Saturday, July 25, 2009

Charlotte has Done So Well today!

Charlotte has done so well today! She didn’t eat much of anything this morning before she had to go NPO but she did drink a container of apple juice at a little after 11. (fudged the 11 o’clock cut-off just a little). The sugar in the apple juice must have set her off because she came alive after that. Chatting and telling everyone plots of shows/books, who in our family is related to whom, and general CJ stuff like that. When the Bonitas came by, I walked to The House and did some domestic stuff including making CJ’s bed, check the mail, stuff like that. Also got a change of clothes for me. The Bayer folks were providing lunch today and were handing out bags with little teddy bears in them. They also gave out little squeezy stressball eagles. Who would need something like that? :-P
When I got back to CJ’s room, I heard that she had taken the Bonitas on quite the little jaunt. She had been on a ride around the floor in the wagon already but when they took her out to go back into the room, they found she wasn’t quite done and she led them off on a walking tour of the floor this time, followed by yet another ride in the wagon.
Then it was time for the ambulance ride to the proton center which has already become old hat for her. The crew was different and the woman could have been our neighbor, Abby’s, big sister. Charlotte didn’t see the resemblance.
At the proton center, Charlotte played in the toy area and made me give up my shoe for “lace time.” She has the most disgustingly sweet, Shirley Temple, cavities for the rest of your life way of asking, “Daddy may I PLEASE play with your shoestring?” Then after she completely deconstructs my shoe, she turns around and asks, “Is it ok if I play with your shoestring?” I mean, who can resist it. The police should isolate it and use it as a non-lethal weapon. “Mr. Bad Guy, would you PLEASE freeze?” “If done right, no can defend.” (Movie trivia time…)
After a while of great playtime, she ran out of steam and just wanted me to hold her on the couch in the lobby. But not just any couch, mind you. It HAD to be the couch we had chilled on (“on which we had chilled?”) every day we had been there. So we got settled with her wrapped up in the sheet we got from the recovery room and I must admit, I don’t mind doing it. Unfortunately, we had been settled no more than 10 minutes when they called us in.
The traditional singing of Frosty ensued. They’re starting to get pretty good at it and CJ sang along. Of course, it’s all about making her going to sleep a good experience. “If they go to sleep well, they wake up well.” It’s kind of a mantra here. All these treatment places have traditions and ways for patients and their families to stay focused on the end like the bell that chemo patients ring at the end of treatment (Dog! Dog! Dog!) Anyway, the proton center has a gong and they make these calendars for the patients that count down to the last treatment and they made a beautiful one for Charlotte.
Side note: That was actually the second time Frosty had been sung to her today. The other ambu-guy, Doug, had an earworm going that was really odd. “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town” was going through his head so I decided to manipulate him a little. I told him about Frosty and CJ and I sang the first verse. Buy the time we were done with the first set of “thumpity thump thump”s, we were at the center and Doug had a new earworm! (how does one do an evil face?) Olive Sacs would have a field day with this guy!
Treatment #4 (29 to go) went very well and we headed back to the hospital.
Then the munchy flood gates opened! After we got resettled, I pulled out mac n cheese, she ate it. Mandarin oranges? Gone! Snuck in some magnesium citrate. No hesitation. She ate pretzels, brownies, an entire chocolate milkshakeshake, a tortilla and she took her senna with almost no trouble!
This is a tale of two Charlotte’s. The difference between three days ago and now is so profound, even Dr. Wolf was forced to reconsider things. He came by last night (does the guy ever go home?) to see about CJ and was very happy with her progress. The neck is still stiff but whatever was making her nauseous and not interested in eating has passed. Yea! Looks like we may get out tomorrow (Saturday).
(It’s now Saturday and I will see my wife in just a few hours!)
Accutane is definitely the chemo drug happening starting Sat (today). Dr. Wolff wanted to start it last night but there wasn’t any in the hospital. Also, they’re going to compound it so we don’t have to worry about cutting the top off the pill and mixing it with something. The MRI from just after the third surgery hasn’t showed up yet so it’ll have to wait until next week to do the comparison.
Off to left field…Watching Pres. Obama talk about the newest education initiative. Lots of big ideas and fancy talk but I have yet to hear him say much about music. When is everyone going to realize how essential the arts, music in particular, are to education? More and more research comes out all the time saying how important music is to brain development, socialization, gross and fine motor skills, you name it. Multiple areas of the brain are utilized when experiencing/making music, parts of the brain actually grow larger when one studies music. You want a cause to support, get school boards and other LOCAL government officials to make the arts a priority in public schools instead of always making them the first thing to go.
OK, I’m done. Have a nice day. Fly safe and comfy, Dear.

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