We actually stayed up to greet the New Year last night. I cared more about sleep than staying up, but JJ wanted to so we did. We got up at 7 a.m this morning.
Today the Cancer Center was closed because of New Year’s Day so we had to go across the street to the Infusion Center. JJ was really dreading it because of the unfamiliar environment and unknown staff. We didn’t know if they’d have drinks available for us. Neither did we know if the hospital cafeteria would be open, since this was New Year’s Day, so I packed a few snacks.
The infusion center isn’t as nice as the Cancer Center. The tiny rooms were divided by curtains rather than walls. We were in a room that had the blanket warmer so JJ put his footrest down and EJ got of the way whenever a nurse needed to get a warm blanket for a patient. Fortunately, it didn’t happen all that often. There was no kitchenette where we could get our own coffees and drinks so we had to ask for them. Not being able to get our own drinks at a kitchenette meant that I had no real opportunity to stretch my legs. My body is beginning to ache from so many hours of sitting with no exercise. During the next two weeks, when our Chemo schedule is less intense, I am determined to do my best to exercise on the treadmill every day.
The cafeteria was opened today, but EJ had to go up three floors, cross a “sky bridge” over the street to the main hospital, and then down four floors to reach the cafeteria.
The medical staff was very friendly and helpful and got us drinks whenever we asked, but we didn’t like to pull them away from patient care so we didn’t drink as much as we normally would, although I tried to see that JJ had enough to drink. The nurses at the Infusion Center were very good, but they didn’t seem to be as efficient as the oncology nurses at the Cancer Center. No doubt this is because the Infusion nurses deal with a variety of stuff, while the oncology nurses only deal with chemo patients so they are very skilled at it. Also, the oncology nurses are more familiar with JJ’s treatment. We look forward to returning to the Cancer Center, where the staff, environment, and procedures are familiar.
During JJ’s intense week of Chemo Every Day, the first two days he feels pretty good. On Wednesday he starts to feel a little worse and by Friday he is feeling pretty awful. The worse he feels, the more care he requires at home so evenings and nights aren’t always all that relaxing. We keep telling ourselves that we are more than halfway through this week, and after Friday JJ will be halfway through his four difficult weeks of Chemo.
There were no windows in the Infusion Center, so we had no idea what the weather was until the end of the day, when the Patient Care Technician told us that it was snowing hard and getting slippery out. The drive home was very snowy, but EJ is very skilled and he got us home without any mishaps. The weather forecasts keep changing so I don’t know how much snow we will end up with, but EJ estimated that we have four inches of new snow at home, and radar shows that it will be snowing for awhile.
When we got home, EJ and I divided up the chores. I settled JJ on the couch, while EJ let Danny outside. He brought in six armloads of firewood while I got the fire going in the woodstove, took out the garbage, cared for the pets, and put more seed out for the birds. We are getting a variety of birds at our birdfeeders now. They are such a joy to watch.
Now we are relaxing. We are exhausted. This week of Chemo feels more tiring than the first week of Chemo.
Tomorrow we have to be back at the Cancer Center at 11 a.m. EJ has to return to work after the holidays at 6:30 p.m. He will probably have just enough time to drop us off at home before he has to leave for work.