Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Happy Half Nekkid Chemo Therapy

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Hi Everyone.

Sorry for the delay. It’s been a bit hectic around here.

Well, it happened again. I left town and C landed in the hospital. I was sitting in the back seat of a Buick Lucerne in the middle of Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit when the phone in my pocket started to ring. We were lucky that the call came through when it did because if it had been a minute earlier or later, I never would have heard it amongst the din of the ever-present techno beat music and the blond, buxom model “persons” that were shilling for the major auto makers in one, unending stream of marketing spin, delivered with an “oh so sincere”, 24-carret, gleaming grin.

When the phone started calling for attention, I was in a state of exhaustion. It was now about hour-six at the largest car show in North America. My eyes were past the glazing state. My feet would have been numb if they didn’t hurt so much. My knees felt like Nancy Kerrigan’s after a backstage encounter with Tonya Harding. I had taken to sitting in the backseat of any car that J was investigating (which turned out to be just about every one).

So, I was sitting there, enjoying the relative silence (the car was surprisingly well insulated) when my pocket started making shrill noises. I knew before I even hit the “talk” button that this was not a good thing. It was C and she was calling from the hospital. High fevers, violent chills, admitted Sunday morning, receiving tests and conflicting opinions from the shamans. Not to worry though (yeah, right), she said.

Well, worry I did for the next twenty-four hours. J and I had flown to Detroit on frequent flyer miles that had us leaving the Twin Cities at 6:50 on Saturday morning (meant getting up about 4 AM). We spent Saturday touring the Ford Rouge River plant before going on into the heart of Detroit to our hotel. We were staying at the Marriott in the Renaissance Center which is this amazingly confusing complex of glass towers with a regular rat’s maze of elevated walkways, escalators, elevators, and galleries. Often you could see the spot you wanted to go, but you couldn’t figure out how to get there. We wandered around like zombies for quite a while. We were informed apologetically that our room was not ready (even though it was now about four in the afternoon), so we aimlessly wandered the surreal landscape of GM’s corporate headquarters for an hour.

Still no joy on the room front, so we wandered some more and eventually found a restaurant willing to serve a couple of tired travelers. We finally did get a room and one with a view at that. We looked out on the adjacent glass tower into a window that had been boarded over on the inside as near as I could tell. We were so tired that we both fell asleep watching some dumb show that J had selected before the sandman bagged him. As luck would have it, he got his second wind upon waking later and was disappointed to learn that his old man was not so quick to recharge.

Sunday was car show day. This was J’s birthday trip, so we did what he wanted, and that was to see a couple of thousand cars all in one place and to try to sit in every seat in every one. I have never seen someone so single minded, so determined, and so adept at disappearing into a crowd. If I took my eye off him for a second, he was gone. All I could do was stand in one place and wait for him to realize I had lost the scent again and for him to come back to me. There was no way I was going to find him amongst the thousands of red-blooded, car maniacs that were roaming Cobo Hall.

Fortunately, he was pretty good about keeping track of me, and we made it through the day. As tired as I was at the end of all of this, I spent the night tossing and turning, gripped in the half-awake terrors of my own making. I was trapped in a distant city while C was trapped in a hospital at home.

Monday, we headed for the airport early and began the effort of getting on an earlier flight home. We got lucky and were shoe-horned into a 575 along with half of the Detroit airport and transported home. C got out of the hospital on a three-hour pass and was able to join us all at home for J’s birthday dinner. Aunt P fixed J his favorite thing – steak, and boy was it good. It was even better that C was there to share it with him. I had to take her back down to the jai, er, hospital afterwards, but only for one more night as it turned out.

I was able to bring her home yesterday and so far, no more fever. What caused it? No one knows. All the tests came up empty. So it goes.

Speaking of going, I went through my second round of chemo today. I am on a weekly schedule where I go in for three to six hours of semi-conscious nodding while tailored proteins with mouse parts tacked on slowly drip into my arm. The first session is the longest and usually the most interesting because it is on that visit where most patients get their most severe reaction. It’s the mouse parts that get the body all hot and bothered. This time, it sent me into severe chills and shaking which lasted about an hour and left me all wrung out. Today, there was no reaction, which is typical. All the same, I start things out with a dose of IV benadryl, which pretty much knocks me out.

Anyway, enough for now. We are all doing well here. We now have two teenagers in the house. It’s official.

D. (where’s my cheese)


Blogger FunkyB said...

Obviously I'm not good at keeping up with bloggers on a daily basis, so I'm not up to snuff on your life.

However, I can assume that if you're undergoing chemo, I should be sending you prayers and positive thoughts. So that I will do.

Blessed be, and peace be with you.

10:46 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger Belly said...

Yes, mouse parts made me rather hot and bothered once...they even made me stop breathing - I have a strong dislike for mouse protein.

I hope it goes well and without mouse induced drama!

Take care, Happy HNT!

10:51 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger Wenchy said...


Best wishes to you.

10:54 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger Evilicious Blonde said...

Mouse protein?!!? I had to read that three times to make sure I got that right. Damn!!!

Bless your heart. I'll add you to my prayer list.

11:10 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger MamaKBear said...

Awwww, you poor thing! :(

Happy HNT!

11:29 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger BuccoTom said...

Best wishes to you and yours. Praying for you. HHNT

11:40 PM, January 18, 2006  
Blogger Randi said...

Keep on hanging on! And if you can HNT chemo, looks like you've got the right frame of mind. hhnt.

12:13 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Blondie said...


I'm glad you were able to take that call. I just read through your archives (hope you don't mind) and I have to say, my heart goes out to your family. To have both parents stricken with cancer, dual chemo sessions, etc etc... You two are a very phenomenol (sp?) couple.

What a journey you have allowed us to share with you.

Happy HNT and may you all fare well for quite a while!

12:30 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Faustina said...

You have my HNT thoughts on your chemo and your family.

12:41 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger lime said...

oh man, i can imagine you were a wreck being separated for that ordeal. good thoughts for the respective recoveries.

peace to you both

7:47 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger The Lily said...

Sending you good thoughts!!

Happy HNT!

10:20 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger barefoot_mistress said...

I am so glad that you can come to HNT and share with all of us, what you and C are going through. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that we all wish you wellness and strength.

1:37 PM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Gabby said...

Mouse protein????!

Now thats a new one on me!

Hope the chemo works out for you...

and HHNT!

4:03 PM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...



10:21 PM, January 20, 2006  

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