The name says it all, but before we can get to the good news, we need to finish with the beginning of the day.
This morning, Grandma was up and completely ready to go to the Cancer Center at 7 AM. When I walked passed the bathroom, I could see Grandma did not quite seem like her self. She followed me down the hall and grabbed her oxygen tank turning the knobs trying to get it set to the correct setting. I asked her what she was doing, but she kept fooling with the air tank without answering me. I took the tank from her and turned it on. I asked her to eat a pudding before we went because see needed something in her belly. She started to eat the pudding and was very shaky. I thought for sure today was going to be rough on her since she already seemed ‘out of it’ this early.
She could not eat the whole pudding cup so I tossed it in the trash and had her sit in the living room. She was out of breath. I wanted to make sure she calmed down before driving over to the Cancer Center. Within two minutes, she fell asleep. I knew we were going to be late, but at this point she needed to sit and relax for a minute.
Last night, I went to the midnight showing of Batman. So, today, I was extremely tired. I thought today was going to go by quickly because Grandma was only scheduled to have her radiation this morning and this afternoon. We would have just done her treatment and we would have headed back home. I knew as soon as I saw her behavior this morning, that today was going to be long. I went to wake Robyn up because I wanted to let her know that I was almost sure we would have to stay at the Cancer Center today for Grandma to get fluids.
I packed my laptop, woke Grandma up slowly and helped her to the car. The extra 15 minutes I give her to sleep seemed to help out because when we arrived at the Cancer Center, she was alert and not so ‘off.’
Pam, the nurse, came out to talk to us. I told her how Grandma was acting this morning and that I thought she might need fluids. She walked over to the side of the building that handles chemo to let them know that after Grandma finished with this morning’s treatment, she would need to go next door for extra fluids. Pam then told me the female doctor who comes in the morning to supervise treatments, had not shown up and that Grandma’s 7:15 AM appointment would have to wait till she arrived. She also told us because of this Grandma’s 1:30 PM appointment would be moved back to 3:30 PM to compensate the time difference.
Fifteen minutes or so later, they took Grandma back and started today’s radiation. While she was back, Pam told me again how Grandma is a really strong lady and that she wishes more people would be like her.
Grandma came out a few minutes later and I walked her next door to have fluids pumped in her.
When walking in the lady at the counter who is always very nice to us did not notice Grandma for a minute. When she saw us standing there, it looked like she almost fell over in shock. I guess we sort of startled her. She handed us some paperwork that we normally get when Grandma gets chemo. It turns out even though Grandma was not getting chemo today, they still wanted to run labs on her because she was not really her self this morning.
They did the blood work, but before she could start the fluids we had to wait to see what her levels were. About 20 minutes later, they checked Grandma’s weight. It was 121.0. We walked into the infusion room and took a seat. Grandma closed her eyes and started to rest. That’s when one of the nurses came over and started the IV. She said, “I heard this might be your last day. Just remember if you need fluids, just come in cause the next two weeks will be tough.” After getting the IV started, she told Grandma she had to leave and would not be here when Grandma got done so she wished her the best.
I stayed awake until I saw Grandma go to sleep. Then I closed my eyes from being so tired. Around 10:00 AM rolls around and I feel a tap on my foot. Robyn came to the Cancer Center to check on us because I wasn’t answering any texts. She wanted to make sure Grandma was doing ok and thought it would be good to get my medicine to me as well.
I took my meds then looked up to see where Grandmas IV was. “It looks like we have only have about ten minutes left,” I said to Robyn. Grandma’s IV was about a quarter full.
I talked to Robyn for a few minutes before Grandma woke up. She kept her arm straight the whole time even though she was sleeping. A nurse came over to tell Grandma she was done. She also wanted to give Grandma a hug and tell her how happy she was for her. She reassured Grandma that if she needed anything, to just come get her. Grandma seems to have that effect on people. We walked back to the car and headed home.
Grandma had something small to eat then laid down. I got her up at 2:00 PM for her meds. Once she got done taking them, I told her to rest and that I would get her up in time for her afternoon appointment. I thought she needed to be back at 3:30 PM, but Grandma told me, it was 3:15 PM. So around 2:45 PM, I gave her the Xanax and we headed back to the Cancer Center.
Grandma, Robyn and I arrived and they took Grandma straight back before even had a chance to sit down. I had some work to do so I started on it, but before I could hit send on the invoice, Pam was telling us to come in to the exam room. Grandma was finished and needed to check out.
That’s when she hand Grandma a Certificate of Completion signed by everyone at the Cancer Center who worked on her case. Grandma’s eyes lit up. She then handed us Grandma’s discharge papers and started to explain how the next two weeks would be harder then treatment because all of this will be leaving her system. She said that next week, Grandma will need to come back on Thursday to see the doctor for a checkup. She then told Grandma how much she admired her and said the doctor would be in to see her in a few minutes. I spoke up and asked where Grandma’s mask was because they have been saying that’s something Grandma would be able to take home from the beginning. She had Stephanie go grab Grandma’s mask. If nothing else, this mask will be a good reminder of what Grandma had to go though.
When Doctor Taylor came in, he basically went back over what Pam had told us Then said to try to just take it easy and don’t forget to keep her meds on schedule. He congratulated Grandma and said that doctor Frazier would see her next week. Then she said her goodbyes to a few of the staff and we were on our way back home.
Today is a great day. From what we all understand, the cancer should be gone, but they plan on keeping a close eye on it to make sure Grandma stays cancer free. Each week for the next month, Grandma will go into see a doctor at the Cancer Center for checkups. In about a month, they will do a CT scan to check the tumor from the inside. I plan on continuing to write in this blog about each visit and if throughout the week something happens that needs to be documented, I will write about that, too. The doctor and nurses say that this next two weeks will be grueling for Grandma so I plan on documenting that as well. As Grandma said her goodbyes to people at the Cancer Center, she seemed like a new person from who she was this morning. It’s now 7:16 PM. Grandma rested from the time we got home till about 30 minutes ago. She takes her meds tonight at 10:00 PM. We are all very proud of her and pray that nothing else comes up. She did great and deserves to enjoy life without having to go through all this. Grandma has always been there for me when I needed her and I did everything I could possible to return the favor to her. I’m so glad that I’m able to say she successfully completed radiation therapy treatment.