It's 1 am, Thursday. I should be in bed. I will go as soon as I finish this.
Well, our trip to and from Indiana, PA and our time there went well. The kids were all kept pretty busy and I rarely saw Dani for more than a minute. The hardest part was when our cell phones went down on Monday morning (did you know that Verizon will call you at 7:30 am if you don't pay your bill? not cool at all, Verizon!). We weren't able to contact each other make plans to meet up for anything.
Living in a college dorm might be fun for 18 year old kids but it sucks for 53 year old women (at least this 53 year old woman!) A single bed with a bad mattress (I sleep in a queen) I did not sleep well at all. I'll give the food a C. It was OK, not great. Burger King would have been fine.
I met some nice ladies from across the state of Pennsylvania. I even met a few who live in my neck of the woods! Funny... I hung with a group of ladies from Erie, PA and Dani hung out with a group of kids from Erie. The kids shared dorm rooms, to get a taste of what it's like living with a complete stranger, but the parents didn't have to share rooms. Dani liked her crew.
So I get home Tuesday evening at 10 pm. Check the mail (YAY! support check!), take a leak and get back in the car to drive to John's, which is nearly an hour drive. Finally get a decent night's sleep, but I could have used more. We had to be up by 7:30 to get ready to drive to Philly for John's chemo treatment.
This is where the long ass day comes in.
We arrive at UPenn Hospital at 9:30 (30 min early!). John gets his blood drawn, then he goes to another room for his vitals and has a consult with his doctor. Then we have to go across the street to another part of the hospital for his CT scan but it's not for another 3 hours. Fortunately, there's a bridge that connects the 2 parts of the hospital and we don't have to go outside at all.
So we head over to Potbelly's for lunch for me (he can't eat because he has to fast for his CT scan). Good sandwiches at Potbelly's!! Then it's back inside to wait for his turn.
He goes in (the CT scan takes about an hour) Now it's time to check in because they are admitting him for 3 days. Apparently they do this chemo in 3 parts over a 3 day period. I'll post a link at the bottom is anyone wants to read what kind of chemo he's getting and all the fun things it can do to him.
Before he checks in, he wants to eat, so it's back to Potbelly's for his lunch! Before we get John checked in, we snag a wheelchair and go down to the parking garage and retrieve all his stuff he's bringing with him. We used the wheelchair like a hand cart! Folks thought that was very clever! (my idea!!)
So finally he does the check-in routine and it takes a little while but not long. We go up to his room and he changes and the nurses come in and chat and take vitals and start IVs. By this time it's dinner time.
His room is very nice! He has a roommate, but it's obvious from the decor that this was a single private room, once upon a time. This room looked more like a hotel room! An abundance of chairs, 2 TVs, an armoir for stuff and a TV, cherry cabinetry. There is even a loveseat/sofabed in case a loved one wants to stay over!
The nurse practioner comes in and they go over a bunch of stuff, then a little later, a doctor comes in and has a chat. Everyone is very very nice!!!!!! They explain in great detail what is going to happen, what may happen and how to deal with it.
This hospital is like no other I've ever dealt with! There is no "Oh, the lab is closed, so we're going to start your chemo tomorrow"... No, no no!!! "Mr. Russo, your chemo will be up in a few hours and we'll get you started." This place runs 24/7 like it's day shift! The entire floor is chemo patients. Each patient has his own nurse.
At 10 pm, his chemo wasn't upstairs yet and I was exhausted! So I had to leave him there and drive home. I had one hell of a time trying to figure out how to work the machine where you pay for your parking! Finally got it figured out!
OH! I talked to someone about getting passes and was told you can buy a book of tickets for parking (50 tickets for $80 and 25 tickets for $40) So I go upstairs to find out how to pay for it, and am told this program is stopping on July 1, but the hospital is starting a new program on their own (I guess there's a company that runs their parking garages). So she suggested I come back tomorrow, during the day and get the correct info, which I will do. My parking today was $10. I can't pay that every night, plus gas! So for this time around I'm paying as I go. But for the next 4 day stay and especially the month stay, I need help!
The folks at the hospital have already been in contact with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society about giving him a grant to help pay some bills. They're also seeing if he can get short term disability. If they can do that, it would help so much!!! He's using his vacation time for this month-long stay.
I sent John a text message when I got home to let him know I arrived home safe and sound but I had not heard back. Either he was alseep or they were finally giving him his Rituxan.
So that's what's happening now. I'm going to bed! My ass is dragging!