After many visits from nurses, physician assistants and calls to doctors, it looks like she found the right balance of Fentynol (for pain) and Phenergrin (for nausea). The back pain continues to be the most noticeable problem. The hospital gave her a heating pad that is a 11 x 18 inch water circulating pad, but the temperature is not warm enough. I soaked a large towel in hot water and laid it on her back. That gave her some relief. She has also had persistent chest pain behind the sternum. The chemo into the liver did induce some temporary cold sensitively which is now less noticeable. She has continued to drink warm tea and loves her hot cocoa.
The volunteers here at MD Anderson are a wonderful group. Everyday a volunteer dropped by Maggie’s room to offer some type of free service or information. Thursday they brought by a rolling holiday party complete with a boom box belting out holiday tunes, and handed out Santa hats, jingle bells and candy canes. We’re discovering there is lots of free stuff here, too. We checked out the hair salon in the basement floor and found they have wig services, which look like they may be complimentary for cancer patients. There is a DVD library and lots of novels available, and they hand out craft kits. Just about every waiting room has a large scenic puzzle under construction. Hot coffee and tea can be found in many staff and family lounges, always ready and always free.
The best news is that they are letting Maggie out Saturday (tomorrow)! Maggie has really missed Chris. It’s been a long time to be away from each other. I feel the same way about my guy, Bob.
Today, Maggie and I watched a DVD, Hairspray; and each of us painted three pictures using acrylics that Bob sent along for Maggie’s amusement. The first day we were here I hung a string of LED Christmas lights around the picture of palm trees opposite the foot of Maggie’s bed. Everyone who came to provide services thought it looked very festive.