Today was a rough day. Today marked the start of mum’s second phase of chemo therapy and the start of weekly treatments instead of fortnightly. She woke up reluctant to go, which she usually is each session, but more so today because she had had such a rough week last week. But she went in like the trooper she is and got settled. The nurse told me that she may have some immediate side effects and to keep a look out, but other than that, all normal, so we got started. At one point I looked at mum and her face looked a little flushed, but I just assumed it was because she was coughing after some of her food going down the wrong way. Apparently not (cue guilt trip and self-condemnation for not realising what was going on!). The nurse came over and told me that she was reacting and they needed to stop treatment to give her other drugs, so we did that and then all of a sudden, her blood pressure hits the flood and machines start beeping. I look at mum and she’s knocked out but no one could really tell me if it was her blood pressure or drowsiness from the drugs they gave her. This went on for almost an hour and I could do nothing but stand there and listen to the doctors talk about her and her condition and what they may need to do. Talk about freak out! I messaged my brother and asked him to send out a prayer request to our church congregation because she needed all the prayer she could get to get through this. After an hour or so, things seemed to settle, her blood pressure seemed to stabilise and things were looking normal thank God. It would be another couple of hours before they resumed her treatment, so a better part of my day was spent staring at my mum to make sure I didn’t miss another side effect. It was a long day.
What was meant to be a 3.5 hr session turned into an almost 7 hr session. Fun for everyone involved. Mum, when she was alert and awake, was getting restless and wanted to go home. She was also getting hungry, so I made repeated trips to the cafe in the hospital. It was on one of my food runs that I had my second freak out. As I was walking back into Oncology, I look up to see 3 doctors surrounding mum, and I freaked out. Totally. Freaked. Out! All I could think was that there must be something seriously wrong if 3 doctors are standing around her talking to her. I hurried over, put the food down and stood next to mum asking what was going on etc. Mum looked at me and said that they just wanted to ask some questions, and that was when I realised that all 3 of these ‘doctors’ looked a lot younger than me. I listened to them ask their questions and then they went silent. It seemed so awkward for them, so I asked them how long they had been around and you know what? It was their second day on their STUDENT ROTATION! God bless them, no wonder they seemed shocked when I stomped over, I probably freaked them out – I didn’t mean to do it, it just happened! It’s the she-grizzly I keep telling you about. But to help them out, I asked them some questions to help them relax, threw in a few jokes and told that we’re there every Thursday so they were welcome to come back with a coffee and ask more questions. They left with a smile and all was well.
But I’m not going to lie, it was a tough day and one I’m praying we won’t have a repeat of next week (or the next 11 weeks that she needs to do this). I am so thankful for the nurse that was charged with her today because he was amazing and alert and efficient and he kept me informed. And considering the doctor they called in didn’t really give me any information or updates, I appreciated the nurse so much more. But the day is done. Mum is home and we are praying for NO side effects tomorrow. I am exhausted and drained and hungry, so I’m off to make myself a healthy dinner of Wagon Wheel chocolates and coffee (no need to tell me about how bad that is for me because I know and right now, I just don’t care. Live and let live people!). For all those that were praying for mum today, thank you!