WARNING: Reading ahead is not for the light-of-stomached. ;)
A definite TORNADO touched down in the Ziebart household over this weekend...
initial impact with our little Lincy-bear on Saturday and then with Aaron AND myself on Sunday/Monday.
Sorry, but in the midst of chemo, to get a 12-hr stomach bug?!
and I promise, you will be laughing with me afterward, too. ;)
3pm, Sunday afternoon--dad picks me up, at which point all is the 'normal' rush of packing for the weekly 24-hr P-town trip, getting in any extra kisses with my darling little men and my awesome big man, and ending the weekend on the note we end it each week...
Freeway to chemo.
About a half hour into the trip, my stomach starts feeling a bit strange. I ignore it, impatient and un-accepting of the bad thought that I could be 'inheriting' the nastiness my poor littlest was wrought with all day, Saturday. *A 'fun' weekend we'd already had, indeed, ha!* Lovely father-conversation and two hours later, as we're coming up on Wilsonville, I tell myself 'I'm just reeeally hungry and my stomach is angry...I've ignored the signals and now also just taken my daily chemo pills on a practically empty belly and therefore asked for this!'
Mmm hmmm...that's what it was. --->N.O.T.!!!
But 'it was', so off of i-V and into the drive-thru for carbs we went.
First few bites *convincing myself this IS working* I say to dad, 'Yep, that was it...just should've eaten something earlier.'
Fast forward to dad dropping me off at Amy-C-sister's cute little abode. We'd arranged for me to tag along with her to meet with a lovely group of awesome women cancer-survivors/fighters and I honestly COULD have been more excited, had my belly not been raging at me by the time we arrived to her place. In the rudest of fashions, I walk in to her lovely face and A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. little girl begging to sit and enjoy immediate get-to-know-you time, and instead follow with, 'I'm sorry, but I've got to use your bathroom!'
Just like the scene from Along Came Polly, I went into to a strange house and let loose--the whoooole time feeling so badly that this was my way of 'introducing,' ha!
All I can say is... GOOD THING Amy really is like a sister I've known forever and God granted us both that very mutual feeling on the immediate so something like this can be 'acceptable.' Also, good thing we are going through chemo together and can, if nothing else, blame such atrocities on that! :-P After said bathroom-trip, she gave me the 'quick tour' of her place *curiously avoiding showing me the bathroom I'd just been in, smart girl!* exchanged a few enlightening words with her too-cute-for-words 3-yr-old and away we went, so-as not to be late for the group. As I walked out to get into her car, I could feel the fire, re-building in my gut-- clenching... burning... SCREAMING, if you will, and resorted to prayer as I sat in that passenger seat waiting for her---
Lord, just let me make it to that meeting!
Yeah... Not so much.
About 3 minutes into our ride, just after entering the freeway, Amy's driving along, *by the way, Am's, you ARE a veeery good driver, just so you know* ;) We're yapping away and I'm literally picking at the bread on my chicken sandwich in hopes that the carbs are going to do something--ANYTHING--to keep stuff 'in.'
I don't even remember what she was saying now, but out of nowhere, *rudely interrupting again* I say 'Sorry, but do you think maybe you could pull ov--- and without a second thought the blinker switches on and she replies, 'Of course!' Next thing we both know, my door's flinging open and I am purely and harshly DECORATING the concrete shoulder-wall with the most violent projectile vomit I've ever experienced!!!
The whole time I'm thinking 'what poor bum may come across this... 'Lord, please don't let that happen!' 'What poor family may have to suddenly pee their kid and just so happen to pull over RIGHT HERE... 'Lord, pleeeeease don't let THAT happen!'
Five 'hose-downs,' two spattered pant-legs, and one pair of brand-new puke-covered Toms later, I weakly crawl back onto her passenger seat... apologizing for what just took place.
Not exactly my idea of a positive '2nd-date' experience for us. ;-P
She speaks some reassuring 'Don't even worry about it's' and hands me a half-dozen baby-wipes *exactly what I would have on hand! and for whatever reason, I'm suddenly eased by our sisterhood, again.
She's a mom. I'm a mom. We've both seen, WORN and cleaned up puke, countless times.
Aside from that, our time together is not to impress.
It's TO BE REAL. <--Also the title of my next blog, mind you, as it's something I am learning more and more about, every day!
I climb back into the car, we both laugh a little and make jokes about the little 'present' I just left behind on the freeway and as you usually feel after that kind of ralfing, I experience a solid 10-minutes of gut-relief. :) Lovely conversation graces the rest of our car-ride and by the time we arrive to the hospital *although late, oops* I'm pumped up about the night, thinking, 'Ok...that was just a one-time punishment for having not eaten, then taking pills that needed food and paired that with my already car-sick tendencied self. This IS behind me now and I'm excited for this meeting.'
Not two minutes into the meeting does my stomach start up again. Mildly at first, but by 8 minutes worth of 'toughing it out,' literal BULLETS of sweat are running down my neck and I just know... 'Here we go, again.'
I 'politely' excuse myself from the meeting to go find the bathroom. BARELY making it into the stall...welcome Episode #3!
You'd think I'd of learned by the end of that 5-minute gut-spew that this was a helpless cause, but I returned to the meeting, anyway.
Yes. I'm what they call BULL-HEADED.
