Thursday, December 14, 2006


My mum’s first chemo treatment was on Tuesday. It’s really pretty impressive that she got the diagnosis on Thursday, and had the second opinion/confirmation and was in chemo by Tuesday of the next week. No complaints there. As a matter of fact, a lot of things are looking up now that we have the confirmed diagnosis. But I’ll get to that.

When I spoke to Mum on Monday, she was very nervous about the next day. She’d been told what to expect in general terms, and she’d met all the people who would be involved, but it’s still a new environment, and experience, and she didn’t know how she would take things once she was there, in terms of both her body’s reaction, and her own, emotionally and spiritually.

Once she arrived, she had a brief doctor’s appointment, to speak with her oncologist, and to get the confirmation and information about what was to happen next. She also found out that she was to have a home help nurse who would be visiting her twice a week for as long as she needs to. (It is a sign of my mother’s acceptance of her condition finally that she didn’t protest this.) He (it turned out to be a male nurse – "murse"?) will be coming to check on her condition – temperature, blood pressure, general well being, and to make sure that her PICC line is clear and situated properly. (More House and ER knowledge coming into play - a PICC line is is one type of what they call a "central line". Thank goodness for medical dramas.)

The chemo went well, and mum was amazed by the colour and variety of the vials of chemicals that were going into her. The one she most noticed was bright red.

Mum also learned about the store in the cancer centre, where there are hats and wigs available, and free to those who can’t afford to pay.

I spoke to Mum in the afternoon, after her treatment. The change was remarkable. For probably the first time in seven months, she didn’t feel sick. Whether this was due to the first round of chemo, or to the expensive and effective anti-nauseants (my mum calls them her "$20 pills"), we don’t know, but we talked on the phone for over an hour. Or, more correctly, my mum chittered and gabbed and I made appropriate responsive noises. It was wonderful to hear her feeling better, even if it was drug-induced.

So the first treatment is done, and her next is the day after Boxing Day, which is while I’m down for Christmas, so I will be able to go with her, which makes me happy.

In the meantime, I am furiously knitting. I did one chemo cap yesterday, and I’ll likely finish another today. Pictures will come.


Rachel said...

This all sounds like happy news. So glad your mom's feeling better and that her spirits are up. Yay!

Erin said...

Ditto to what Rachel said. So glad they know what's wrong with her and can now give her the proper treatment to make her better. :)