What a day yesterday was.
Yesterday was the third day of chemo this week as Mathew’s second round of treatment was delayed a week to this Monday because of low blood counts. Mathew had a bath this morning before we had to leave for his 1 o’clock appointment in the chemo room and everything soured as he was getting out of the bathtub. His right leg, which isn’t the one that is affected by his Ewing’s Sarcoma tumour in his spine, suddenly did something while he was getting out of the bath. Whatever it was, instant agony ensued for poor Mathew. Screaming in pain, he hobbled over to our master bedroom and fell on the bed. After about 45 minutes of him shrieking and crying in agony I texted John to come home to help me get Mathew to his chemo appointment today.
By the time John arrived home Mathew had calmed down after finding a semi-comfortable position on the bed. Once we helped him dress though the pain was back in full force. It is about a 20-30 minute drive to the hospital and it was torture for Mathew. I called ahead to the chemo room to ask what to do ~ we were concerned about bringing Mathew into the hospital screaming in pain. I must admit to breaking down in tears while trying to talk to the chemo room.
Mathew had calmed down enough that he wasn’t yelling in pain when we arrived at the hospital but going from the truck to a wheelchair made movement uncomfortable. Once we traversed the endless corridors to the far corner of the hospital where the Oncology and Radiology Departments are housed, neither he nor I were in any shape to sit in the waiting room. I found a dark corner to park his wheelchair and where we could wait for John to park the truck, register Mathew in the main lobby and catch up to us.
Mathew’s discomfort had increased again to where I gather everyone heard him. One of the receptionists came out to talk to us and then a couple of the chemo nurses came out to help. We rolled Mathew into the chemo room and today he was lucky to get the small room with its own chair. This room can be used by anyone until a chemo patient with C-Diff or MRSA comes in and then they use that room and the adjacent bathroom to isolate them from everyone else. This room has windows with blinds for privacy and its own tv. The nurses got Mathew into the chair and used the remote to flatten the chair into a bed. At that point Mathew could again get comfortable enough to rest.
Dr. Burnell ordered up an Ativan as I figured that was the only drug I hadn’t given Mathew. He was already maxed out on all his pain medications. Once Mathew relaxed I left John with him and took a walk to a quiet place where I could sit and recover.
Hearing your child scream in pain and beg for help is devastating to any parent. Hearing him wish himself dead rather than experience any more excruciating pain is beyond difficult when there is nothing you can do to help.
The nurses were awesome and understanding. We were concerned that Mathew would upset the other patients and that security would be called if his behaviour was deemed unruly (Mathew worried about this too). Fortunately by resting in the chair-converted-to-bed Mathew was actually able to rest and fall asleep for a while during today’s treatment.
The drive home wasn’t as bad as the drive in. Once in the house though, his leg/hip pain was acute enough to cause him to scream and cry in pain for another hour or so before it tapered down a little. Using the bathroom is a nightmare for him right now, which is isn’t helped by him having to drink a continuous volume of clear liquids to move the Cyclophosphamide through his system. If he doesn’t drink 2-3 litres of water a day and use the bathroom every two hours for the first 24 hours after receiving that chemo drug it will inflame his bladder and REALLY cause nasty problems. Mathew is using his walker in the house, for the first time, to get around.
Oddly enough it is his right leg/hip that has put Mathew into this excruciating pain. It hasn’t affected him like this ever before. Not only that but the decadron used with his chemo treatment eliminates his usual pain for the week he is on it. I have no idea what is going on and we all dearly hope it settles down and disappears asap.
To top off this perfectly horrid day our dog was “bumped” by a car tonight. I say bumped because she appears to be ok but the lady down the street who hit her was left shaken and in tears. Jasmine is a black dog and she was on the road in front of our house…something she hasn’t done in a very long time. Out there in the dark too; so picture a black dog on a black night in a very low-lit area… probably as close to being invisible without actually being invisible. When we got home from the hospital today Jasmine had left a mess in the dining room from eating god only knows WHAT. So later, as I was snoozing on the couch, she indicated she needed to go out and she was let out. Next thing we knew the doorbell rang and this poor lady was beside herself.
Jasmine walked into the house beside her and John assured her our dog seemed perfectly fine. This unfortunate woman went to work and still greatly upset, sent her husband down to our place to make sure Jasmine was fine. We feel terrible that our neighbour is so shaken up. Jasmine is 13 years old and has had a good life. If yesterday was her last day then I would only have wished it to be sudden so no one suffered. This would probably sound cruel but it isn’t. A lot of life is put into perspective and accepted when your limits are pushed and tested to the extreme. We have lived almost 3 years with Mathew’s cancer (starting with the first, variable pains he had in his left leg and hip) and the horror of bone cancer and its treatment.
There are things worse than death, folks.
Jasmine is snoozing comfortably beside me and I wish this woman a good night’s sleep.
Jasmine will be accompanied outside each time she is allowed out at night again. It’s funny because we keep our eyes on her when she is let outside; she knows the parameters of our house and property and except from following the neighbours’ kids a few weeks ago, I haven’t seen her off the property.
It sounds terrible to say but if Jasmine had been hit badly, I would probably be laughing a hysterical laugh…a little crazily. Still.
Just as we arrived at the hospital during our ride from HELL, a little old lady with a cane and a bag started crossing the road in front of us. The crosswalk is in front of the hospital entrance area; it is a high traffic area for both pedestrians and vehicles. The nursing and medical students continually cross as their academic campuses are across the parking lot. This on top of everyone using the parking lot for hospital appointments, test and visiting. It is a very busy crosswalk and can be frustrating during busy times.
Now put that woman in the crosswalk in front of our access to the hospital entrance…at this very challenging moment. Mathew stopped crying enough to say in exasperation, “Great! Just great! Now we have to wait for this little old lady to walk by!”. It was a classic moment on one of those pranking shows on tv ~ The frail, old lady taking tiny, tiny faltering steps making you wonder why she is alone and if she will even make it. The irony of it all hit me and I just started to laugh (probably bordering on hysterical by that point)…at which point Mathew started to cry again thinking I was laughing at him….
What a day.