We didn’t have to leave for the Cancer Center until 10:30 a.m. so we had time to get a few things done this morning. EJ went outside and shoveled the walks and driveway. A Good Samaritan plowed out most of our parking areas yesterday. We have a driveway that is one vehicle long and several cars wide and also we (and guests) often park alongside the stone wall in front of our house. But EJ made sure there was so snow beside or behind the car so it didn’t get stuck in the driveway.
EJ estimates that we now have about a foot of snow on the ground. Today we woke up to -16 degree temperatures. It is so cold that the snow squeaks when we walk on it. However, our woodstove keeps us so toasty warm that we aren’t even aware of the cold temperatures until we go outside. I’ve heard that January is going to be a very cold month for us, and the temps might dip even lower. We also are supposed to get more snow this weekend. The forecasts keep changing so we are not sure if we will get a few inches or another foot of snow.
While EJ was outside shoveling, I fed and watered the pets, swept the floor, and made EJ an eye appointment for a day when JJ doesn’t have Chemo. EJ desperately needs new glasses. His current ones are all scratched up. I also brought in three armloads of firewood into the house. EJ was done shoveling by this time, so he finished bringing in wood while I made pancakes for breakfast.
Then it was off to the Cancer Center. We had blue skies and sunshine today, so the drive was very beautiful.
When Chris, the Patient Care Technician, comes to the waiting room to take about back to the Infusion area, he always sounds like the announcer on the game show “The Price is Right.” He exclaims enthusiastically, “JJ, COME ON DOWN!!” Today as we followed him down the hallway, he told us that we were scheduled to be in Room 11 but he was going to put us temporarily in Room 8 because there was still an occupant in Room 11. Our start time was later than normal (11:30 a.m.) and since we are at the Cancer Center for so many hours, the nurses didn’t want any delay in getting JJ hooked up. However, after Sue, our primary nurse today, got JJ hooked up, she gave us a choice to move to Room 11, which was private, but windowless and very, very small, or to stay in Room 8, which is bigger, has a window, is our favorite room, but which had a roommate. We chose to stay in Room 8. It was a good choice because our roommate left after only an hour or so. Shortly after she left, Chris told us we were going to have another roommate, but a couple of minutes later he told us that they had decided to put that person in a different room. So we had our favorite room all to ourselves almost all day.
Our roommate today was a woman without anyone with her for support. I always think that is sad. She was pretty silent. There was no chatting back and forth. We said “hi” to her, but respected her silence. Not everyone is chatty–or feels well enough to talk. It was ok that our roommate wasn’t talkative because JJ wasn’t feeling particularly well today either.
When we come to the Cancer Center, we usually bring 1. Our computer bag filled with EJ’s laptop (which he and I share), JJ’s Tablet, and power cords, 2. A quilted cloth bag filled with books, snacks, and assorted little things, and 3. A plastic bag with JJ’s wolf blanket in it. The plastic bag was actually a hospital bag that held JJ’s clothing when he had surgery in October. The plastic bag was finally wearing out and ripping, so last night I had to discard it. I was hoping to reduce the number of bags we take with us but the blanket didn’t fit in the quilt bag. So I searched the house and I found a bag that his blanket fit in and which also has pockets to fit a few other things, such as slippers. We have so much snow that I wear my boots to the Cancer Center, but they aren’t comfortable to wear all day inside and I don’t want to have to carry extra shoes, so I now pack slippers to wear once we get there. I was able to put our books and things in the computer bag. Now we are down to two bags instead of three.
The best thing about the new bag is that it is also a stool so I am able to use it as a footstool while we are in the Infusion Room. Ahhh! Now I am more comfortable sitting in my chair with my feet up. We are getting more “at home” here at the Cancer Center.
We were able to leave the Cancer Center at about 4 p.m. Yay! JJ made in through his second intense week of Chemo. Now we have two light weeks with Chemo only on Mondays.
We also have to get through the next couple of nights and days. JJ’s Chemo treatment is quite intense–I didn’t know how intense until our roommate on Monday said that she only ever had to have Chemo once a week every other week or so. She and her mother were appalled at how often and long JJ has to have Chemo. The meds make JJ feel increasingly worse as the intense week of Chemo goes by. By Friday night, he is feeling fidgety, restless, anxious, a bit irritable, sleepless, and miserable, and we don’t get much sleep. He should start to feel better by Wednesday next week as his body gets a rest from Chemo. However, added to all this, lately he’s been having trouble swallowing pills. It’s as if his body has had enough of pills and is rebelling. It’s become a real trial for him to get pills down–even small ones.
EJ had enough time to get us settled at home and then he had to go to work. His hours have changed so he goes in a half hour earlier and gets home a half hour earlier. I will be glad when he gets home. The weather could be nasty this weekend, and we will hunker down and relax.