Almost exactly ten minutes later, I found myself doing it a FORTH time, only this time the long *what felt like Labyrinth-maze long* walk there was going to put me over the top and I just knew, a garbage can was the carpets ONLY HOPE. Finding a little side cafeteria, I barely made it to one of the counter-holes that hold those extra big cafeteria bins... and let me tell ya, although violent enough in it's own form, I can't say the tossed-out food wafting back at me from that bin made me feel any LESS wretch-y as I let loose into it, ha!
Coming to my senses, I wiped my face off with some napkins, looked around, found two chairs to push together in a bed-type fashion, dragged out one of the bins (the less 'food-filled' of the two), and planted myself, HORIZONTALLY, in that spot.
As I laid there *after typing Amy a quick text to let her know where I'd be for the next hour-and-a-half* I found myself giggling.
I'm sorry, how could you NOT?!!
What would someone see if they walked by and found me, holed up, with my puke-fest set-up, in a hospital cafeteria, at 8pm at night......yep, pretty pathetic. Then I got to thinking--I'm up here to do chemo tomorrow and I'm likely going to be puking every ten-minutes on the dot, tonight?!?
Wow. What a scenario. Not to mention, the near-yelling noises that I was making every time it started up, again--sort of the combination of a dying station-wagon and a 75-yr-old chain-smoker!
It was funny people. Seriously.
And I forgot to mention the poor person in the bathroom during the Episode #3 who unknowingly came in, chose the stall right next to mine and endured me 'letting loose.' I can't say I wasn't braced to still be in there when she returned with a nurse from down the hallway out of sheer concern for the 'dying person' in the bathroom, but fortunately, that never happened. In fact, I think she just ran, honestly. There was NO sound of hand-washing after her door slammed shut...ha!
But really... Who could blame her?!
When the meeting was over, Amy came and found my fetal-positioned self and decided to meet me back at the room after I'd completed Episode #-who-knows 5-minutes later, and my thought process was to wait until everyone else had left, in hopes that Amy and I could just escape.
When I got back to the room however, I was greeted with multiple worried 'strangers' who almost immediately adopted on the responsibility of taking care of me--insisting that I be admitted to the ER (since we were right there in a hospital) for fluids. Next thing I knew, I was registered and waiting for my name to be called, with three beautiful nurse-type ladies keeping my nauseas-self as comfortable as possible. After a few more yell/hurl fests in the middle of a busy waiting-room, my dad--who'd found his way there from our friends' house upon the news of my condition--arrived and all the ladies, who I PRAY I get the chance to know even better, in more uplifting outside circumstances, signed off to head back to their homes.
Fast forward to my actual admission:
We were introduced to yet another Angel Nurse named Kima who pampered and doted on me in near spa-treatment fashion, held my hand and rubbed my back with each consecutive barf-fest and just downright BLESSED US with her presence.
Then, a phone call from home to find out Aaron was now doing the same.
THIS. THING. IS. BAD. NEWS.
Wash your babies. TWICE today. Scrub your surfaces. WITH BLEACH. Wear a mask. In public!
Seriously peeps. You DON'T WANT THIS!!
Two saline bags, two doses of Zolfran, one dose of Morphine, and one final knock-me-out dose of Phenergen later...I finally stopped puking and fell asleep in relief.
2:30am, the port set-up was taken out, hospital gown was replaced by my clothes again, the release form was signed and we were headed home.
Rather fatigued but well-slept, we awoke this morning to our 'normally scheduled routine'.......
I took my shower in the Harrison's 'spa' shower that I adore and look forward to each time--seriously peeps, that thing is goooooooorgeous and soooo relaxing!
Dad and I headed in, hopeful the whole time that behind us now was the absolute laugh-it-in-the-face Twighlight Zone-ish puke-fest/hospitalization and ahead of us was the regular schedule of chemo.
THANK YOU, LORD... that's just what happened!!!!!!!!!
Not only did I pass my blood-work with flying colors, but, one of my sweet team-nurses happened by while we were sitting in the waiting-room, heard the short-story version of the night before, and insisted that she go secure a BED-room for me so I could sleep during infusions. :) :) :)
Have I said lately how much I. LOVE. O.H.S.U!?!!
NASTY stomach roach, flushed!
Chemo #7, a success! *And, btw, almost halfway there on all weeks COMBINED, whoot whoot!!!*
Tonight, as I head for my bed I am thankful for a WORKING STOMACH. Something, before yesterday I took for granted a little too much, I'd say. What a glorious feeling to sit without cramping and internal sloshing-about. To EAT and not have to 'un-eat' 5 minutes later. THAT is a big deal.
I am thankful that God's timing of allowing it made it possible for me to still have the regularly scheduled chemo-treatment. THAT is a big deal.
A tornado perfectly describes and represents this trip.
Touching down, unexpectedly... QUICKLY...FURIOUSLY.....making it's great mark and mess...... and dropping everything, albeit all over the place, as quickly as it picked it up.
BUT...it's over now... and it's sooo good to be home.
Aaron is feeling much better, too--he goes back to work tomorrow *no choice* so I'll be praying he isn't too fatigued. But I am thankful that even through this mini-cyclone there is much to be learned...MUCH to be grateful for...and many opportunities to just LAUGH~
PS: Now go read my C-sister's take on this. ;) http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/amylivbradford