First trip

Monday was an exhausting day. We showed up at the doctor’s office at 9am as requested. I thought I was ready. I was dressed comfortably in sweat pants and a t-shirt, as we’d been told the room gets cold, and I had my power black bear afghan, my Kindle, and my smartphone. Oh, and Steve – can’t forget Steve; the most important member of my team! We met with the Financial person who explained how much that day’s costs would be (humungous!) how much the insurance would pay (some 70%) and how much we had to pay (a pittance!!)

Then back to the waiting room to wait for the Medical Assistant to call me back to check BP etc. Oxygen was good, everything else was good. So back to the waiting room to wait for the Physician’s Assistant. We spent about 20 minutes with her going over everything. She then took us ‘in the back’. There was a large, sunny, room with lots of windows. The room was divided into 4 ‘pods’, each pod containing 15 or so reclining chairs and a ‘visitor’ chair for each recliner. The room was buzzing and almost every chair was taken. We had a short wait for an empty chair in one of the pods with visitor chairs, and yes, the room was cold. Each recliner had a colorful afghan neatly folded on it for patient use – all of them looked handmade – a nice touch.

There were several nurses buzzing around, and the patients ranged in age from mid-20s to the lady next to me who was 90. One of the nurses came over and explained the process then started an IV. First thing is always to hydrate – that means running in close to a liter of fluid. Then the anti-nausea drug(s); then the steroid to ward off mouth sores. And finally, the chemo itself.

They also gave me a bag full of information – called Bag-It! It’s a tote bag containing a binder and several pamphlets and booklets dealing with cancer, treatment, nutrition, other things like acupuncture. I must admit I haven’t looked at everything yet. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Sort of like being on a roller coaster that I can’t stop. By the time everything was done, it was around 5pm, and I was more than ready to go home. I was told to drink lots of fluids, and I was given a list of things to watch for, and off we went home.

9 thoughts on “First trip

  1. Best of luck, Ruth! I forgot how I came across your blog, but I am glad that I did. We have much in come, being nurses for one thing. I am retired – this August. I am feeling blessed.

  2. What a grueling day, Ruth. I remember some of it from Gary’s chemo treatments. I was thinking about that binder…when I had my big operation in 2010 and had to wait over a month for the results (to see if the tumor WAS cancer and how widespread it was). About a week after the operation a huge package arrived in our mailbox – an enormous envelope full of all of this cancer information. It was brutal receiving it without even having heard back from anyone about the results. I thought this was their way of telling me it WAS cancer. it was scary, because it included in-depth info about the chemo I would require and the radiation treatments on top of the chemo. We phoned the surgeon’s office and found out that it had been sent out by mistake by someone who should not have mailed it out to me that soon. Thankfully, the cancer was so small that no chemo or radiation was needed. but I remember how overwhelmed and scary it was to receive that huge envelope with all of that scary information. It is a roller coaster, so much of it seemingly beyond your control. I think it will become smoother as you go along and get into the routine (ugh on the routine). Always thinking of you and hoping that each day gets easier to get through. xoxoxo

  3. It sounds like you have a good team to turn to for help wading through it all too, Ruth. Have you had the time and energy yet to investigate a support forum for lung cancer? That might provide you with additional information, support and safe space to go to when you need people (besides us, who will always be here for you!) who understand this process and ordeal from the inside.

  4. Ruth, Thanks for blogging about this experience. It’s helpful for all of us who care about you to know exactly what is going on. And I, too, remember the BWS discussion about the package Sharon received by accident and how devastating it was!

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s