Thursday, September 8, 2011

A good ending to a hetic week September 2, 2011

$31,000 worth of blood

Friday Sept 2, 2011
This has been a very long week.
I ironed today.  Ironing is not something done around here at the Bell House, no, not much at all. I believe in Perma-Press, and clothes that come out of the dryer semi-wrinkle free.
But...
today we were pioneers.
and I thought we should look snappy, not like we had just got off the wagon train.
Well, snappier than we usually look.  Ironing adds a nice touch.
We were spoiled in Tulsa at the American Red Cross.
12:40 pm
We arrive at  Oncology . Check in downstairs, check in upstairs.  Wait a few minutes, and are ushered into the Chemotherapy Suite.
A large room with a large circular island of nurses and receptionist.  Around the perimeter of the room are recliners, desk chairs and those doctor stool/seats that twirl and roll. And a lot of those IV hanger things on wheels.  There are also several TVs suspended from the ceiling with no sound (they have headphones for you.).
Nurse Linda asks where we would like to sit.  And Roger just picks the closest recliner.  It is back against the island of nurses facing the perimeter.  The nurse checks his vitals, asks if we have had the chemo classes, asks if we received a new patient packet. (no we haven't to both questions)  Roger asks nurse if she has been in on the Provenge procedure. 
Oh sure, we've had a couple
Roger and I look at one another with quizical skepticism.
Soon Nurse Jennifer whisks away Nurse Linda.
Roger asks where Nurse Diane is.
(the nurse the case manager said would be in charge)
Nurse Jennifer mumbles something about how something wouldn't be fair for Diane.
Roger asks about the Dendreon Rep. 
Yes, he is here, Matt,
Jennifer plugs Roger into a big bag of bendryl, and gives him to tylenol to take.
Matt is standing by door about 10 feet away and I motion for him to come over.
Introductions are made.  I hand him the broken radio thingy we received in the backpack and Roger speaks up.
We would like to trade the radio in
for a Volkswagen
Matt laughs
We talk about how the backpack was a nice touch
he says yes, some of the patients did not receive them
I say we are very happy we got one
he leaves, because a man (who turns out to be the pharmacist) walks in the door with a big box.  This box is probably 24 x24x24
It is a big box and it has Roger's new and improved blood in it.
the box is taken to a room off to the side where lots of people gather around (not Roger and I but there is a window where we can see the goings on) and the box is opened and a pretty pink bag of blood is revealed.  It is smoosed up like we were told, put into a microwave looking machine twice, and everyone seems interested.  Finally, Jennifer brings the blood out and plugs it into Roger.  She has to calibrate the flow manually.  The special blood is not allowed to travel though the machine that usually calibrates the flow.  It is special blood, it is a pretty pastel pink, it is 250 ml and it cost $30,000.  I take a picture of the front and back sides of the bag and of Roger.  (The pictures are posted on Facebook)  But most importantly, it has given Roger hope.  Even though he is tired from this week, it has given me Roger back.  It has given me the "carpe diem" Roger that I met 8 years ago.
Jennifer checks on us every 15 minutes, it takes 1 hour for the blood to flow back into Roger.
that's what? $500 a second
Roger describes his new blood as little pac men munching on his cancer.  I think it is cute, but please don't tell Roger I said the cute part.
Nurse unplugs Roger and says we need to wait 30 minutes, and she will take his vitals and if everything is okay, we can leave.
Everything is okay and we leave.
It is 3:00
Roger says lets go eat
Where would I like to go?
I suggest one of the many  restaurants by the mall
Roger says lets go to the steak and shake in Rogers
I say to Roger
Don't ask questions you don't want an answer to
(refering to the question of where I wanted to eat)
We laugh.
Roger's laugh is priceless.
We eat at the Steak and Shake and get the manager for a waiter.  He doesn't ask what flavor when Roger orders his vanilla shake.  He is a better waiter than our waitress the other day
Roger comments.
We eat and head home.
Roger sits down on couch and is fast asleep in 5 minutes.
Over all it was a good day.
It is good to be home.  It is good this week is done.
Love to all,
Pat