I have to get a belt in which to carry this stupid baby bottle. You keep forgetting that you are attached and walk away only to have the bottle dangle. Nothing happens, everything is taped to my hairy chest. That is the part the nurses enjoy the most. They make sure the tape is applied to the hairiest part. Removing the tape then becomes kinda fun. At least for them.

We have no idea how this works. The baby bottle contains a soft plastic bottle that contains the chemo. We looked at the bottle on Friday to see if it was working, and could not tell. The soft plastic container was still full. Turns out that the soft plastic container shrinks as it empties. The baby bottle has graduated lines on it as a guide the shrinking of the soft container. By Saturday morning, the thing was pretty empty.

We kept looking out for signs of anything. Nausea, exhaustion, dehydration, anything that would reflect something negative going on. But all was fine, except I am very tired. Part of it is the lack of sleep, but a lot of it is the chemo gradually working its magic.

Nurse calls on Saturday, around noon. She will be here in 15 minutes to disconnect. I forget to ask her name and she does not volunteer one. They all call and identify themselves as nurse, nothing else. Once they know you, its a bit different. So I assumed this was a new nurse.

Door bell rings, and it is Natalie, my very first nurse. How delightful! She is very encouraging. She wanted to surprise me, and elected to not identify herself. There will have to be a price paid for that. She remarks on the huge progress I have made, which means a lot since she was the first one of the nurses to see me and has not seen me since.

The disconnection ritual is almost as elaborate as the connection. Out comes the envelope that contains the gloves. Out come all the syringes containing God knows what that will be used to flush out my system. Then the gloves go on and the ritual starts. Bottle is disconnected and discarded in a container that has been provided for this purpose. The syringes are applied next including the blood thinner. Finally, the porta-cath is disconnected, very quickly. No pain there. The needle looks like a giant, very thin, very sharp thumb tack. Everything goes into the disposal container.

What a relief!

Natalie also looks after my wounds. She is so sweet. We have a lovely conversation and she leaves. On to her next conquest.

I am exhausted, but still no sleep. This is getting tedious. I take a full Gravol in the evening and wait for the drowsiness to set in. No luck. I am wide awake and remain so for most of the night. I get a total of 4 hours of sleep and wake up on Sunday morning in a very irritated mood.

Sunday is Thanksgiving and dinner promises to be amazing. Judy is bringing the Mennonite pasture raised turkey. Janet is providing the vegetables which she and Leslie have been cooking since Friday at a very leisurely pace.

Janet and I go shopping. We are looking for a chest of drawers of some sort to hold all the medication, syringes, and colostomy supplies. They are all sitting in boxes on the floor in the bedroom. A bit of a mess. we don’t find anything, but one store they will make something for us on spec. I will draw it out and measure it and see what happens.

I try to sleep in the afternoon so I can participate in the festivities. My stomach is playing an number. Lots of gas and discharge. I can feel the stuff rolling inside me finding its way out. This is not comfortable. Sleep eludes me though I am, again, constantly, unavoidably tired.

We celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday evening. My sister, Fetneh calls in the morning and we have a long chat. I tell her about the planned dinner and she wants to know why she is not invited.  Hop on a plane, I say, simple. The bed is made, and you know your way around.

She does. What an amazing surprise to have her join us even if it is for a day. I am thrilled.

Dinner was amazing. We have pictures, They will be posted as soon as I get around to the recipe page. I ate like a king but did not overdo it. Very worried about my stomach. Took a nausea pill just to be on the safe side.

Went to bed at 9. Fell asleep only to wake up an hour later. Did a Word Search page and went back to sleep. Woke up at 4:30. Feeling much better this morning

3 Responses to “Disconnected”

  1. Glad to hear you had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I am STILL without my voice today. I am lonely for you and Janet and Devin. Thanks yet again for sharing your experience. I have a new ritual—first thing when I get up I go to ihavecancer.ca.

    • You and your family have been so supportive. Gives me a lot of strength. Janet is off shopping. What else??? I am resting.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like it was a wonderful dinner. I thought of you thanksgiving day as I walked through the park and looked at the leaves, which seemed to turn color by the minute. A wonderful moment in time. Hope you and janet enjoy the outdoors after that wonderful dinner.

    I think of both of you very often.

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