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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Surreal Moment.

On Monday, August 9, 2010 Carl went into Froedtert to start a course of chemotherapy treatment, basically for 5 days non-stop. (They do disconnect him to take a shower, would that be considered a break?)

Miranda and I took him in, leaving the house before 8:00 AM. It wasn't planned that Miranda would come along, but she wanted to, so of course I took her. At the hospital, staff did the patient intake.
The nurse tried to access Carl's port for blood work. This is done by injecting a saline solution into Carl's port, and then trying to suction back blood. It frequently happens with Carl that they can't draw back blood, and this was the case Monday. Then the nurse must order up something called TAP(?), get it from the pharmacy and defrost it, inject it into the port, and let the drug sit in the port for 1 hour. It dissolves any blockage, but is an automatic 1 hour delay from the time it is injected. Ugh.

The Doctor was paged with Carl's weight and vitals. The Dr. calculates the dosages, etc, and places the order. The chemo drugs were ordered and being worked on by the hospital pharmacy when Miranda and I left around noon, but chemotherapy drugs hadn't started. It did start before 1:00 PM. (At 1:05PM I was dropping Tom off at his 8th day of his job at the Logemann Center, and I was 5 minutes late. Sigh.)

Carl was in good spirits when Miranda, Anthony, Tom and I visited him for a dinner at the hospital that night. (Nathan was at a birthday party.) After our little entourage left, Carl was going to bike on the stationary bike for 10 to 20 minutes, but the MP3 player's Guns and Roses music was so good he biked for 1 hour. Chemotherapy off to a good start.

On Tuesday, August 10, 2010, I had a surreal moment as I was driving home after a long day of driving the children all around. Tuesday seems perpetually to be the busiest day of my week. At 8:10 PM I was driving home from Cedarburg; home to where Tom would shortly be dropped off by a friend after Tom's busy day at state fair, a friend's house, and another activity that ended at 8:00PM. Tom had been gone from the house from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

As I drove, Miranda, Nathan and Anthony were talking to their dad (Carl) with my cell phone after a day of lessons, friends, swimming and more.
I listened in on their conversations over the cell phone as they told Carl about their day, and asked Carl about his day. (What did you eat for lunch, what did you eat for dinner, where are you in the book you are reading, etc.) They were each wanting to add something - 'I get to talk to dad again after you are done'. Anthony was the briefest on the phone, answering questions from Carl instead of asking questions, but then suddenly coming up with something more after he was done "talking".

My surreal moment was this. I have no clue what it feels like to be a child, talking to your dad in the hospital, getting treated for cancer, after a long day of fun and busyness, when you haven't had time to visit your dad, but you miss him nevertheless. I usually try to empathize with my children, put myself in their shoes and imagine how they are feeling, but here I find myself at a complete loss - I have not been in this situation as a child. I have no clue what they are thinking or feeling. And I am unwilling and or afraid to ask them about it.

P.S. I do know that I wish I could have easily visited Carl in the hospital today. Carl said I should think of this as him being gone on a business trip - I wouldn't feel compelled to visit or call. But I feel that I didn't take care of Carl the way I could have/should have. Last sigh for the evening...


Anonymous said...

Hang in there! You and your family are thought of often! I often think I could or should have done something different with Nate but we make decisions to the best of our abilities and try not to dwell on what shoulda,coulda, woulda!

Jean said...

I admire you Jean, you have a beautiful family and will continue
to pray for you all as Carl climbs this road of recovery!
Jean Christiaansen
If we can ever help in any way with the kids call anytime!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the feeling either. But thank goodness they have such an open honest relationship with you and Carl. They can ask all the questions they want, and you all have done such a wonderful job of letting them still be kids...even though you are all coping with this "adult" issue. We love you guys!!!

~The Langford's~

Bridget Greuel said...

I'm thinking that the best part of Carl's day was being able to hear how much fun his kids had that day... and that's thanks to you. Knowing Carl, he understands how much you do for the kids and wouldn't want that to stop so you can sit with him for a bit. Wouldn't it be depressing for him to think that his family had stopped living life because he was in chemo?