Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Garage Sale

Mom is feeling better.

We have decided to take advantage of the nice weather and plan on having another garage sale. This evening we will be setting things up and pricing them. Every week Dawn has been going through the other out buildings and collecting things to for the next sale.

We live in Dawn's childhood home. She inherited her parents things. Her mother hosted a lot of parties and had the dishes and tablecloths to do it in style. She liked to keep the things Dawn had as a child. I am talking books, board games, Barbies, clothes and every birthday, Christmas and Easter card Dawn ever received. She also saved lots of paperwork. Poor Dawn has to go through each and every box of stuff to make sure nothing valuable gets tossed. Somethings are worth putting in the garage sale and somethings go straight to the dumpster.

She has been weeding through boxes of old photographs and paperwork too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 9 Post Chemo

I talked with Mom several times today and she is feeling much better. The pain pill took care of the spasms and she was able to sleep last night.

She said she spent the day cleaning out her refrigerator and did some laundry. She has also done a little bit of cooking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 8 Post Chemo

This was not a good day for Mom. She woke up early this morning with back and leg spasms. She said as the day went on they got worse. She could not get comfortable. I usually talk to Mom twice sometimes three times a day. When I talked with her yesterday morning she told me about the spasms. I told her if she needed me or if the spasms got worse to call me.

I was busy at the office and didn't call her back until around three-thirty on my way home from work. She said she was exhausted from this spasms and it was a lot worse. I told her I was calling the doctor and would call her back.

The doctor said she was experiencing the pain due to the shot of Neulasta she was given. Neulasta is given the day after chemo to decrease the chance of infection due to the low blood count. He said she should take a pain pill and that should help.

I called her back and told her to take the pain pill. She doesn't like taking pain medication because it kicks her butt. She said she had taken an Ibuprofen and didn't want to add a pain pill to the mix. I asked her why she didn't call me earlier about the pain and she said she didn't want to drive us crazy. I explained that she wasn't driving us crazy. What dose drive us crazy is her waiting for things to get out of hand before she tells us and we have to scramble around and make phone calls in order to get her some relief. She is so afraid to burden us. We do not see this as a burden at all. We know she would do the same for us. We want what is best for her because we love her. I truely know where my stubborness comes from!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

One Week Post Chemo

Today marks the first week post chemo. Mother is looking like she feels better. The appointment with her surgeon went well. He said she is healing nicely and would see her in three weeks. He told her he thought she looked very well for a woman that has gone through her first chemo treatment.

The oncologist appointment was after the surgeon's appointment. She had blood work done before seeing the doctor. The doctor told her she looked great and that her blood count was low. He prescribed an antibiotic for her to take for five days as a precaution. She was instructed to avoid crowds and crowded places. She should avoid raw fruits and veggies until her numbers come back up.

After the appointment we found a place to grab a sandwich and then I drove her home. She did well and was tired by the time we got her back home.

We will see the doctor again on the Nov 9th for more blood work and the second round of chemo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 5 Post Chemo

Mom said she is starting to feel better. She still doesn't have much energy but is starting to feel less queasy. Her appetite is improving. We took food over on Sunday and did a few things around her house for her. My sister went to the grocery store for her and did some laundry. She looks better.

Tomorrow she has appointments with the surgeon and the oncologist.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 4 Post Chemo

Mom laid in bed all day today. She said she has no energy but is not able to sleep. She is experiencing some nausea. She has been moving from her bed to the spare bedroom just for a change in scenery. She doesn't have much of an appetite but is eating breakfast and a light lunch. The headache is gone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 3 Post Chemo

I talked with Mom on the phone this morning. She sounds tired. She said she slept well last night and was just feeling a little hungover. She says she is feeling not nausea's, but maybe a little queasy. Today the headache is almost gone. She is laying in the bed watching TV with her two dogs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 2 Post Chemo

Mother said she was feeling a little hungover today and she had a headache. Today she had to return to the cancer center to receive an injection of Neulasta. Neulasta will decrease the chance of infection.

We were told that this injection can cause the bones to feel achy. After the injection she and my sister ran a few errands. Mother is tired, but she is functioning. She is prepared to spend a few days laying around. This will be difficult for her since she is an active woman. She normally doesn't sit still.

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Chemo

Today was the first chemo treatment. My sister and I picked up Mom this morning and drove her to the cancer center. We fought the rush hour traffic nearly the entire fifty-three miles to the center. Mom is already a nervous wreck and the traffic didn't help matters. We did however, arrive safe and sound and even a little early for the first appointment.

