The Night Before Chemo…

I combined Saturday and Sunday’s events into this one post.


Staying up until the wee hours of the morning was a mistake because EJ and I had to get up at 6:30 a.m. to take the car to the service center at the dealership for repairs. Morning came too early and it was difficult to get moving.

Steak N Shake
Steak ‘n Shake

The service guy at the dealership said that it might take an hour before they could begin running diagnostics on our car. We hadn’t had time to eat before we left this morning, and we were starving, so since the service guy had EJ’s cellphone number, we decided to search for provisions. There were stores around the dealership, but none very close. We walked for a bit in the cold 20 degree morning and came first to a Sam’s Club. We don’t have a membership, but we thought maybe we could buy one so we could shop for food…or maybe they had a deli in the store? We were stopped just inside the door and told that the store was open, but only to people buying for businesses. Bummer. At least we got to warm up a little while the “bouncer” talked to us. So we moved on and eventually came to a Target store. They had a deli, but it wasn’t open quite yet. Rats. So we continued on our way and finally came to a restaurant called Steak ‘n Shake. It was open and served breakfast. Yay! We ordered hot coffee and a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and eggs.

After breakfast, we walked the cold half-mile back to the dealership and sat in their lounge. The cushioned chairs were taken, so we sat at a table and drank free coffee. We were exhausted from too many early mornings and long days. I said, “They should have Lazy Boy chairs in this lounge so we could sit back and take a nap…” Then we fantasized, “Too bad there isn’t a mattress store nearby. We could lie on the mattress to test it….for an hour or two.” There was a theater nearby. “If we knew the car repairs was going to be a few hours, we could go to the theater and watch a movie.”

When the service guy came to talk to us, we learned that the car repairs will be more extensive than we thought. Many of the problems were major safety issues. Rather than court death, we approved the work that will cost us almost $1,500. Yikes. We did not need this on top of the washer/dryer and medical bills that are starting to come in. Also, JJ loves his Tablet and takes it everywhere with him, but he is also longing for his laptop to get fixed because his favorite on-line game is complex and needs a very good graphics card to run. The Tablet can’t handle the game and neither can EJ or my laptops. Mostly he has a community of friends at the game that he misses. We told him we will get his laptop fixed if at all possible, but it might not be possible. However, I told him that God knows our needs, including his longing to have his computer fixed so he can connect with his friends, so we must trust Him.

Thankfully, the dealership is loaning us a courtesy car while our car is in the shop so we weren’t stuck at the dealership for 2-3 days. They loaned us a Malibu with only 2,000 miles on it.

On the way home, we drove close to the meat market. EJ suggested we stop in to get Old Fashioned All-Beef Bologna, which enables us to fix delicious quick meals when we are busy or tired. We were delightfully surprised to find tables set up with samples of delicious treats. It looked almost like a holiday office party. I found later on Facebook that today was their annual Taste of the Holidays event. We were able to sample the most delicious roasts, salmon, cheese and crackers, pickles and other things. We also had a taste of a nonalcoholic Glogg, which I learned today is a Scandinavian mulled wine. I never had Glogg before and, oh, my goodness, it tasted like spiced apple rings. EJ bought a bottle of it for us to enjoy at home. Because it was nonaloholic, JJ was able to drink some. (Nothing alcoholic while on chemo.)

When we got home, EJ put the homemade chili I had made yesterday on the woodstove to heat and we took naps.

Later my friend texted me that she and her husband had bought us another gift certificate at Chubby’s for the days when we are too tired to cook. EJ and I walked to the restaurant to pick up the gift certificate and chatted with the owner for quite a while. People are awesome.

Despite everything, this was an awesome day.


We are running out of time to get things done. Tomorrow morning chemo begins.

Our new washer and dryer.
Our new washer and dryer.

EJ stayed up until 4 a.m. hooking up the new washer and dryer. It is quite computerized. Before we washed clothes, we had to run the washer empty. We tried it this afternoon but we got an error code. EJ read through the manual and figured out what was wrong. Yay! I have been washing clothes at home for the first time in more than a year. When the washer or dryer is finished, it has a pleasant song instead of the scary heart-stopping alarm our old washer/dryer had.

First thing this morning I went grocery shopping. I filled the cart with last-minute things we need and also tempting food for JJ to eat during chemo. There can be no bulk foods, no raw foods, no canned food. Chemo causes a metallic taste in the mouth and canned foods can make the metallic taste worse. Even silverware can increase the metallic taste so JJ might have to use plastic silverware. Everything must be prewrapped.

I got disinfectant wipes and told JJ that I will be sorely disappointment if he doesn’t say  “Wipe! Wipe!” at least once like Monk did on the TV show.

When I got home and had put away the groceries, I got to work cleaning the house. I dusted and swept and washed and mopped and disinfected. I’m still not done, but I am mostly done.

We were told that JJ will be sitting in a recliner during chemo, and that there is a TV in the room, and that JJ can bring snacks and items from home. I have been adding to our “chemo bag,” filling it with things to occupy us all for the seven hours we will be at the hospital tomorrow. I packed books, and DVDs, and snacks. I packed JJ’s Prayer Blanket that the local church gave him, and also his Bear Hat. Once I know more of what to expect, I hope I can bring my laptop with me. I don’t want to bring it if I can’t use it. EJ is hoping we have comfy chairs to sit in so he can finally sleep.

I do not know if chemo will make life more hectic and exhausting for us or less.

4 Comments on “The Night Before Chemo…

  1. These are a few of my favorite things…. comfy chairs, washers and dryers that work and warm hats!


  2. Simone, as we face these difficult days, I am comforted by thinking of all the people praying for us. Prayer is big, and I thank you so much

    Cris, your post caused me to think of the delightful song “This Are a Few of My Favorite Things”:

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
    Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
    Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
    Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
    Silver white winters that melt into Springs
    These are a few of my favorite things

    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so bad.


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