Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How chemo is like child birth and why you probably shouldn't call me if you're in an unplanned crisis.

You know how when you're 42 weeks and one day pregnant and then you go into labor and you're in hard labor for 24 hours without any drugs and then you finally get an epidural but you can't sleep because you're too tired and then the baby is born four hours later and even though the gender was a surprise no one says "It's a boy!" but you don't care because it could be a platypus for all you care and all you can really think is What day is it anyway and what country am I in and can someone please bring me a sandwich?

Maybe you've never had that experience but that's how I felt after Ocean was born and that's kind of how we felt yesterday.

We've had a year to build up to the start of treatment and it was sort of anti-climactic I guess. A lot of waiting around and meeting different medical people and getting poked and prodded. We had a little time to get some food at Einstein Brothers in the hospital (they must do really well) and Phil commented that it felt like we weren't in Kansas anymore. Or that we were really far from home or something. I wasn't really listening carefully because my salad was that good. But I got the gist of what he was saying, and I could empathize because after Ocean was born we were in a hospital only a few miles from our house but I felt like I was on a different planet. I finally had to turn on the TV in my post-partum room just to reassure myself that I still lived on Earth (and that the disappointing Bachelor finale the night before hadn't been a labor-induced hallucination).

So a gigantic thanks to my parents for coming through big time. My mom stayed at our house with the kids (we kept Ocean home from school because he's sick) and my dad met us at the infusion center so he could stay with Phil while I went to my own doctor's appointment, and then got Phil's Dexamethasone prescription filled. (I was going to make a joke about Phil being on meth or 'roids but I have enough sense to realize that may be slightly off-color for the likes of this blog am terrified someone from his work might read this and not get that I'm kidding.)

So Phil is officially on three "study" drugs (Revlimid, which he takes orally at home; Velcade which he gets during his infusion at the hospital two days a week; and Dex which he takes orally at home) and a whole host of other medications and prescriptions to prevent common issues/side effects. At Friday's infusion he'll get Doxil, which is the fourth study drug.

Last night, after the laundry was done (sort of), the dishwasher was loaded and everyone was in bed, I made myself some hot cider (Thank you , Stef K!) and turned on the TV. Deep breath... the world is still turning and life is still moving and we are still a family and we still have each other.

Phil woke up this morning feeling good. Before he left he said, "You're doing well, huh?" He was surprised, and I wasn't offended because it's common knowledge 'round these here parts that I tend to freak out during crises OMG a hangnail where's the first aid kit someone call 911- no- the national freaking guard because I'm curled up in the corner panicking my face off but I reminded him that during times of planned crises I actually do quite well. It's the surprises I don't like. I've been working up to this one for a year now. Game time, Blagojeviches.


Miranda said...

Someone from work did read it and I laughed out loud and am hoping I don't get in trouble. (I got the joke by the way.) Thanks for sharing. Without minimizing it AT ALL, you "guys" are doing phenominally well. God Bless and I'm going to keep watching.

Amy said...

We in the rest of the world are still out here, and we're thinking of you guys! This is an excellent post. You are such a great writer! And I totally know what you mean about childbirth--esp with your first. A surreal, otherworldly experience!

Keep it coming! Praying for you in Australia!

tim's wife said...

You guys are BOTH gonna do great!
Ya just keep putting one foot in front of the other. When the pressure builds up, you go for a massage or have a margarita or do whatever it is that relaxes you.
In Jersey, we ram the cars of obnoxious drivers that cut us off.
We're rootin' for ya!
Denise and Tim
P.S. Chasing hoodlums out of your neighbor's yard makes my think you're better than you think in a "clutch play."

{(C)} said...

Awesome post once again. Can you send me a cool bracelet like Phil has in that one pic?

ElaWilson said...

I admire your strength; your ability to take everything in stride and communicate it both humorously and eloquently to loved ones and strangers is quite a gift! Thanks for the updates; stay strong!!

Meredith said...

Hilarious post. Lots of prayers coming your way from Boston!!!

trin9980 said...

Lots of laughs being had here in Denver, loved the post. As Meredith said - prayers coming at you guys from CO too!:)

Heather said...

Love the posts! Apparently, "Kicking Cancer" must be thematic in the Big Ten! This article was posted on my FB about another cancer "kicker" (for soccer that is) from my alma mater:

Big Prayers to you from NC!!

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh, I'm the same way with unplanned crises! Glad I'm not the only one!

Cassie said...

Thanks, everyone!

Heather, the media loves an obvious metaphor I guess! What an inspiring article about Matt. Thanks for sharing it.

G-dog said...

PHIL, I skipped my 20 yr HS reunion to attend the 2002 Washington game. I mention this because I truly believe I was meant to be there. I'm a MICH fb fanatic but had become somewhat jaded over the years seeing UM lose so many close games ( which typically involved a FG missed for us or made by the opponent )

Seeing you miss your first 2 attempts normally would've sent me to the parking lot but I had a strange feeling when you came out for the game winner that day. The crowd around me was groaning with that " here we go again " vibe. Strangely I was filled w/ confidence that you were going to come through. I stood up and told the "Doubting Thomas's" ..." trust me , He's going to MAKE THIS KICK "

You have no idea how out of character that was for me but I felt strongly compelled to make that clear to those within earshot.

Perhaps the Good Lord was using me to tell the crowd " Don't worry. All is well "

When you made it I was brought to tears - Not b/c we won - but b/c I just saw a kid, against all odds, make a highly improbable FG that won the game - AND TOTALLY REDEEM HIMSELF!

Phil, I know you are a man of faith and as bad as it looked earlier in that day, the Good Lord did not leave you or forsake you. He strengthened you at the right moment in that battle - just as he will again in this battle.

I've got that same feeling I had for you 9 yrs ago

God Bless and GO BLUE,
Gary Moore