Tuesday, I go for cycle #4. I left a message with the nurse to call me tomorrow as I want to ask her some questions about Rituxan, but I’ve pretty much made up my mind to go for it. I’ve also got to go down to the VA tomorrow to get the prednisone I’ll need Tuesday before my infusion. I dropped the ball and forgot to get the prescription refilled after my last go-round. I doubt I can get through by telephone tomorrow, but I’ll try it. I’ll probably have to actually go by the VA clinic and wait while they fill it.
Laundry time again. One of the dryers doesn’t dry all that well, so I’ll start them both off, take the clothes out and transfer the sheets and towels to the dryer that works and let them finish. I have two sets of sheets because accidents happen, especially with the side-effects of chemo, so one set is always clean. The clean set goes on the bed, and the dirty set gets washed and put away.
Last Monday, mom called and said she wanted some money. I can’t just go downstairs to the (Plains Capital) cash machine put in her (Prosperity) debit card and get her $100 because (a) they charge a fee and (b) it all comes out in $20’s and she wants tens and fives and ones. There’s no place I can get that kind of change on campus, which means I have to get dressed for outside, go downstairs, get in the car, drive to her bank and deal with the teller. Tuesday, CK texted me to ask if I’d gotten mom’s money yet. No I hadn’t. I had to go out Wednesday anyway, and I was going to do it then. CK was coming to visit again on Thursday and would get it to her then.
(Edit: Exception was taken to the above paragraph. If that’s the way some people choose to interpret it, I’m sorry. In this space, I make a conscious effort not to constantly belabor the fact that in the six or seven days following chemotherapy, my energy level drops drastically and stays there. Even when it finally comes back up, it’s still less than half of what it was prior to chemo. Welcome to the real world. Even going down to check the mail and get lunch is taxing. Wednesday I had to choose between going to mom’s bank or going down to get lunch, which ended up being a moot point because after I got back from the bank at 10:30, I sat down to wait for lunch time when I could put in a “carry out” order(11:00-1:00), fell asleep in the chair and woke up at 4 o’clock . Getting supper is out of the question as I would have to walk outside to another building over a block away to get it and then walk back. That’s the reality of chemo, folks. I’m sorry if some people take it personally, but there it is.)
In the meantime the head nurse over at Carillon House, where mom is, called to tell me that mom had awakened with pain in the right side of her chest and they were going to do an x-ray. Fine. Never heard another word about it. Thursday, when CK comes to get the money to take it to mom, I find out that mom has pneumonia, and she’s on 7 days of antibiotics. There’s some concern that it is aspiration pneumonia (something has gone down the wrong way) and they are going to have a speech therapist evaluate her swallowing. Of course, if you ask Dr. Me, a large part of it is that she doesn’t get enough air circulation in her lungs because she won’t get up and walk around the unit for any distance.
I also found out she has a pressure sore on her backside. No surprise. All she does is sit in her lift chair. She gets up to go sit in her wheelchair and wheels herself to meals because it’s easier than trying to get up and down from a chair. The only walking she does is the approximately 10 feet between her lift chair and the plumbing. One of her friends has offered to take her to church, but “It’s too much trouble.”
It frightens me to hear that she has a pressure sore. Once you get one started, they are the very devil to heal. It’s what is called a decubitus ulcer. The constant pressure of sitting makes it difficult for the blood to circulate through the skin. With no good blood supply, the skin begins to die and sluff off. Then you’ve got a sore that can’t heal because the blood can’t get to it because of the pressure. It’s a vicious cycle — the sore just keeps getting bigger and bigger. When it gets big enough that bone is exposed, then you’ve got real trouble.
She gritched and moaned about having to go to the doctor for the sore on her heel; if she doesn’t start getting up and walking more, she’s going to end up having to go back to the doctor for the ulcer on her backside and it will likely take months of treatment. I may call over there and see if I can get her another course of rehab. At least that would get her up and walking, which will also help her pneumonia.
In the knitting news, ongoing projects are ongoing. I’ve made some progress on the hat and the blanket, but won’t start the little dress until I get the hat finished.