PARASAILING WAS FUN!!!

I WONDER WHAT'S NEXT? ZIP LINING MAYBE???



Friday, June 12, 2009

and so it begins

John got word yesterday that his appointment to see the doctors at University of Pennsylvania Hospital next Wednesday isn't just to discuss his treatment. He is to receive his first chemo treatment. And for this, he needs to be admitted to the hospital for 3 days.

This round of chemo scares the shit out of me. When John had his first round of chemo, back in 2007-08, he was able to work through it. He lost a couple of days every 3 weeks, for the treatment and the Nulasta shot and they scheduled it for Thursday, so he had the weekend to recover.

This time it's different. This time, John needs to be admitted for his treatment. This time he'll lose all the hair on his body (last time he still had some hair... eyebrows, eyelashes, some head and body hair) John allowed me to take before pictures, and I can also take during and after pictures too. The man's Italian... he's got hair everywhere! He's the man you see on the beach who looks like he's wearing a sweater... front hair, back hair, shoulder hair... yup, everywhere.
(just so you know.. me taking the pictures is me trying to keep it light and he understands this and is going along with it.) This time, he might actually get sick from the treatment. I KNOW when they do the big one, he'll be sick. The plan is to completely destroy his bone marrow and then infuse the stem cells they'll harvest back into his body. One bit of good news is his bone marrow is clean. No sign of any cancer there. If there was, then they'd have to ask his siblings for a donation and frankly, I'm not sure if any of them would agree to it.

I am not looking forward to driving into the city each night, after working all day, by myself. I'm more concerned with returning to my car, after visiting, by myself, each night.

Parking at the U of P is not cheap. I need to look into the terms for a weekly or monthly parking pass (for when he's admitted for that month when he gets his mega-dose of chemo). I think I also need to check on the valet parking.... might not be expensive, and it'll be a helluva lot safer.

So that's where everything stands now. At least after this treatment, we'll know what to expect and will be prepared for it.

If anyone is interested in finding out just what the treatment is, this is a link that explains it all in plain English. If you don't, then just ignore it. You won't hurt my feelings. :)

http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Chemotherapy/Combinationregimen/ICER-ICE

23 comments:

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

((HUGZ))

tinkalicious said...

Hello fellow bloggie, a quick hi and to let you know I presented you with an award, so visit to claim it, (or not)! I know some people are outawarded (is that even a word), and do not want to be bothered accepting any more, I get it and won't take offense (it can be time consuming to fulfill, I know). Anyway, hope you have a terrif weekend and see ya next week! tinks

Pearl said...

A big hug to you, my blogy friend. You have my sympathies and my very best wishes.

Keep writing. Keep sharing your thoughts.

Pearl

Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm praying for you guys.

Jim and Garret said...

This is gonna be it. Last treatments and then he'll be cured forever! Positive thoughts are strong!

Hugs to both of you,
Garret

Sally's World said...

prayers, hugs and healing thoughts!

lisa said...

You are a wonderful person and John will get better. Remember we're all here for you.

mo.stoneskin said...

What you guys must be going through. Thoughts and prayers.

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Good Luck. You sound really strong and ready for everything.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

This is so huge. Will keep you and John in my prayers.
{{{{HUGS}}}}

Joanie M said...

Thanks everyone for the hugs and good and positive thoughts!! It means more to me than you could ever know. Just being able to talk about it here helps me tremendously.

Garret, from your mouth to God's ear!

Maureen, sometimes I think I'm pretending to be strong. I try not to let John see the terror I sometimes feel.

Pseudo, you know, more than anyone, what John's about to face.

tinkalicious said...

Hi Joanie, glad I could offer a little smile for you.
Trust me, I know exactly what you are going through, it is never easy, cancer is plain and simply, evil. No matter how strong you are (or always have been), this will test you in ways you never thought possible. Life throws curve balls just to see how fast we can either catch them, or swerve to avoid them.
Just know that we are never dealt more than we can handle, and you will be amazed (don't know when or where) what all these experiences will culminate in, but one day you will know, and you will thank (God) for everything you have lived through. The night is darkest just before the dawn, but the sun always follows night.
You are in my prayers.

Captain Dumbass said...

Hey, tell John that he should try spending some time in the pool after he loses his hair, he'll look like Michael Phelps. Kinda.

Joanie M said...

I'll tell him, Cap'n. :)

Tink, this is John's 2nd go round with chemo. The first was easy compared to what we've read about this new round.

♥ Braja said...

Lots of love and good healing thoughts to you and John, Joanie...

Lilly said...

Hugs and best wishes to you and John Joanie. Keep your head up and walk through it step by step and we are all here to listen when you need it, really. Take Care and do some special things in the coming days before he gets his treatment.

Joanie M said...

Oh Lilly, I WISH we could do some special things before he starts his chemo! John's boss offered to have him work some overtime to make some extra money before he misses some days, so he'll be working 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
I'm going over to his place tomorrow night (Saturday) but I have to leave in the morning because I have to drive Dani to her college for orientation until Tuesday. Her college is 4 or 5 hours from home. So I have to drive her home, then leave right away for John's because I have to take him to the hospital Wednesday morning for his chemo. So between now and Tuesday night, I'll get to spend about 9 hours with him most of it in the overnight hours.

Queen Bee said...

If you're leaving the hospital late at night they may have some type of security that will escort you to your car. Either way it wouldn't hurt to ask.

If not then I would definitely look into valet. The price difference may be do-able and worth the extra money.

God Bless!

Ice Queen said...

Good luck. I'll be pulling for you guys.

Mary Ellen said...

I am rooting for you so hard - this is going to be a rough time, but I know you'll do great. He's very lucky to have you.

If you would feel comfortable, I'd love if you sent me your address so I could send you a little snail mail support. My email address is blissfulbaritone (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Amy said...

Call ahead to the hospital. Ask about security escorts to your car and how you go about arranging those. You also might talk to the social services department to see if they have any parking passes to give out.

Joanie M said...

Great ideas! I will check into passes and escorts to my car. I know for sure they have valet parking but I don't know if it's more. When John was in Abington Hospital, they had valet parking for $5. Add in a $2 tip and it was the same or maybe even a little less than parking the car myself and a hell of a lot safer!

musingwoman said...

Thinking of you both!