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How chemo is like child birth and why you probably shouldn't call me if you're in an unplanned crisis.

Posted Oct 07 2009 10:03pm
You know how when you're 42 weeks and one day pregnant and then you go into labor and you're in hard labor for 24 hours without any drugs and then you finally get an epidural but you can't sleep because you're too tired and then the baby is born four hours later and even though the gender was a surprise no one says "It's a boy!" but you don't care because it could be a platypus for all you care and all you can really think is What day is it anyway and what country am I in and can someone please bring me a sandwich?

Maybe you've never had that experience but that's how I felt after Ocean was born and that's kind of how we felt yesterday.

We've had a year to build up to the start of treatment and it was sort of anti-climactic I guess. A lot of waiting around and meeting different medical people and getting poked and prodded. We had a little time to get some food at Einstein Brothers in the hospital (they must do really well) and Phil commented that it felt like we weren't in Kansas anymore. Or that we were really far from home or something. I wasn't really listening carefully because my salad was that good. But I got the gist of what he was saying, and I could empathize because after Ocean was born we were in a hospital only a few miles from our house but I felt like I was on a different planet. I finally had to turn on the TV in my post-partum room just to reassure myself that I still lived on Earth (and that the disappointing Bachelor finale the night before hadn't been a labor-induced hallucination).

So a gigantic thanks to my parents for coming through big time. My mom stayed at our house with the kids (we kept Ocean home from school because he's sick) and my dad met us at the infusion center so he could stay with Phil while I went to my own doctor's appointment, and then got Phil's Dexamethasone prescription filled. (I was going to make a joke about Phil being on meth or 'roids but I have enough sense to realize that may be slightly off-color for the likes of this blog am terrified someone from his work might read this and not get that I'm kidding.)

So Phil is officially on three "study" drugs (Revlimid, which he takes orally at home; Velcade which he gets during his infusion at the hospital two days a week; and Dex which he takes orally at home) and a whole host of other medications and prescriptions to prevent common issues/side effects. At Friday's infusion he'll get Doxil, which is the fourth study drug.

Last night, after the laundry was done (sort of), the dishwasher was loaded and everyone was in bed, I made myself some hot cider (Thank you , Stef K!) and turned on the TV. Deep breath... the world is still turning and life is still moving and we are still a family and we still have each other.

Phil woke up this morning feeling good. Before he left he said, "You're doing well, huh?" He was surprised, and I wasn't offended because it's common knowledge 'round these here parts that I tend to freak out during crises OMG a hangnail where's the first aid kit someone call 911- no- the national freaking guard because I'm curled up in the corner panicking my face off but I reminded him that during times of planned crises I actually do quite well. It's the surprises I don't like. I've been working up to this one for a year now. Game time, Blagojeviches.
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