Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chemo and Christmas, Part 2

I left off as we had gotten to Bismarck on the night of of December 22. I was really worn out, but Angie still had to unload everything of Brooke's at her dad's. I don't think I could have helped if I'd wanted to, though.

On the 23rd, I woke up late-ish to get Heather some breakfast, but was still pretty tired. I didn't do much, and maybe caught a brief nap, but I needed to make one last shopping stop to Best Buy with Michael. Thankfully, that went very quickly.

I don't know that I really did a whole heckuva lot the rest of the day. Mom had to work, and I think I tried to work on "my chores" that get saved up for when I visit: fix up a couple of things with her computer, I put some plastic on a window, looked into issues with on of her TVs, and tried to figure out what is wrong with her phones.

It seems to me that Karen was making her delicious version of Mom's chocolate- and butterscotch-chip cookies. And I'm pretty sure I grabbed a few before they had cooled. And I tried my best to make and join conversations. But again I was pretty worn out, and was having an issue with shoulder and back pains.

It dawned on me that while my prescription of percocet would be just fine were I at home, being out of town threw a bit of a wrench in the works: with Friday being Christmas, I needed to call the clinic to see if I could get a new prescription pronto. Unfortunately, it's a controlled substance, so I have to pick up the prescriptions in person. After talking with Dr. Amatruda's nurse Michelle, I decided to try to minimize taking the percocets, and as a backup to try some of the 20mg oxycontins.

Ya see, normally 30 percocets can go a long way. But if I take two at a time at four hour intervals (say 3 times in a day) for 5 days, I'd be running out on Sunday night when we would be getting home. I didn't count 'em, but 30 seemed like a good guess of what I had left. Going by onesies and overlapping them a bit, I was taking about 5 per day, I think. But that wasn't really giving me much relief.

Angie spent much of the day visiting. I think her sister Darcy was going to be out of town after Christmas Eve, so that was one of the places she stopped. For Christmas Eve, Angie went to her folks' dinner and gift opening. I was still not up to leaving the house. But Dan came over to visit me at Mom's, which I appreciated.

Angie was done with her dinner and gift opening early enough that our gift opening and Mom's was not really affected much. With some well-timed percocets, I was feeling good after 10pm, so I trailed behind Mom and Karen, Michael, and James who had gone next door to Barb & Andy's. I had a pretty good visit over there and enjoyed many good snacks. Although I don't think I lasted an hour, it was very nice to get out of the house and visit with Bonnie and everybody over there.

Christmas day came with a lot of snow. I began to worry about the drive home -- we were planning to leave on Sunday. But the snow kept coming and coming. And I was still not feeling great, the old "worn out and tired" was getting old; the pain was becoming a pain. I was still rationing my percocets, especially since I was now thinking about leaving Monday instead.

I did my best to try to keep up with conversations and be sociable, but many moments found me sitting in front of Mom's computer in what was my original bedroom. It had become my place to try to weather the pain while waiting for the meds to kick in. I just couldn't sit still and carry on a conversation in the living room or kitchen as much as I'd try. There was certainly nothing more comfortable for a chair in that room, but the little 30-second distractions on the monitor kept my mind off of how I felt. And when I was starting to feel better I'd make my way back out to where people were. Late at night, I had a good talk with Michael and James, and we were later joined by Karen. Time marched on past midnight, but it was good to talk.

On Saturday I enjoyed a happy helping of leftover turkey and gravy and taters -- which Karen had fixed so well for Christmas dinner the day before. By no fault of the food, I had some kind of stomach issue later that day. I fell asleep watching some football, but I was really just feeling about the worst I'd felt the whole time. I mostly slept much of the evening, too, and eventually my stomach caught up with me.

I had been hoping to pack up on Saturday, but I could not bring myself to do it with all of the nausea. Since we really weren't packed up to be ready to go first thing Sunday morning, and given the still-snowy weather, we wouldn't be heading out on Sunday.

We did get to most of the packing on Sunday, and I was feeling better after the prior night's purge. We also had the opportunity to do more visiting. Angie was all over town visiting people all week. For me it was just taking the time to talk to Michael, James, Karen, and Mom. Which probably worked well for both of us.

Monday we headed out, Michael driving solo so I could play disk jockey for Heather in the back of Angie's Trailblazer. The roads were damn good considering the blizzard that had just blown through. We got back in time to watch the Vikings on Monday Night Football. Unfortunately, that close game ended in a Minnesota loss. I took Michael to the airport after the game: he had his flight back to Seattle early on Tuesday morning.

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