Wednesday, May 21, 2008

tales, continued...

so wednesday morning, its back to stanford we go...

9:30am chemo appointment to pick up where we left off on tuesday night.

julie came along to keep trish company, as i had to do some work while we were there.
(hospitals with wifi, its a beautiful thing)

the nurses left the needle in trish's port from the night before, no blood tests were needed and we didn't meet with dr. carlson...
so we were already three steps ahead of the game

as with yesterday, the nurses started off the treatment with the 3 "pre-drugs" of benadryl, decadrone (i think) and something else i dont recal.

about an hour later, it was time for the Taxol. Taxol can sometimes cause allergic reactions, but trish experienced nothing of the sort.
again, the nurses took it slow, about 90 minutes... but everything went smoothly.

next tuesday trish will get back on the normal track of herceptin and taxol on the same day... about 45 minutes each...
plus the 45 minutes of the 3 other drugs, so it will be a 3-4 hour process.

the stanford cancer center is a really, really nice place in many ways.
the doctors offices and blood lab are on the street level, chemo is upstairs, radiation is downstairs. there is a pharmacy, boutique and cafe on site.

its a new building, so its bright, open, cheery and clean, and they will even valet park you car (but not free)

upstairs in the chemo rooms, there are large picture windows looking out to a grove of redwoods..
each patient station has a flat screen tv to watch (and hook our portable dvd player to)

all the people... employees, nurses and patients/families alike, are all there for the same reason and are really cordial and accommodating.
mark and pablo handle all the scheduling that comes out of dr. calrson's office. when you are planning months and months of chemo, blood tests, ekg's, etc..
its really nice to have a couple of guys that go out of their way to help you out. they know who to talk with and what strings to pull.

the nurses in dr. carlson's office and the chemo center are all really nice, sharing experiences and answering all our questions.

but the the people who really stand out are the volunteers..
there is always someone coming around with a cart of snacks, drinks, blankets, magazines, books, games, etc.
just trying to do whatever they can to make it easier on the patients.

today, we had a guy come in with a guitar and just sit down in the middle of the chemo room and strum some tunes..
another volunteer had an 'art cart' with plenty of pencils, paints, crafts, etc...

julie kinda got strong armed by the art cart lady, but she wound up tapping her inner jewlery making abilities, and created a couple fashionable bracelets that would look great on any tennis court.
maybe next time jules will conquer the more advanced necklace..

down the hall from the chemo rooms, there is a mediation room where you can go relax and find some peace and quiet.

so for a place that has all the reasons to be on the depressing side, its really quite the opposite.

our 'chemo neighbor' was a guy who looked to be in his mid 20's, and this was his first chemo treatment. he seemed a bit nervous to say the least, but trish, the veteran, chatted it up with the guy and shared her 'expertise'

typical trish, putting some good thoughts in his head and trying to make him feel better... all while she is going through the same thing.

here are some crappy cell phone pics...
but you can get an idea of what the stations look like, what the view from trish's chair.


Amber said...

My name is Amber. I am a 29 year old mother with IBC. I found my lump while I was pregnant, but the doctor assumed it was just from hormone changes. It took over a year and visiting several doctors to figure out what was wrong with me (hello... my breast by this time had a baseball sized mass in it... it was bright red, and hot and swollen and painful. The doctor said I was engorged .. I was breastfeeding my baby at the time) Anyway, by the time I was finally diagnosed, the cancer had spread to my bones and lung, and I couldn't even walk up and down stairs, or carry my baby. I was in so much pain. I was diagnosed May 10, 2007, so I just passed my year mark. I did all of the same treatments that Trisha is doing, and I had great response. I am now on the Herceptin every 3 weeks, and Zometa for the bones every 3 weeks.
It sounds like you have amazing family and friends and support like I have enjoyed. Just know that no matter how hard it gets, you can do it, and there will bad days, but there will also be great days. Just look for the good!!!!! I pray that you have great success with your treatment, and you enjoy a full recovery. Best of luck!!!

Trisha said...

Thank you so much for your story! I would love to talk with you anytime you feel up to it. please email me.