Sylvia and Jenna got to Ohio the morning after baby Kaitlyn died. Amanda’s family lives close by and Aaron’s Dad and Stepmom, Michael and Karen, lived in town for the warm months as well so family was all around. But an autopsy was required and a visit to the home to check for drug usage and so many other very intrusive things needed to be accomplished. It took well over a week to get everything done and actually have the funeral. Sylvia and Jenna were given places to stay and felt very blessed to be able to be part of the tragedy – as odd as that sounds.
Meanwhile, back in KC, I was still enduring chemo treatments. My original oncologist, Dr. Reddy, quit suddenly on a Friday and I got a call on Monday that he was gone. The man I had given permission to poison me took a powder. I was being reassigned to Dr. Miles but the second chemo came before I had a chance to meet her. Bonnie was my nurse for that one and once I began telling her all of the side effects I had experienced, she called Dr. Miles in to see me in the infusion room. Apparently my road was a little harder than they anticipated.
It is a very humbling experience to lose control of your basic bodily functions and to actually not know if you are falling asleep or passing out when rest comes. It was very disorienting and the mouth burns totally broke my taster so even my usual solace, food, was no help.
Somewhere in here I started a private Facebook group as much to make it easier for me to tell multiple folks about my progress as anything. In reality that group became one of my major sources of support and each posting was met with an outpouring of kind words and encouragement. I cannot describe how thankful I have been for that silly social media tool.
I did eventually have an actual appointment with Dr. Miles and she agreed that the side effects were a little beyond normal. She reduced one of the big chemo drugs by 50%, hoping for some relief. But the appointments on July 27th and August 17th really had about the same impact. I would feel fairly good the day after treatment until about 3 in the afternoon and then the “swoon” would begin and last about four days. Recovery would begin and the last week before the next treatment would be fairly good. But then it would be treatment day and we would start again.
The third treatment was with nurse Kristy and after treating me all day she overheard us talking about the loss of Kaitlyn. Her attention immediately turned to Sylvia as she had personally had two stillborn babies. It was the kindest conversation I have ever heard between two women who aboslutely understand total loss. Here are my chemo angels: