Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Follow the yellow brick road..
We have our "Hospital Day" routine by now. Zack and I wake up, get ready and pack the car. We aren't sure if we are going to be admitted or not, as his counts were low last week. They usually don't hold out hope for them to be good with continued radiation. As we head into radiation treatment we make a deal. If his numbers are good, we go in and get it over with. Four more hospital stays after this week. The chemo of course will continue as out patient, but it's the Hospital stays that he really hates. If the numbers are not good enough, then we accept that as well.
He is finished with radiation, as always, within 15 minutes. We head upstairs for lab work and though our appointment again is not until 11 am, we decide to just hang out until they can fit us in. I find a corner bench near the large windows. The sun is shining in, it is so warm. I woke up again at 4 am and knowing we will have a long day ahead of us, forced myself back to sleep until 6:30 am. While sitting there I fall asleep, occasionally waking myself up with my snoring, or Zack's calling my name. After about an hour (still earlier than our scheduled appointment) they call us back. Within an hour we are told his numbers are good enough to go into the Hospital. They are all surprised as his color is off and because it was so low last week, but one thing is for sure, this kid heals fast and for that we are so grateful!
We grab our belongings, head to grab lunch on the go and arrive at Mission within 30 minutes. We are getting smarter each time. I unload everything at the main door and have Zack stay with it while I park the car. When I get back it is so much easier than hauling everything from the car, up the ramp, in between cars. I'm not sure why we didn't come up with that idea soon, but oh well, better late than never. We head upstairs to the third floor and go to our room. This time it is a small room, we are barely able to move around, yet there is something about the energy that I like. The window is large and the length of the room, even though the view is of the roof and the other hospital wing across from us. We were given the option to move to another room with a better view, but when I checked it out, the couch and chair would have been in a corner and totally alienate Zack. Here, we are close and should he need anything I am right next to him. Zack discovers a vent and takes off the cap. The air from the room quickly goes to the outside and we realize this is circulating the room air pretty much like a fan. We love the idea of "bad" air leaving, so we leave the cap off. Every now and then Zack sticks his hand out and teases that he has a window.
Within minutes Melissa walks in with Anna Beth, who is being shown the "ropes"as one of the new nurses. We can always count on feeling welcome when we arrive. The staff here and at the Cancer Center have a special heart. What I love is several of the nurses follow the blog, so when we arrive they are pretty much up to date with Zack's life. We walk in and they will mention something that has happened and we feel like we are with family, only with masks, needles and bags full of "stuff". We finally get settled in (after deciding to keep our room) and as I'm plugging in the lamps, putting on the special blanket, pretty much making the room more like home, Melissa comes in and comments on how homey everything looks. I tell her and Anna Beth that my wish (when I get a million.. from wherever.... I don't gamble so I guess I can't win it) is to put in all the rooms, the best recliners that turn into amazing beds for the parents, lamps, a big screen TV with gaming systems, refrigerators, and surround sound. When these kids have to come to the hospital for days, some even stay for months when they live far away and are in need of treatment, it would amazing to have rooms just as special as in hotels. What can I say, it's a mothers dream. Zack comments that if were to "win" a million, he would be selfish and keep it all to himself. (Somehow I'm having a hard time believing that).
Zack is started on his IV fluids and by 6 pm his chemotherapy begins. Melissa tells us that she is here the next two days and her goal is going to have him start chemo one hour earlier each day so that we are out of here early on Sunday. Music to our ears for sure! Zack's mood is pretty good. I'm very proud of him, I know he doesn't want to be here, but as I told him a couple of days ago," if your attitude sucks, then you are going to be miserable. " He is already miserable from the treatment, he doesn't need to add to that from being here. He also has been told that he MUST do his schoolwork and if not done by Saturday night, he will not go anywhere until it is. Time for us to do the tough love, he only has a few weeks left in order to graduate.
As the night progresses he is having a bad reaction to lunch or something. He is not feeling well and that was before the chemo started. He sits in the chair and starts to fall asleep. I finally get him to get into the bed and rest for the night. he is given Benedryl, gives himself his Lovenox shot and is fast asleep.