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Friday, February 12, 2016

The untethering

I actually slept for five hours straight last night! That may not seem like such a wonderful thing to many of you, but ever since  I first began treatment back in May of last year I've been lucky to sleep for two hours at a time.  The usual pattern is sleep a couple of hours, wake up, stay awake unable to go back to sleep for about an hour, then sleep another  two hours or so. I guess I could   ask the doc to prescribe something but  would rather  just try to work around the erratic sleep pattern and continue to pace myself to keep from getting tired and worn out during the day.

Anyway, once I woke up this morning,  I got up and let the dogs out and in then went back to sleep.  The facial flushing from yesterday has pretty much gone away, leaving me  with nothing more than a slighly rosy complexion-  a lot better  than the deathly pallor I had on  Wednesday after the infusion session!  When I woke up again, my pump was showing "High P" which usually means one of the clamps has closed up.  As it turns out, the clamps were all open but  I had  rolled over onto one and  forced it almost shut.  Once I   untangled myself from the tubing it began pumping normally again. Don't know how long it had been  closed, but  it had slowed the process down some. It finally    went down to the  "1" and started flashing, signalling that it's time to unhook. It's really  handy that   the clinic has a program to train a family member in unhooking the pump, and it's great also that Mr. G. was willing to take the  training. But as he pointed out to me,  he'd worked at a veterinary clinic  when he was a teenager and assisted in all kinds of things  including spaying and euthanasia procedures. To be perfectly honest I think he could have picked   different procedures to mention if he really wanted me to feel better about the whole thing!   But anyway, putting thoughts of euthanasia out of my mind  ( he still does need me to do  some stuff, remember ) I watched him get unhooking kit ready as I sucked on a peppermint, and then  we began the process. First  he removed the battery from the pump,  then closed  the clamp on the lower tubing unscrewed the  lower tubing from the cap  at the end of the  short tubing still attached  to the port. After putting on the gloves   included in the kit, he wiped off the  cap with an alcohol swab,   checked the first syringe, filled with a saline flush, for air bubbles, screwed the  syringe to the   cap and  pumped in the saline. Then  he repeated  the procedure with the  heparin syringe.  I suck on a peppermint during this part because it seems to help cover the smell and prevent the weird metallic taste I get in my mouth. The heparin   prevents  clots from forming in the catheter that runs from the port into your vein.  Then he closed the clamp on the short tubing, removed the syringe, and began to remove the clear dressing  over the port.  Once that was off , he pulled the needle out, swabbed the  needle site and we were good to go. No blood was spilled and I survived! We both survived, actually!

For some reason, the fatigue is worse after the unhook than at any other time, and after eating breakfast I stayed up long enough to snap a few photos of the huge flock of blackbirds that flew in and settled in the front yard before they took off together in an enormous  black cloud that cast an ominous shadow as they flew away. I love to watch them  come in then all rise up  as one and fly off again.
After that, I crashed and slept most of the afternoon.   Mr. G decided not to go fishing after all since the wind had been blowing a little stronger than predicted, so no fresh trout for supper. Which is OK because I probably wouldn't have had the energy to cook it anyway. 

Remember the pasta I cooked last night? I dreamed that Hillary Clinton   came to  our house, got some out of the fridge, heated it in the microwave and was sitting at the table eating it. I told her she shouldn't have heated it in the microwave because it dried out the pasta and made it rubbery, but she said it tasted fine to her. That was it- no idea why she was in the kitchen or what she'd come for. I can only assume she read my blog  today and decided she had to try that pasta! Oh, those drug induced dreams! One of the perks of chemotherapy, I'm sure.

By the time I got up all the bird feeders were empty and the sun was about to set- the usual  time for the birds' last feeding frenzy of the day.   Mr. G, bless his heart, volunteered to  go outside and fill the feeders.  As I watched him through the  windows and saw the trouble he was having trying to figure out how to  open up the feeders to fill them, then fit himself under the  low tree branches, I figured he may not volunteer for that job again!

And that was my lazy day.  Thank goodness Hillary Clinton left enough  pasta for our supper, because  left-overs were the order of the day, I'm afraid. I'm hoping  my energy level will be back to normal tomorrow because I really don't want to eat leftovers again!

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