Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chemo Stories

Yesterday was intense. I ended up in bed at 8pm. That intense.

Basically, chemo goes like this (anyone who doesn't know my famous blog-by-schedule is about to discover it!):

6:45am - Get up. Find relevant computers, get dressed, brush teeth.
7:15am - Grab a slice of bread with cottage cheese
7:30am - Leave for the hospital
7:45am - My mother realises that she has left all the medical notes at home. I get out of the car and hail the first cab.
8am - Cab arrives back home.
8:02am - Cab on the way to hospital again, with medical notes
8:30am - I struggle into the ward. My parents are waiting in reception
8:31am - I realise that I dropped my phone in the cab
8:45am - The cabbie picks up my phone after I have been ringing it compulsively. He says he will bring it back to me.
9:30 - We are still sitting at reception. Evil Dissenting Doctor comes by and chats to my dad. For an hour.
10:30 - My dad is shown into a room with a bed in it and no windows. He is hooked up to some saline and some preparatory fluid. No chemo yet because they have not finished preparing it in the lab.
11:30am - Lovely nurse comes in to say that still nothing has happened. We eat some sandwiches. My phone arrives with the cabbie. My parents begin to call in the big guns, best friends of the doctors, heads of the hospital. You know, the big guns.
12:30pm - The drugs arrive. The ward shuts at 3pm, so they now have 2 1/2 hours in which to give him the drugs that would usually take 6 hours. The drip is moving really fast.
3pm - The drip finishes and we are packed out. My dad has chest pains, so is ushered into a doctor's office to check him out.
3:30pm - There is nothing wrong with him.
3:35pm - Dissenting Doctor's Nurse wants us to come up and have a chat.
4:45pm - We leave the hospital
4:50pm - We get stuck in traffic
5:15pm - We get home. My father gets into bed.
5:25pm - My grandmother arrives
6:30pm - My grandmother leaves my dad to sleep and I take her to eat burgers.
8pm - I come home and collapse.

So, relevant details. Firstly, Israeli hospitals are just like any other. They are brightly lit with lights that hurt my head. They have no windows, they are busy and they are harsh. Overall, not a nice place to be. They have promised that it won't take so long to get the medication next time, which my dad is pretty pissed about.

Otherwise, my father feels fine. His pain suddenly dropped off yesterday, which truly makes me think that it was from the endoscopy. He was feeling weak yesterday, but this morning my parents went for a walk. So good.

My grandmother, however, is having a hard time. She wanted to come to the hospital yesterday, and my parents fobbed her off. I don't know whether this is right or not, but they had decided that they did not want her there. So she feels as if she is being sidelined. Nice. She has a lot of hurt feelings right now, as if no one wants her, and, frankly, it's not in my power to rectify this. It's quite hard enough dealing with all the fraught emotions on this side of the family without having to think about who is feeling left out. Nerves are raw, and everyone is trying to peer through the glass, which is so dark at the moment that the frustrations are high. And when you can't blame it on god or on the fates, blame it on each other. So we are all carrying a little bit of blame inside, which we are carrying for everyone else. And that, kids, is called sharing.

On a side note, I would just like to make it clear that this blog is my personal thoughts. It does not reflect or pass comment on anyone's experience but my own. By definition it is deeply subjective. And it's the best way that I have right now to communicate any thoughts or feeling that I may have. It is not meant to cause offense. It is not meant to provide accurate data about my father's conditions. It is not meant as a judgement nor is it meant for judging. I am grateful to everyone who reads it and just wanted to make that clear, so that no one gets upset or angry. Really, I would like to keep those emotions off the blog entirely. If we can.

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