Tag Archives: hickman line

Wee Ghosties

I haven’t mentioned this to anybody yet, because I don’t want to sound crazier then I already am, paranoid. OK, I’m kind of nervous about this next sentence, but here is goes. I think Gage sees dead people.

Dead serious, ***no pun intended***. But do you remember the time in the hospital when Gage almost died? Well, I think that since he almost “crossed over” he was told it was not his time, and to go back. Thank you baby jeebus he listened too. I am not writing this to be funny, I swear. I truly and honestly believe with everything that I have, that Gage has become that creepy kid from The Sixth Sense.

He holds these long conversations, with absolutely no one. Conversations, with wild hand gestures and long pauses that make you believe someone or something is talking back to him. His voice rises and falls in excitement and anger. He offers his “friends” his sippy or snacks. He doesn’t talk to his living friends the same way he talks to these “friends” his whole demeanor changes, he is not shy with them or hesitant in any way. I think he feels safe with them, like a kindred spirit or something

Oddly enough non of this bothers me either. If he does have friends that are no longer in this realm, good for him. Good friends are hard to come by now a days, take ‘em where you can get ‘em Kid.

Will The Real L.P. Please Stand Up

If you look back to a post from a couple of weeks ago titled L.P. I complain about Gage having to go the clinic for a lumbar puncture, and how it was going to totally suck. Well Gage never got the L.P. that day, his blood counts were not high enough for him to under go heavy ass doses
of chemotherapy, so it was postponed for a few days. He didn’t pass then either, ok…odd. Gages doctor wanted to try again in three days, we put our foot down though, no we want to wait for at least a week.

There is so much stress when getting ready for a lumbar puncture. Because Gage does get sedated, he is not able to eat or drink anything for six hours before the procedure. Which is no fun for anybody involved. I make a conscious decision to not eat or drink until Gage can, and let me tell you I am usually ready to eat my foot by the time we get the ok for a bottle; so Gage must be absolutely starving.

Then the Cyclophosphamide (which is also known as cytoxan) which is just one of the four three or four chemo’s he get that day, can burn his liver, we have to constantly be keeping him hydrated the day before. We never let his bottle or sippy get empty, the same goes for at night. I am up every hour until 4:00a.m. refilling his almond milk, changing diapers, and freaking out that I’m not going to wake up and he drinks something after 4:00a.m. It truly does make for a long exhausting day.

Finally after three failed attempts at chemotherapy Gage had high enough blood counts to actually get shit done. Thank you baby jeebus, because I do not want to have to go through another bone marrow aspiration, to see if horror of horrors the leukemia is back. I did mention the cytoxan burning his liver, right? Well I forgot since that can happen L.P. chemo days are usually eight hour days, because the doctors give Gage I.V. fluids, for three hours before. Still with no food and for at least ninety minutes after his last dose of chemo, with strict rules to keep him hydrated and to change his diaper at the signs of first pee or poop; to avoid a horrible diaper rash.

So since Gage got his lumbar puncture, he has had chemotherapy injected into his Hickman line, for four days straight. He is such a trooper and nothing seems to be able to get him down. I can’t wait for the day that I can say,”do you remember when Gage had to go through chemo, and we never thought we’d be finished?” That’s the day I am living for now.

The Chemo Kid

Jovita

I did something very indulgent yesterday. I hired somebody off of craigslist to come to my house and clean up Gagers room, because even though we have been in this house for… OMG, three months as of today. The most I had gotten done in there was getting his large furniture put together, clothes and toys were always on the floor. Unpacked boxes, hangers, empty target bags I hide from the Hubs so he doesn’t see how much I actually buy ***target is like mom crack, totally addicting*** and a hospital overnight bag. Just in case. But on the floor it all was, taunting me.

Everyday I would go in Gagers room and then walk right back out again, promising myself and the Hubs that I would clean it tomorrow. Promise. Finally after three months of midnight diaper changes and almost spraining my ankle over all the crap on the floor, I took action and her name is Jovita. She is an angel in a denim jumpsuit and knock off Sketcher Shape ups. It took her two and a half hours and forty dollars but it was more than worth it for me, seriously it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I swear Jovita is just like the miracle worker the rest of my day was totally amazing, my hair looked super shiny, my makeup looked flawless, and I fit into my skinny jeans!

OK, that last part was a total lie. My skinny jeans don’t fit and I don’t see them fitting for a long time. I’d like to blame the girl scouts for that. Them and their stupid cookies…thin mints sandwiched between dark double chocolate chip galato. Yumm-O.

