To the Hospital We Go (As Planned)

Three days of chemo are done, with two to go. Kaiser is admitting Rich to the hospital in Fresno for his IVs this weekend, as the infusion clinic is only open Monday through Friday. So, we’ll head down to Fresno bright and early Saturday morning so Rich can be infused with tons and tons of IV fluids, and then the chemo.

If you’ve never been to a chemo clinic, then let me tell you that it’s not as scary as you might imagine. At Kaiser, it’s a large room with 6 big hospital recliners, that are actually quite comfortable. There is also a second room with 3 chairs and beautiful views of the mountains. Next to each recliner is an IV pole, and a chair for a visitor. Each recliner has a TV…there are little tables built into either side of the recliner…

Patients there have been friendly…some keep to themselves; others are chatty…God is mentioned a lot (and not just by us)…having hope…being thankful for each day.

So, we get to the hospital each morning…Rich has blood drawn to see how his kidneys are doing (BIG PRAISE: HIS KIDNEYS ARE SHOWING BETTER NUMBERS TODAY THAN YESTERDAY!!!). Then we head up to the chemo clinic.

Day One-Three-Four-Five

2 bags of regular IV fluids (about 2.5 hours)

1 bag of regular IV fluid with magnesium in it, which helps balance his electrolytes (1 hour)

1 bag of Cisplatin (1 hour)

1 bag of Etoposide (1 hour)

Total time in the hospital, including the labs and getting setup for treatments: About 8 hours

Day Two:
He does all of this, and also gets an injection of bleomycin (it is given like a shot in his IV line)

Day Nine:
Another Bleomycin injection

Day 16:
Another Bleomycin injection

Day 21:
It starts all over again!

The doctor said he’ll go through three, maybe four sessions of the 21-day treatment.

Here are the anti-nausea medicines he’s taking:
Emend ($100 a pill!); Zofran; Decadron…and as needed, he can take Ativan and Compazine. These seem to be doing the trick so far. This afternoon, he was having some nausea, so he took a tablet of Ativan, and felt better within 10 minutes.

We got home after a long day to a meal made by a good friend; then a surprise visit from a good friend from Ohio we hadn’t seen in 12 years…a great evening.

As I was typing this, Rich was watching NASA TV (he loves the space program), and was so happy when he saw the song the shuttle astronauts woke up to today was one of his favorites by Third Day, “God of Wonders.” What a perfect song to listen to on a space mission (or a cancer journey)…Here are some of the lyrics:

Lord of all creation
of water earth and sky
The heaveans are your Tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on high

God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are Holy, Holy
The universe declares your Majesty
And you are holy holy
Lord of Heaven and Earth
Lord of Heaven and Earth

Early in the morning
I will celebrate the light
When i stumble in the darkness
I will call your name by night…

3 Responses to “To the Hospital We Go (As Planned)”

  1. Eric Hagen Says:

    Thanks for sharing all of this. I am thanking God that things seem to be going so well considering everything. Also thanks for sharing about the Space Shuttle and the Third Day song, also one of my favorites. Makes me think of early morning wakeboarding at Mammoth Pools. Beautiful granite domes in the background, floating on a mirror of glass. I pray that you all (little ones too) get rest tonight.

  2. Laurie Binnewis Says:

    What Cancer Cannot Do

    Author: Unknown

    Cancer is so limited…
    It cannot cripple love.
    It cannot shatter hope.
    It cannot corrode faith.
    It cannot eat away peace.
    It cannot destroy confidence.
    It cannot kill friendship.
    It cannot shut out memories.
    It cannot silence courage.
    It cannot reduce eternal life.
    It cannot quench the Spirit.

    You two are amazing and we are all blessed by you!!!

  3. Colleen Says:

    So far so good! It sounds like they have a great set up for the chemo clinic. Courtney’s had the comfy recliners, but it was a small room with just on mounted television. By the end of her treatments, she really knew all the nurses and several patients…they even had a recipe exchange before Christmas (though I don’t think that will necessarily be Rich’s cup of tea!). I am thrilled the meds are working to keep Rich comfortable…hooray!

    Love to you all,

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