Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hey where's the chemo?

Thanks Amy for the cool word cloud!!!
Zack and I head out early, around 9 am. His appointment for lab work is at 10 at the clinic. The closer we get to the clinic the moodier Zack gets. He snaps at me multiple times. I just take it, knowing that he is angry about going into the hospital. We arrive and he doesn't look anyone in the face, he holds his head down. He is fighting the tears. He is again weighed, temperature taken, blood pressure, the usual "dance" he does every time he enters the building. 

We are brought to the exam room, Angie is having problems getting his port to open so she can start to get blood for labs. This is the second time it closes, and she must use the medicine to get the blood to flow. She tells him to breathe, put your arm up, down, stick your chest out, she tries everything. He is not amused, usually one or all of these "tricks" get him to laugh, but not today. He is holding back the tears and can't wait for her to leave. He looks at me and apologizes for snapping, I tell him I understand it is not directed at me. Angie looks at me sad, she knows he is not having a good day and there is nothing anyone can do about it. She leaves and returns within 30 minutes. He is wiping his eyes, she looks at me and I mutter the words "crying", she nodes in understanding and sits down. She asks him if he needs a week off. She says "maybe the numbers won't be good and you can go home? it happens you know." He just nodes. She looks at me concerned and says "he can take a week off, the doctor will work with him if he really wants a week off." Me being the "stay on target person" looks at Zack and says "it's totally up to you sweetie, if you don't think you can handle it this week, we can postpone one week." I want to give HIM the choice, he has very few choices in this situation and I want him to feel like he has some control. He looks at me and then Angie and says "no, let just get it over with, either way I have to be here." Dr. Bottom comes in and looks concerned too. She gives Zack a big hug and tells him she totally understands what he is going through and hates that he must do so. She pulls me out into the hall and asks if we need to get someone to help him out, give him more activities, something to look forward to. She says "he has to have some fun things too, not just school work." I told her that I offered to bring his X-box but he didn't want to. I assured her I would bring it with me on Thursday when I come back, that way it will be there if he changes his mind.

His numbers come back and he is ready to go into the Hospital. It is 12 noon. He has already had one IV fluid, the port accessed and we have our room number. #389, a new room we haven't "tried" yet. He barely looks at anyone when we leave the clinic. They all have looks of concern on their faces. They have seen him down, but not like this.  We drive across the street, part the car and he sits in the car wiping his eyes again. What the hell am I supposed to do? I promise him that if there was any way I could go through this instead of him, I would do it gladly. There is nothing I can do. I can't buy him something to feel better, I can be his cheerleader, he just looks at me like he hates me at times. I know he is angry and he has every right to be. When you're that angry you don't want "Polly Anna" sitting next to you, telling you it's all going to be okay. 

We arrive in the room and call to the nurse to let her know we have arrived. Zack sits in the rocker as I start to unpack everything. A lamp with an attached outlet for his bedside table and cell phone, a smaller black lamp for the window sill so we don't have the bright hospital fluorescent lights shining all the time. My Kuerig coffee/ tea maker with a variety of drink cups for him to choose from. Cups, Forks, Slim Jims (his favorite snack these days). I hang up his shirts, put away his undergarments and shorts. His favorite scent is vanilla bean, so we spray that aroma around the room to get rid of the hospital smell. I bought a black footstool with storage, which is the perfect size for the rocker. We ask the nurse for the two mattress' that Frank or I sleep on when staying the night. I have a comforter and pillows from home and place the "bed" in a corner under the window. It is out of the way, but easily accessible  Within minutes the room looks more inviting. There is nothing that we do to hide the "medical equipment", but we can sure try and make it look as homey as possible. 

We are told by the nurse that the Doctor ordered two units of blood and fluids, so it will be awhile before the treatment starts. Rhonda calls, she is on her lunch break and offers to bring us food. Zack is despondent and doesn't want anything. I order for him anyway, telling him that he still has to eat something,  Rhonda arrives a few minutes later with lunch in hand, a smile on her face and looking like "Miss Biltmore" herself with her purple Biltmore sweater, white shirt and black pants. She determined that Hardees fries are better than Wendies, which means she snitched some of Zack's fries. I laugh, Zack is still not talking. He does manage to eat his burger and drink. Rhonda tries to engage him in conversation to no avail. She leaves to go back to work and promises to return for dinner. 

Zack and I spend the rest of the day napping, playing our new "noodle" game on our phones and watching dumb shows on TV. Nothing much is on cable ( I miss my Directv!). It takes several hours for him to get his blood and fluids. It is already 6:30 pm when the nurse comes in and announces that Zack will not be getting his chemo today. The doctor ordered it for first thing tomorrow morning, which means it will be Monday before we go home, I'm not sure that has quite hit Zack yet and I'm sure not going to be the one to bring that to his attention. We decide to settle in for the night, order Chinese to be delivered to the Hospital. Rhonda comes to join us for dinner, watches Iron Man with us and heads home around 9 pm. By the time she leaves, he is a throwing ice at me and teasing again. It is so good to see him better, He then mentions that he will be right back where he was when they come in with the treatment, but for tonight he can sleep well. 

I tell him that if he is not doing well tomorrow I will stay with him, for once he doesn't tell me it's okay to go. He usually says "I'll be fine Mom, GO!", but this time, he asks if we can wait and see how he feels in the morning. Having been reassured by Nancy to do what I need to do and not worry about the office, I assure Zack that no decision needs to be made until the morning.  We settle in for the night, he finally takes off his new boots and crawls into bed, the nurse tells us that he is on a slower drip of fluids so he can get a good night's sleep and not have to get up all night. He finally lets me give him a hug and kiss goodnight and makes some joke. My heart is at peace, at least for tonight.

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