Audrey and I arrived at the hospital around noon - after a trip to Audrey's favorite, McDonalds. Because this is our first time and due to the fact that she had her port placed on Monday of this week, I was not sure where I should numb her skin for the port access. So, after we arrived they showed me how to access her port or where I should put the numbing cream. This saves about two hours if I do it ahead of time. Then the next couple of hours is spent hydrating her body through an IV. The first time a patient receives chemotherapy the pharmacy takes quite awhile to put the correct concoction of drugs together and send them up to our floor. Audrey fell asleep around 9:00 p.m. and the chemo started around 10:15 p.m. first she receives some medicine through her port to help with nausea (a very common side effect of her chemo) then they have two IV bags with the chemo drugs the dripping process takes about an hour when that is finished the process repeats two more times.
At first I was a little irritated that the process wasn't starting until she was asleep, thinking it would keep her up all night. However, it seemed to work in our favor. She was so tired that she didn't wake much of the time the bags were being changed and the medicine was being put through her leads. It was definitely hard on me waking up every hour on the hour but I seem to have gleaned enough sleep. Regardless of the person changing her diapers gloves have to be worn. Audrey really doesn't like this and the first couple of times it really scared her. Now she knows that we have to and she has decided it is okay if I am the one doing it and not "the lady" aka our nurse.
She was very groggy when she woke up this morning and actually said that she didn't feel good. But she is wide awake and very conscious of everything going on around her. I asked her if she feels okay and she responded, "not yet." So I questioned when she might feel better and she replied, "Five thirty." Not sure what that means but we both smiled and laughed - it felt good! She had a little bit to eat and drink this morning and she has applied her chapstick at least ten times.
I know that this blog entry is getting really long (and what fun are blogs without pictures - I will be posing some soon, I promise). I just feel like I need to share a personal experience from years ago...
My Grandma Hiatt (whom Audrey shares a middle name with) is one of the most special, important people in my life. Though she did not live a very long life she had more than her share of trials and experiences. We were as close as a grandmother and granddaughter could be. See, while she was living she had 10 of her 11 grandchildren and she was so good at being a grandma, each of her grandchildren thought they were her favorite. I think that is the secret of a great grandma, loving and treating each grandchild as if they are the most important person in the world. As I said she had many experiences and trials, most of which had to do with health issues. She survived multiple heart attacks, heart disease, breast cancer and the removal of both breasts, she had severe diabetes which eventually led to the removal of her right leg, above her knee. I spent the night at Grandma's house a lot growing up. She lived within walking distance of my house most of the time I was growing up. I remember some nights (in the years prior to her leg amputation) praying that Heavenly Father would take her pain away for the night and let me have the pain so she wouldn't have to experience it. Those nights I actually thought I felt like I was taking on her pain. I later learned that some people actually experience pains like this, mostly psychological, and they are called sympathy pains. I do not know if Grandma experienced less pain on those nights but it made me feel better experiencing some of the pain. Last night I found myself praying that same childhood prayer that Heavenly Father would allow me to experience all of the pain and discomfort in Audrey's place. The hardest part about all of this is seeing someone you love with all of your heart going through the trials and pains and not being able to do anything about it.