Honestly though, sometimes a person just needs to do what is right for them. Jovita was exactly what I needed. Firstly, because I am super lazy much to the Hubs dismay and secondly, because I finally got to put Gagers new race track carpet on the floor in his room instead of rolled up against a the wall. He totally loves it.

Wordless Wednesday: We Be Rollin’


“We be rollin'”

Leukemia. The New Normal

I haven’t been here in a few days. Sorry. It all just got to be a little over whelming, people have been calling and emailing me, questioning me about what I am writing. Am I sure I want to be putting so much of our lives out their for the world to see?

The answer? Yes, I want to write about it. I want you to know that even though Gage is in remission, I will forever live in fear of relapse. And that even though it has almost been seven months since Gage was diagnosed I still have daily anxiety and at least a couple of times a week I have nightmares. To add to my nightmare Gage has been having nightmares. I rush to his room because his screams are so scary and heartbreaking. I wonder if he remembers like I remember. I hug him and kiss him, and whisper in his ear, that it will all be all right, mommy is here and I love you so much. He always falls back asleep almost instantly, into that peaceful baby sleep, curled up on his belly with his diapered butt sticking up in the air. I usually will stay and pat his back, rub his chubby little cheeks, rub the curls on top of his head. Wishing our lives were normal.

31-40

YOU KNOW YOU’RE THE PARENT OF A KID WITH CANCER WHEN…

30. You have more meds in your cupboard than food
31. You can read your son’s chart better than his nurse
32. You look like you’re tan but it’s really Betadine stains
33. You and your hubby get matching stress tattoos for fun
34. You start teaching your daughter the parts of her body, and you point to her chest, and she says that’s her port
35. None of the security guards on the pediatric floor ask for your ID anymore, and you’re on first-name basis with the operating room staff
36. Medical students ask to borrow your notes
37. Your toddler refuses to sit on Santa’s lap because he’s too germy from all the other kids
38. You wrap presents and packages with medical tape
39. Your main source of nutrition comes from aspirin
40. Your child is more familiar with CT scan & bone scan pictures than the portrait studio!!!

The Stinker

Bath time in our house is a HUGE event. For Gage. Not for me. Gage loves baths, mainly because he only gets them once a week. Then he is only in the bath for like fifteen minutes tops, with no splashing. While during the entire bath I am freaking out, begging Gage not to splash, and telling him to “sit down before you fall down.”

Normally Gage would be able to take a bath for as long as he wanted to, heck I have had to refill the tub with hot water half the time, he can play in the water for hours. That all changed in December when, after careful consideration and tons deliberation Gages doctors decided to take out his port. Because no matter how hard we tried, and how much medication we pumped into him, Gage kept getting candida in his blood. So with fear and trepidation, we sent Gagers back into surgery to remove his port and replace it with a temporary hickman line. Which is a pain in the butt, not only because I have to drive to the hospital every three days to get the dressing changed, because it’s an open site. But also the site can not get wet. Hence the excitement of bath time.

I have concocted my own special, Gage is gonna have a bath dressing. Which involves saran wrap and surgical tape. Poor Kid he hates this, mainly because every bath he gets, I use half a roll of the saran wrap and a whole roll of surgical tape. But Gage gets his bath, the nurses get a clean smelling baby for clinic the next day, and everybody thinks I’m a good mother for making it possible to Gage to bathe; so everybody wins.

I was begging Gage to give me the bucket, since he is on steroids right now I have to ask nicely and make it seem like he totally wants to give me the bucket. Or he might go Linda Blair on my ass, and throw him self backward in the tub, his head might start spinning; and throwing up chemo medicine on me. Come to think of it, he does that when I don’t get his food to him quick enough too. But he did give me the bucket, nice and calm like; and so I gave him an extra fifteen minutes in the tub. Ain’t I just the nicest?

We Just Needed a Drink

When Gage was first in the hospital, I would not leave the hospital; seriously you could not get me to leave. I was afraid of what could happen if I was gone, and not able to be there with him. I didn’t trust anybody for me not to be there, not the family, not the nurses and sadly enough not even the Hubs. But gradually after about a month I started to go out with the Hubs once Gage was asleep we would tell the nurses we were going to Wendy’s when really we would head out to this little dive bar in the parking lot next door to the hospital. We’d sit silently not talking to one another, he drinking the house special beer and me a bloody Mary. Lost in our thoughts and emotions.