Over the weekend Mom had developed some swelling in her elbow that concerned us. We mentioned the elbow to the nurse and she spoke with the doctor. They decided she needed to have a doppler done to investigate what might be causing the swelling.

We were then sent down stairs to the Heart First office. There we waited about a half hour. The doppler took only a half hour. The problem is Mom has a blood clot in the arm. The blood clot appears to be in a superficial vein. We went back up stairs to the oncologist. We waited a few minutes and then she was examined by the doctor. He explained she had the blood clot from the port surgery and that she would be fine to start the chemo. he recommended an aspirin a day and use of heating pad several times a day to remove the swelling.

We were then taken to the chemo room. Mom was extremely nervous by now. We sat with her while she waited. We tried everything to get her to calm down. She just sat there looking around the room at all the other chemo patients. There must have been fifteen people in there getting their chemo treatments. There were people that appeared to be in their forties and people that looked like they could be someones great grandmother. There were little small petite women and big strong men.

The stick in the port was the worst of it for mom. She made some noise but it lasted only a second. Have I mentioned Mom is terrified of needles!

Mom is receiving four different kinds of chemo medications. The chemo treatments take approximately three and half to four hours.

We were given a list of the chemo, materials on side effects and how to handle them, reviewed blood work and how to read it and what to watch for, explanation for the injections. We made notes and read the materials and asked questions. I consider myself a knowledgeable person and I believe I am half way intelligent, contrary to my sister's belief that I am the stupidest person that walked the earth, but I was so overwhelmed with the amount of information that we were given. It will take all three of us to make sense of all the paperwork.

Mom said she felt better that both my sister and I were with her for her first treatment and that she would not be so stressed for the rest of them.

Meanwhile, We are still fighting with the prescription insurance to get the anti-nausea medication approved.

By the end of the day the prescription insurance company had come around and approved the medication but the pharmacy was out of stock and we would have to return tomorrow after ten.

Mom will have to return to the cancer center tomorrow for an injection for the red blood count.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We waited for about a half hour to get started on the chemo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Garage Sale

We are starting to become real experts on having garage sales! We had everything ready last night so this morning we were ready to set our signs. We started the sale about nine and closed it about two. We did pretty good and made a few hundred dollars. We still have catering stuff to get rid of but we have made a giant dent in the stack of boxes. We have even started pulling stuff out of the small storage building in the rear yard.

The plan is to have a garage sale every Saturday as long as the weather is good. Today was beautiful and people were out and about.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Port-a-Cath Surgery

Mom had to have surgery again today to have a port put in place for the chemo that is scheduled to begin on Monday. It was a quick procedure that only took about forty-five minutes. But the process of having it done started the day before. She had to have blood work, Couldn't eat or drink after mid-night. The next morning arrive at the hospital at nine-thirty. Once at the hospital she had to check in, pay her deductible and wait to be called.

When she was called, She had to go through the normal protocol of having IV, blood pressure, temperature and then wait for her turn in surgery.

The surgery was quick and she was wide awake in recovery when we went to see her.

She discharged about thirty minutes after surgery. She was very sleepy but that was from the Phenergan (anti nausea drug) that she was given to keep her from getting car sick on the way home.

She was a little loopy! We got her home, ate some lunch and she went to bed and crashed until the following morning.

She has been a real trooper. She dosesn't complain and still has a good sense of humor.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First of Many Garage Sales

On Saturday we had our first of many garage sales. It was successful. We sold a lot of the catering supplies but still have a lot to go. The weather was overcast and cool but we still had a lot of people drop by. We are planning on having at least two sales a month until we have sold all that will sale!!!!

We have the garage set up so that we can restock items for each new sale. We have told everyone that this is the first of many.

We are making progress! We have had one garage sale and filled the dumpster three time! We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I will be glad to get this stuff out of the way so that we can move on to the next step.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Mom is doing great as far as her recovery and we will soon be a on schedule for the chemo. It has been just crazy around the house lately. Mom had surgery, my unemployed twenty-eight year old son has been staying with us while he takes care of some business here before going out of state to school in April, My step-father became ill, One of the outdoor dogs was apparently bit by a snake and has been very sick, Dawn has been experiencing the headaches again. She has several short headaches a day.

It has been a stressful time for all of us. Now that things are starting to slowly return to somewhat normal we can get back on track for getting rid of some of the stuff we have put aside for the garage sale.

We are waiting for a break in the weather. It rains almost every weekend. No one will stop for a garage sale in the rain!