Thursday, December 17, 2015

First Chemo Session Is Almost Behind Us

Hi every one. It's good to be back. While I was gone though, I kept up with all your blogs. I understand some of you that work with Live Writer were having some problems and trying to get your blog done with  Blogger didn't help you any.  For me, that's all I know so it's easy for me. I hope it all gets back to some kind of normalcy for you soon.  We went to Redmond, Washington last weekend and were able to stop and have lunch with my sister on the way. We were suppose to spend Thursday, the 10th with her, but I-5 North was closed due to a landslide. So we left Friday morning.  It was "nasty" going up there, a lot of rain. We always pray for the Lord's protection before we ever start the car. And we truly saw the hand of the Lord at work this day. We were in the middle lane on I-5 headed North, lots of traffic and as I said it was raining really hard. All of a sudden the driver veered over towards our lane and if in a split second that Joe saw there was no one coming up in the fast lane, he swerved over and she missed us...She would have hit right at my door. Joe had no time to even think.  That's my Greyhound Bus driver for you and the Lord's protection. We don't think that lady even had a clue what she did.
Kelly prepared a wonderful lunch for us celebrating a 50th birthday for Joe's son Rob, grand daughter Jolene 

They are growing up so fast! Kevin is a sophomore and Joleen, a Junior.

Joe always enjoys "making music" with Joleen. This time it was Christmas Carols.

We not only celebrated two birthdays, but also an early Christmas. I'm not a tree decorator, But I love looking at all the ornaments so I unwrapped each one of them and handed them to those decorating the tree. 
We celebrated Christmas early with them because they will be in Disneyland Christmas.  We were suppose to be there with them but life can change at the snap of a finger so we won't be there with them this year.

A gal and her daddy.  Kelly has been such a support to both me and her dad. She lives a 4-5 hour drive from us and she drove down here to be with us when dad had his first appointment with the surgeon, then again when he had his surgery, and now she will be here tomorrow eve to see how he is doing after his first chemo treatment. She's going to "dad sit" so I can go get my hair cut Saturday and then head back home to get ready for the Disneyland trip. I am so blessed to have her for a daughter in law.

So this wonderful daughter in law is also a very funny gal. After lunch, her husband dared her to finish 3/4 of a bottle of Knudsens Pumpkin Spice Sparkling Water.......chugaluging no less, and he would give her $20. Yep, she did it.  And Hoi gave her the $20 she really deserved. She didn't look to good after she got done but we all had a good laugh.  And it only got better when he told his son Kevin he'd give him ten bucks if he would swallow a tablespoon of Cinnamon!!!!! 
Oh My Word!!!!!! Click on the picture and you Can you see the cinnamon flying out of his mouth.  We all laughed so hard.  Crazy Kid. He said it was like it was growing in his mouth. He must have coughed, spit, gagged and drank water for 10 minutes. if you look close, Joe is in the background holding his stomach because it hurt when he was laughing.  It was a wonderful weekend.  By the way, the gift Hoi, Kelly and the kids gave us was a blessing jar.
I don't remember mentioning it to her, but I was telling Joe one day, I wanted to make a blessing box to write down everytime we receive a blessing. She remembered that  and came up with idea. The kids decorated the lid. Isn't it beautiful. I just love it.

Now for the continuing story of Joe's Journey on Uncharted Waters Battling Cancer.  Wednesday Morning, December 16, we left the house before daylight to get to  the Knight Cancer Institute by 8:00AM. For those of you who know the Portland area. Their Eastside Clinic is located in the top floor of the Pavillion that is connected to Portland Adventist Hospital. They are connected with Oregon Health Science University, renting space from Portland Adventist Hospital.

The first thing they did as soon as he got there was take his vital signs, place the needle in the port, draw blood, then took us to the infusion lounge.
First they did "premeds"  medicine to combat nausea. Then there was IV medicine to do the same thing, then another one to combat any other side effects and then finally the Chemo. It was very busy that day with all the recliners being full.  There are juices and snacks available. The nurses are quick to help when needed, and your treated like you're the only one there. If they want them warm blankets are available. Joe had one under his own "blankie"  It is very relaxing there, ceiling to floor windows. It feels like a five star hotel. 

His chemo wasn't finished when the bag was empty...... his nurse then hooked up a pump to his port and he went home with it. He was still receiving chemo all night, all day today and tonight, and tomorrow at 1:30 we will go into the Oncology Department at Mt. Hood Medical Center in Gresham, where the nurse will disconnect the pump and Dr. Hu, his oncologist, will check a sometimes rapid heartbeat he has experienced a couple of times.  She is pretty sure it is from the steriods he is taking until Saturday.  

There was a little bump in the road when he was having pain in the calves of his legs and a pain in his chest when he did any deep breathing.  So after chemo he was sent to the xray department for an ultra sound on both legs to rule out blood clots. I'm happy to report that is negative.  No blood clots.
I have become Joe's  protector for now. We have posted this sign on both the front and back door of our home. He tires easily and we want to protect him from  "bugs"  If you would like to visit and you are free from fever, cough or sneezes, please feel free to text or PM me for a time that would be good for you to stop by for a few minutes. Thank you for understanding.

Showing off his chemo pump.
So now we play the wait and see game.  The only two symptoms he has experienced so far, was  pain in the back of his jaw where his salivary glands are. It was determined that pain is from the major chemohe he received  yesterday. He said only hurts when he takes the first bite . He hasn't experienced any more rapid heart beat since late last night. So we are thanking the Lord that the first Chemo went so well.  We asked Him to give Joe peace as he experienced all these new things and He certainly answered that prayer.  With Dr.'s OK he even drove home last night. How about that!