Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chemotherapy 7

Friday, December 8, was Anne-Marie's seventh chemotherapy treatment.

Phil Huffman, Anne-Marie's dad, took her to the treatment for the first time.

I met Anne-Marie at Dr. Burgess's office again for our final appointment of the year. This time we scheduled the pre-surgery appointment for a few weeks before the February 7 operation. I again missed breakfast at Miller's due to a 9:30 meeting back at work. I will manage to go one of these times.

Dad and Anne-Marie arrived early. Blood check was OK, with the help of Aranesp. Dr. Smith, along with the resident, checked Anne-Marie's fingernail and hair growth. (These things are important to oncologists.) Clearance was given to begin treatment.

Pre-meds were administered, then the chemo. Phil left once everything was set up to get more decorating magazines. He came back about an hour later, began pillaging the complimentary snack counter, and tried--and failed--to read a Louis L'Amour western (Fallon, for all of the fans).

Anne-Marie was reading her magazines and eating her free granola bar when something strange happened.

One of the patients had a guest--who happened to be her son--show up while she was in the middle of a nap. This poor lady was sound asleep when her son lumbers in and shouts, "So, do you wanna sleep, or do you want me to stay here to talk to ya?!" His octogenarian mother was startled awake by the commotion and asked what time it was. She decided she would wake up and talk (since she was awake already).

She began to talk very loudly to her vociferous son about a granola bar. She had requested that the nurse bring her a granola bar from the complimentary snack counter and it had been too long. She began an attempt to flag down her nurse to get her tardy confection. Her son began complaining to the whole room, "Looks like SOMEONE is being impatient!" Another nurse brought her the granola bar.

The real problem arose when the mother's treatment was finished and the pair was about to leave. She had to find out how to get out of the recliner. After trying to wrestle it back into the upright position, her son informed her that the lever on the side was the only way to release it.

"Right there on the side?"
"Right here?" (Arm flailing randomly at the side of the chair.)
"No, too far back."
"Right here?" (Arm flailing randomly again, now redirected.)
"No, too far forward! FORGET IT, I'LL GET YOU OUT!" (Hits lever. Pulls mom out.)

Next, the son "helped" his mother into her coat, grabbed her stuff, and prepared to walk out when he looked at her: "What-r-ya, LOOZIN' A LIMB?" His mom's coat had only one arm in the sleeve while the other side of the coat hung limply behind her. They then began what would become quite the show.

(While 85-year-old mother is trying, blindly, to place her remaining arm in the armhole of the coat behind.)
"Lift your arm a little higher, mom! HIGHER! HIGHER!"
"How much higher is it?"

At this point the patient sitting next to Anne-Marie began explaining his solution to the problem: "Yeah, I've had this problem before. They gotta take the one arm out. See how it's too tight on that one shoulder? Yeah, she needs a little more slack if she's ever gonna get that on!"

Anne-Marie and Phil were laughing unabashedly at the display. Finally the exasperated son hollered, "I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT! I GIVE UP!" A nurse came and helped the poor lady into the coat. It went on with no problem and the mother and son walked out. Thus, the episode came to an end.

Anne-Marie fell asleep for the last hour. She woke up during the "rinse cycle" or, just in time to pack everything up and go home.

One more to go!


  1. What strange thing happened? Did I miss something? Reminds of the cliff hanger serials we watched as kids (at the movie theater-pre tv) Kathy White Hmm wonder if this will show up twice?

  2. I think that is about the funniest story I have read in a long time! Laughing out loud at a computer screen has got to be one of the dumbest looking things ever and yet I was doing just that...thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Thanks for finishing the "episode" of the inept son. I hope that lady has someone that's a little more gentle to help her at home! KW :)

  4. The nurse came and took the coat completely off and put it back on her. It looked like her arm was tangled up in the lining that had come out of the sleeve. Her son was standing there rolling his eyes during the process. The whole thing probably lasted at least five minutes, and I haven't laughed that hard in ages.