Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Can You BELIEVE I Got in Trouble at Chemo???

It is TRUE!

I am such a ditz when it comes to clinics, hospitals, doctor's offices and, actually, most EVERYwhere!

We arrived early to Dr. Keefer's office this morning.  Jerry was called into the lab right away where they took blood.  About 15 minutes later we went in to see Dr. Keefer.  Dr. Keefer was as nice as if he was Jerry's brother.  He and Jerry talked about OU/OSU and some other football teams whose names flew out of my brain before they even entered it.

Dr. Keefer explained to Jerry about the drugs and what they would do.  He brought up Jerry's PET Scan on his computer and went through it with Jerry standing right next to him.  He told Jerry his blood count was 150 million -- or something like that -- and said that wasn't unusual for a spleenless guy.  Then he dismissed us to go up one floor to the Oncology Infusion Room (OIR).

We arrived at the OIR where we sat in the waiting room for a bit.  Then we were called back.  There were only one or two people back there at that time in one of the many 4-seat sections located therein.  A nurse named Paula took us to a section of 4 chairs that had nobody in it.  I was DELIGHTED, of course, because I decided I could just MOVE IN.

HA HA HA!!!  In about an hour, every single chair in the whole room was inhabited.  I could NOT believe all those people had cancer!

BUT -- BEFORE all those people got there, I was pretty much alone in our cubicle of 4 recliners.  I had brought something to do so I wouldn't drive everyone there completely nuts because I can't sit still or stay quiet for five minutes.  I had brought the lap top for Jerry.  I brought my Ipad.  I brought snacks and paper and pens and ear phones and tissues and even a lap desk.  I brought 3 pair of jewelry pliers and 2 baggies of sterling silver and gold rings to make bracelets while I was there.

When they sat Jerry in his chair I noticed immediately that there were these silver trays on wheels all over the place.  I thought, "HOW NICE of them to have these trays for us to use.  I won't have to use that lap desk."

I walked over to one of the silver trays -- rolled it right over in front of my side chair -- and I put a styrofoam cup of ice and water on it that I had helped myself to as well as my Ipad.

In a minute Paula left, and Joyce -- another nurse -- arrived.  She saw that I was using the silver tray and

while pulling it away from me,

she announced,

"MAAAAM!, YOU CAN'T USE THAT!  You have no idea WHAT could be ON that tray!!!"

As she was rolling it away from me, I grabbed my Ipad and my cup from it.

THEN I remembered that I had handed Jerry that cup -- off that tray -- to use to swallow a pill with.  I remembered learning at Chemo School that he wasn't to dare touch a carrot or an apple or any vegetable because it could have a germ on it!

I thought, "OH, NO!!!!  I have just infected my husband with God-Knows-WHAT from that tray that Nurse Joyce was wiping off with some kind of sanitary wipe she had gotten out of a large bottle next to a sink.  She wiped the tray with the cloth and walked off.

My LIGHTNING FAST MIND decided to rush over to that bottle -- grab a disinfectant wipe from it -- and rush over to wash all the germs off Jerry's hand from the styrofoam cup he had been holding that had been lifted from God-Knows-WHAT germs from the silver tray on wheels.

WOULDN'T YOU KNOW that when I went to pull ONE wipe out of the bottle, half a dozen pulled out!  I tried to tear just one off, but it wouldn't tear.  I tried to stuff the extra ones back in the bottle, but they wouldn't go.

THEN along came Nurse Joyce again.

"MAAAAAAAAAAAM!, YOU CAN'T TOUCH THOSE!  THEY AREN'T FOR YOU!"  She pulled my hand away and kind of shoved me back over to my corner.

I said, "But, but, but ..............  My husband's hand touched that cup and it touched that tray and he isn't supposed to touch VEGETABLES!!!"

She looked at me like I was going to be her worst nightmare today, and pointed to the squirt-foam on the wall behind Jerry's chair and told me to use it.  I did.

So THAT is how the day started.

Fortunately, it got better from there on.

I got out my little lap desk and used it for my supplies.

There was a small countertop height ledge next to us, and I was able to put my cup of water up there.  Jerry popped up the footrest on his recliner, and I was able to share that with him.

I looked around to see if there were any plug-ins nearby that I could possibly plug a sewing machine into, but there weren't any.


