Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Update

Very good day overall yesterday.

Charlotte slept in a bit and, when she did wake up, took her accutane in the morning with only a minimal of drama. It DID take a little piece of chocolate to seal the deal but you know what we say about chocolate...

Our appointment for the "weekly see" with Dr. Mahajan was at 11:30 so the New Mexico contingent came by right at 11 and took us over. Aunt B came into the exam room with us and Uncle Ted and Aunt Lynn stayed in the lobby. Rachel had drawn up a small list of questions/concerns to cover including what chemo drug to have CJ on after the 2 week regimine of accutane ends (today). It's obvious that Dr. Mahajan and Dr. Wolff don't see entirely eye to eye so decisions are made with a certain amount of blood loss. The proton beam protocol is still so new and some of the chemo agents have been out such a short time that they are in the dark about many of the radiation/drug interactions. The worst part is when Dr. Mahajan says, "We just don't know." It's honest and makes me understand their hesitation but it's still an urgh. So I guess I'll be the squeeky wheel today, trying to get someone to make a decision because what is completely unacceptable is Charlotte NOT taking anything because they "just don't know." Dr. Mahajan reiterated what I've heard many of her team say about thinking "outside the box" but I think whenever they look outside the box, they feel like they're flopping around like fish outside the aquarium. Very intelligent, well educated, and highly compensated fish. Fish who drive BMWs and Mercedes 700 class sedans!

We also talked about possibly squeezing the last treatment (which is on Monday, August 31) into the week before so we might be able to come back that weekend. I’m pretty committed to CJ getting all of her treatments so just lopping the last day off is not an option for me. Dr. Mahajan said they could possibly do two treatments on one day but that would be two happy juice sessions which would be pretty hard on her. Something else for her to ponder.
Overall, she was pretty happy with Charlotte’s progress.
After the “weekly see” we went back out to the lobby to wait until they called us for the treatment. The appointment was supposed to be at 1:30. At 2:10 or so, I finally asked one of the medical professionals to get me an update. Apparently, it was either a bit beneath her or she has a shorter memory than me because after she went into the back for a bit, she came out, walked right by us, didn’t acknowledge us, and went through another door on the other side of the lobby. Finally, I saw Trish from CJ’s team walking by and grabbed her. She went back and it must have been time because she and another nurse both came out to get us. It was 2:35. CJ wanted Frosty sung which I guess has been something of a rarity the last couple weeks so they were happy to oblige. Any excuse to hear CJ do her famous “STOP!”
One humorous observation is the occasional nurse/doctor/technician who just obviously doesn’t feel comfortable singing with the rest of us. Yesterday, one nurse actually tried to separate herself and stand all the way across the room near the door. I DON’T THINK SO! Lyrics were thrust into her hands and she at least gave it a go. Once CJ gets into the gantry, she’s a queen. Maybe that’s why they’re behind so often. I’m sure they treat all their patients that way.
After handing over CJ, we went out to get lunch. I tried to navigate but I ended up making us drive 10 miles to go 2. We ended up driving through the medical center to go to Chipotle (your choice of pronunciation) just down the street from the proton center. Mmmm! After not eating much all morning, it didn’t take me long to polish off the entire burrito.
CJ had just come out and was sleeping in the recovery room when we got back. Aunt B and I had a great little “small talk” conversation waiting for Charlotte to wake up.
Here’s an Awww moment…I pick on my sister quite a bit. I’m the little brother, it’s my job. But I’ve said it before, Becky quite often gives me fresh perspectives on things and I’m sure she usually has little or no idea she does it. My brother Vance does that too but he’s much more obnoxious about it! ::-) While I’m here, I should also talk about Uncle Terry (Ted, Tedricks, Pieface…) and Aunt Lynn (Lynnard). They’re sister and brother too…not in that order…then again… I admire them both very highly; mostly for how hard they work and their dedication to the family. The whole family is that way. My mom was pretty formidable when it came to defending her kids and my Aunt Moreen raised two pretty awesome kids as a single mother. My Aunt Debbie passed away relatively young and dealt with kidney transplants, dialysis, needles, and all the typical medical indignities. Hell, Grandma Jay is still plugging along in spite of a stroke she had several years back. She is one tough bird! It all makes my family pretty strong. We’re quirky but strong.
Back to our story…Charlotte work up slowly and was kind of surly until we got back to The House and got some Chocolate milk into her. She perked up after that and then promptly peed on me. She was sitting on my lap and her diaper must have been more full than I thought so all of a sudden I felt to wetness! Not too much of a mess and it was a great excuse to get her into one of the MANY new outfits the NM contingent got for her. She was pretty damned cute in the new pink dress.
THEN it was off to Costco for the traditional pizza and ice cream. I just wanted to get dinner but Aunt B and Aunt Lynnard kept finding stuff they or we had to have. I don’t mind. I got the second season of Flight Of The Concords out of the deal!!!

Oh yeah, I found out that they were trying to get us a limo for our date night but the Tim McGraw concert at Reliant Stadium snapped them all up. What a great thought. Thanks guys!

Charlotte was definitely feeling better. We got pizza and after I took off the cheese and scraped off plenty of sauce (real and imaginary), she ate more than her half of the slice. Costco slices are huge! She also ate all the ice cream I gave her and finished off a good handful of animal crackers before bed. She even took all the accutane as long as I put drops of it on her animal crackers. Go figure!
Need to mention that to the nutritionist at our appointment this morning.
Then she proceeded to stay up until 1:30AM!!! What did Aunt B do to her?!?
Time to get her up. May not be pretty!

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