As a married couple the Hubs and I needed those nights at the bar, just to sit and be alone outside of the hospital, where nobody knew who we were and what Gage was going through. I mean we slept, ate, showered, lived at the hospital for like three months last year; and when we slept it was in separate cots. Not very romantic or conducive for a successful relationship, I am going to be completely honest with you people, because if I can’t be honest with 10,000 of my closest friends, then what am I doing here?

I wasn’t sure if my marriage would survive Gages treatment. I blamed the Hubs for not being with me when Gage was diagnosed, because it was a Monday afternoon he shouldn’t be at work. He should have been shopping at IKEA with me, then at the doctor’s office getting the most devastating of my life. Instead he was making a living for his family to live on, how dare he! I resented the fact that he went to work for those first few weeks, even when he wanted to be with us, and I demanded he go work. Gage didn’t need both of us at the hospital, going crazy with anxiety and fear; go work. I didn’t see that he was slowly killing himself because he was staying at the hospital, not sleeping and then getting up at 5am to work and not get back to our room until 9pm that night. All I saw was he got to leave, he had a “normal” life outside of the hospital; and I resented him for it. I pushed him to leave, and yet I resented it!

We got into mad, crazy yelling fight in the hospital. When I say yelling, I mean whispering loudly so the nurses can’t hear us, and quickly shutting up as soon as a nurse walked in to give Gage medication and change his diaper. Oiy- those poor nurses, the awkwardness of it all, I get so embarrassed just thinking about. None of those nurses get paid well enough to have been subjected to some of the looks we shot at each other those three months in the hospital. Those rooms echo, too! So I am sure they heard every word we said. No matter how quiet we tried to be. I said the most hateful things to him, while we were in the hospital. Things I wish I could take back, and never have said. Things I don’t think I have ever apologized for, things to this day I wont bring up to the Hubs because I am so ashamed of myself.

This was the man I married, the same guy I promised to love and honor, in sickness and health, good times and bad yada yada yada. And the first real hardship in our married life together and I freak the ‘eff out, on the one person who was giving me the most strength from anybody. Who for the last seven years has let me get my way in every argument, never told me no I couldn’t do something or buy an absolutely unnecessary item, I sure as hell didn’t need. He has always been there for me, during the good, the bad and the ugly loving me and supporting me; and I couldn’t do the same for him.

The bottom line is, this has been the hardest six months of my life as a mother and more importantly as a wife. But I love my Husband and if Gage can fight cancer and survive then we can fight to make our marriage work. I think coming to that realization has been what has saved us. Six months later our marriage is still on shaky ground, but we are slowly building our family back up, this time stronger than ever. I don’t know a lot, but the one thing I do know is I love him more and more each day.

 

Wordless Wednesday: This Is Spinal Tap

Ragin’ Gage

Gage started delayed intensification last Thursday. It was a long time in coming, six months in fact. Some days, I never thought we’d get to this point, and now that we are here I am scared of all the complications that can happen. I take his temperature like every hour just to make sure he doesn’t have some random fever. I call is doctors because his cough is back, and oh my gosh is that a rumble in his chest, did the cough move to his lungs? I have an overnight bag packed just in case we have to go to the hospital at the last moment.

The Delayed Intensification “road map” looks like this:

This is what Gage is going to be subjected to in the up coming weeks, he should also be receiving Pegasparaginase (PEG), which is two shots in his legs during week one. But he had the allergic reaction to the last shots of PEG he received, which in turn caused him to get pancreatitis and the ulcers on his pancreas that landed us in the hospital for three weeks before Christmas. So thank you Baby Jeebus, no more PEG shots!

Since starting delayed intensification, Gage has been so cranky. He is on seven days of dexamethasone, and seven days off for a couple of weeks and not only is he getting adorably chubby, since he is eating like a little piggy but he is getting not so adorably bitchy, as well.

His nick name from the hospital is back, we call him Ragin’ Gage. He screams and fusses all day long and as soon as Daddy comes home, he is all sunshine and lolly-pops. I have  actually called the Hubs at work, in tears begging him to come home, because there is nothing I can do to fix Gages tantrums. I know it’s the medicines fault that he is acting this way, but after seven hours of screaming fits, all rationalization is out the window.  Though the highlight to being at delayed intensification is once we are done with this round of chemotherapy we head into maintenance, which is kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel.


This is what Gage looked like last time he was on the dexamethasone. So cute and chubby! (sorry the picture is so blurry it was taken on my iPhone on zoom)