Jerry was VERY comfortable, and he SHOULD have been since he had taken a handful of drugs before getting there, and they had pumped several into him for nausea and other things.  He went to sleep right away as the first bag of drugs was dripped into the port in his chest.  The port site was not uncomfortable at all.

We were there from 9:00 this morning until 3:30 this afternoon.  Jerry left the chair only once with the drugs on wheels to go to the restroom.

He watched TV for a short while using headphones that kept others from hearing the sound.  WONDERFUL, as I hate most of what is on TV in the daytime.  He was watching the business channel about the Stock Market.  He likes that.

When I returned from lunch in the hospital cafeteria, Nurse Joyce came over with a syringe full of bright red fluid.

She said, THIS is the BIG DEAL.  We call it "The Red Devil".

I asked if it was the one that made hair fall out.  She said it was.

I asked her if I could take a picture of it, and she actually posed it for me:

She brought Jerry a cup of ice chips and told him he needed to chew on them the whole time this was going into his body or his mouth could get sores in it.  LOVELY!

The pain pills from this morning wore off after noon, and Jerry was awake and alert and felt fine.  He swallowed FIVE pills of some kind of steroid this morning.  That and this Red Devil stuff has stopped the pain in his back.  He hasn't had a pain pill since this morning.  He had been taking one every 3 hours!

Praise the Lord!!!!!

He is at his desk working now.  He looks great and feels great.  Deanna brought him deviled eggs last night because those are his favorite, so he ate FIVE of those when he got home.  He just asked if he could have a Protein drink before dinner.  SURE!  We need to fatten him up.


As I said, this room was PACKED with people today -- all having Chemo treatments for cancer.  MANY of them were way overweight -- maybe 300 pounds or more.  Some of them looked thin, but not TOO thin.  I didn't see any of them that looked horribly weak.  Many were bald.  All were in good moods and friendly.  It was encouraging.

I've gotta run.  Time to get some of MY work done.  Goodness!  Candi is going to fire me if I don't get my paperwork caught up.  I have bills to pay, and numbers to post, and papers to file, and on and on and on....

Phylly is coming over Saturday for a play day.  Right now, there isn't room for a gnat's tail on my sewing table, so I need to clean it off.

Stay tuned.  We go back tomorrow for some shot that spleenless people have to have.

Hugs, Joy


  1. Please be sure to take care of yourself during this time. You have a tremendous amount on your plate. My heart and prayers are with you.

  2. I will, Rhonda. I slept really good last night after falling into bed at 8 PM. I was up at 5 this morning, but I am feeling good. I didn't sleep much at all the night before. I'm always so worried I won't wake up in time when I have an early morning appointment. Nuts, I know. Keep waiting for you to pull MY name out of the hat. (-:
    Hugs, Joy

  3. Good luck to you and Jerry. I went through similar with my husband. He was the one who kept them laughing in the chemo room! Rhonda is right though. It wears you down. Keep eating well, sleeping well, and sewing!

    1. Hi Carole!
      We are very fortunate that Jerry's chemo treatments are 3 WEEKS apart. We talked to people that had to go every day, and others that had to go once a week. So nice to hear from you. Merry Christmas! Hugs, Joy

  4. Your day at OIR was way too funny! I thought about you several times yesterday. I'm going through my normal-for-me-every-year-Christmas-panic time. I do it to myself...every single year!!! So yesterday I thought about you, everything you and Jerry are going through, all YOU have to do, yet you make time to get everything done, including blogging. You are my inspiration, so thank you!!! Have a blessed Christmas!!!

    1. LOL Judi! I have been able to do this with NO PILLS for anxiety. I thank God that I am ABLE to do all that needs to be done. Being in the Medical Equipment business, Jerry has seen many people in MUCH WORSE circumstances. Every day is a brand new day, and I just start over. Fortunately, Jerry doesn't have any more appointments until January.
      Hugs, Joy


TO COMMENT: Scroll down a bit and find the word "comments". It may have a number in front of it. Click on it, and you will be able to leave a somment. I realize you have to choose Google, Facebook or Anonymous or ? to post a comment. If you choose "Anonymous", you will be able to post a comment, but please leave your first name in your comment so I know you aren't a machine.

I do enjoy receiving comments, especially, when they are to answer my questions!

Hugs, Joy