It has been so crazy in our house for so long that I can’t remember the last time we spent the day relaxing without feeling that I should be doing something else. Today that day has come, and it feels awesome. Since I’m not home, there are no additional chores, errands or projects to tackle. So this little Lymphoma Love nest we’re in right now is great! There were only 2 items on today’s agenda and they were both simple. Two Neupogen injections for the big guy, and he actually drove himself to the 8 am visit. He was back by 8:20 and that included time to get his dressing changed from yesterday.
I think the little 3 AM false alarm pseudo-fire drill here at Hope Lodge this morning was a blessing in disguise for me. My knee has been messed up for months. I’ve been limping around with ace bandages, ice packs and assorted stinking balms on my leg for so long that I plan my wardrobe and perfume around the knee. My co-worker Tracy has called me Hop Along. Steven has a million pantomimed impressions of my gait which always gets the same, “Screw you” response from me. (I hate it when Cancer boy appears fitter than me!) And I have a dozen shocking explanations of cause that range from “mud wrestling injury” to “falling off the trapeze” for clients who ask why I’m a gimp!
I got a cortisone shot a little over 2 weeks ago that helped half of my knee, but without resting it at all, I saw little hope for recovery. So I begged for a second shot before we came here. I got it with the warning that an MRI would be the next step and there could be some arthroscopic surgery in my future. So even with the packing and unpacking, I’ve been letting Steven do a lot more now, while he’s feeling good. I want to be better for when he really needs me to do everything for him.
Last night’s fire fake out was a game changer. When the alarm started blaring and the lights started flashing right over the bed, I jumped up ready to move. I made Steven get up and put shoes on, I grabbed a blanket in case he got cold and headed for the door. I know from fires! Once I was having breakfast in a third floor walk up while it was burning down, and I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by a neighbor yelling “FIRE” on the 18th floor of an apartment. Luckily that just turned out to be a smoked filled hall from a drunk cooking bacon a 2 am. I know from fires!
So after we opened the door to leave, I kinda knew that this was a false alarm. There was no activity, no sirens, nothing. That’s not how real fires work. So yada, yada, yada…it was an alarm malfunction in a vacant suite. Case closed. Until I sat back down on the bed. I was in the middle of saying to Steven, “I can’t believe how well my knee did in an emergency…” when I realized it was adrenaline that did well. My knee…not so much. The pain was worse than it has ever been and I couldn’t get up. Steven gave me a half of one of his super-duper oncologist prescribed pain killers, which was like a shot of heroin to a nubie like me. I remember him saying he was taking himself to the morning appointment and that I should stay off my leg…and then he was coming home from getting his shot!
I think yesterday’s surgery was more exhausting to him than he really knew. His twilight induced state came from a cocktail of Fentanyl and Versed. The nurse told us that most people don’t remember anything about the procedure after the drugs, even though they are awake. “The surgeon needs that state in case he has to have the patient turn his head or anything,” she said. I thought that was a little weird until I saw the cut on his neck. The cut on his chest is where the port presents itself for use, the slit on his neck is from the insertion which is looped it back down towards his heart. It sounds like the way you put a cord through the waist band of a pair of sweat pants, but as usual I’m over simplifying so I don’t puke…same reason I’m adding a drawing of the incision. Photos are really gross!
Steven told us he was aware of everything during the surgery yesterday in recovery. He remembered talking to the doctor during the procedure and everything that went on. He remembered…yesterday. Today, I thought I’d get some deets for my homies and he can’t remember Jack Squat about any of it. So, if you want to do the research so you too can sport the new spring look of a Trifusion Catheter …here you go! And it you want specifics on the procedure I can tell you that it only took about 20 minutes, according to the doctor. If you must, I’m pretty sure you can You Tube it. The most important thing for the caregiver to know is that Steven was perfectly alert when they brought me back to him and he was ready to leave after another check of his vitals. He dressed himself and even though they transported him up to the 7th floor transplant floor in a wheelchair, the aide let him take a seat upon arrival and took the wheel chair back to the surgical floor.
We were about done with the morning festivities. Steven got his morning Neupogen injection. Then the chemo nurse gave us a full run down on the new port, gave us a home emergency kit and instructions of what to do if he springs a leak and then we were done. He slept quite a bit yesterday which wasn’t surprising since he had trouble sleeping the night before. So after an early lunch and a healthy nap, we lounged a bit, and then headed for the evening injection. We picked up some dinner and then back upstairs. I could see yesterday the he was losing speed. Not in a bad way, just tired. So even though the catheter looks extra terrestrial, and the incisions look a little scary the little procedure turned out to really be a pretty minor hospital visit. We suffered worse side affects from the fire drill!
That’s why today has been one giant nap. I was afraid to stand up and have done very little walking. And, I’m pretty sure I still had some of that jackhammer pain pill in ms system for quite some time. So I spent a good amount of the after-breakfast hours today in ZZZZZ-land. Steven seriously slept for most of the day, outdoing me in the slug category big time! The thing is, my leg feels better and I really feel refreshed after the hectic times we’ve been having. And he should be tired. If he wasn’t, I’d be worried. So this lazy day has been quite perfect!
If you would like to help me take more time away from work and have more time home caring for Tumor Boy writing about our adventures with Cancer, we’d be so very grateful if you’d visit our Go Fund Me Page. Our insurance has a lot of loopholes for things that aren’t covered, and my job has no loopholes for being able to work from home! And I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to keep my husband around. After all, I just got him house broken!
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