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3rd round of chemo (revisited)

24 June 17

This blog entry popped up on my FB memories and thought I would post it here….this was our second trip the Infusion clinic that is across from our home. Literally a 5 minute trip from front door to the clinic.
All three nurses that helped are no longer there,two transferred to the U of Michigan Cancer Center while one went to private practice. I still recall every kind gesture that was shown us during our time there and am always grateful for some very lovely and dedicated oncology nurses.

UMCC

Its 24 June 11

Whew…I go away for a second and all sorts of weird things happen….but the big news is that Lori completed her 3rd chemo with zero side effects other then a tiny bit of dizziness. Dr. Johnston called her a “rock star” after getting her labs back. Its a good sign that she is not only able to tolerate the chemo but to have as few issues as we have so far is remarkable! Course,I have to give credit to you folks here,your support and prayers have really made a huge difference! I am so grateful for all the love sent our way,it makes our life a lot easier. My wife’s co-workers have really stepped up as well,they are making sure the store looks great and while they took a beating in maintaining sales while she was out,they have really put the foot on the pedal and are making their sales goals,this takes a lot stress off my wife.

Sitting at the infusion clinic,you really get a chance to sit and observe how other people deal with thier illnesses. Some look scared,some watch TV,some talk to thier spouses and often,they sleep. My wife is a sleeper,me,I just sit back and read a book. And people watch.

The clinic is very well staffed with some of the best RNs this side of Rampart General. They’ll explain the steps of the chemo,the drugs used (and how a person’s weight is so important to treatment)…even get you a blanket. They also have a station in the back where you can get a muffin,bagel,coffee and/or juice. I generally fix Lori a bagel and a cup of coffee. I know its going to take 3.5 hours for the treatment to take place and while we do enjoy a light snack at home,we have that bagel just so she has something before lunch.

So about an hour into treatment,I see a pair of women come to the station next to me. The patient settles into her seat and the nurse starts talking to her while her friend heads to the snack station. I look up in time to see the friend come back,loaded to the gills with 4 muffins,4 Cokes and 4 juices. I groaned inward,that was going to a long treatment to be sure. The friend sat down,packed her purse and waited. 5 minutes later the nurse comes back,injects her with a shot and says “We’ll see you next time” and that was it. So for a 5-6 minute treatment,they put a healthy dent into the snack area. I don’t know,maybe I am being anal (and please,call me out on it if I am) but I don’t understand the need to take that many snacks for such a little thing with there are patients who’ll be there for HOURS! Oh well….

About half way into the chemo,the same station was filled again,this time by a 53 year old man who had a double lung transplant. Sadly the body seems to want to reject them as his breathing capacity went fron 80% down to 20% in just 3 months. He was there to take a steroid and his lungs seemed to be doing much better but you could tell by the way he talked to the nurse,he was nervous about his future.

I just continued to read my book until it was time to go…as we were to go home,I stopped,went back,shook his hand and wished him well. There are a lot of brave fighters out there,thats for sure!

 

As we headed to CJ’s Brewing Company in Plymouth for lunch,we started talking about our town’s Liberty Fest this past weekend. Liberty Fest happens every June in our town,its like a fair except the city leaders don’t call it that. It attracts huge crowds and the fireworks is a highlight to see,more so now that many towns just don’t have the coin to have a show.

But what attracted us was the moving Vietnam Veteran’s Wall and the Marine Silent Drilling Platoon.

The show was this past Sunday (our 7th wedding anniverary) so when Lori got home,we headed on over.

We got excellent parking for such a big event and walked over to the area where the Wall was. Now we have seen the real Wall when we went to D.C. a few years back but were stilled moved by the site of so many of our fallen. And the fact pretty soon a new Wall will go up for the fallen in Iraq and Afganistan.

As we walked the Wall,you could hear a man call the name of a Michigan soldier who had died in Vietnam…after the name was read,a bell was rung.

They had some nice displays up of a combat jeep and a typically outfitted infantryman. We bought a t-shirt to support the veteran’s group and got good seats to watch the Marines Silent Platoon. The Silent Platoon does a series of highly skilled drills in complete silence. All you hear is the sound of thier carbines,the swat of a hand on a uniform. No drill sargent for these guys. It was pretty amazing to watch them drill without making a single sound.

Sad to hear about Ryan Dunn of Jackass who killed his friend and himself by being DUI and driving 140 mph on a Pennsylvania freeway. Now I have driven on the turnpike stone cold sober and it was a challenge but to to be that wasted and driving 140 mph? You would have to be a total jackass to do such a thing. And to sit and watch what happened to Steve-O and his fight for soberiety and STILL continue to drink and drive??? Just a shame Dunn had to take another’s life with him to celebrate how stupid he really was….

Drinking and driving…..just not worth it.

In which brings me in closing to this bit of timing….I recently recieved a anthology of horror stories by one of my friends on here,Joan Hartenstine-Lemon called “Night Shade”. This is her first effort and I was pleasantly pleased to find myself really liking it. Joan,who lives in Pennsylvania,has written a great story called ‘A Letter From Bill” in which a  young modern  postal worker gets a weird letter addressed to Alcohol Beverage Control of New York warning about the evil of drinking and how it affects lives,both good and in a terribly sad way.  The author of the letter…well lets just say he knows a LOT of the issue.

Its a terrific story and in the light of Ryan Dunn’s passing couldn’t be better timing.

 

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