**Click here to start at the beginning of my cancer journey.**
**Click here to start at round 1 of chemotherapy.**
August was coming up quick which meant so was Bubba’s first birthday, a day that all Mamas count down to. As much as I wanted August to get here, I was already upset about missing Bubba’s birthday.
My mom was the helper for round 8. We had planned it this way so that she could spend time with Bubba on his birthday and help me with some type of celebration. Bubba’s birthday was on Friday, so I had to stay focused on get through chemo and then be ready to celebrate.
Monday was prep day of course, bloodwork and house stuff. On Tuesday, my best friend took me to chemo and brought me home. I loved being able to spend that time with her each round, although I definitely hated the reason for our extended visits, most of which were silent.
I spent lots of time in bed during round 8, trying to rest and save my energy for Bubba’s birthday on Friday. I slept a lot in Wednesday and don’t really even remember the day. Thursday finally came and I was able to get my pump off. Mom took me to the oncology office with Bubba in tow. After they removed my pump, they blessed us by singing “Happy Birthday” to Bubba. You see, these people had become my family, so it was only fitting to start the celebration with them.
I spent Thursday lounging around and trying to drink lots of fluids. I was determined to not have to get medical intervention for dehydration on Friday and I was determined to be able to celebrate with my son.
Friday came. My mom helped me make cupcakes for Bubba’s birthday (well, ok…she made the box mix I had Hubby buy the week before) since it was just going to be a few of us. We had no need for a cake nor did want the expense or mess.
Of course, since I was still undergoing chemo and was not allowed to go to the store, it was difficult to buy gifts for Bubba that he would enjoy. Once again, it was my Mom to the rescue. She brought her gifts plus the gifts from my sisters so Bubba had plenty to open.
The best surprise of all happened Friday afternoon. We had just finished lunch and I was still feeling awful as I lay around on the couch. All of the sudden, we heard car doors shutting and voices as people came to our front door. I was not expecting any company but would never turn this group away.
It was the doctors and nurses from Bubba’s pediatrician office. They had stopped by the store bought him a smash cake, a musical balloon, and a bag of gifts. They knew that I felt awful and had been upset about it. They knew that I wanted to do more but couldn’t…so they stepped up and did it for me.
Needless to say, we still use that pediatrician 😉
After our surprise on Friday, my spirits were lifted. We celebrated Bubba’s birthday the only way we knew how…as a family. We celebrated life.
The rest of round 8 was endured. The sickness dissipated but the exhaustion seemed to linger. My neuropathy was minimal and came in waves. I still couldn’t put socks or shoes on, but I was thankful to not have to dodge the A/C vents.
I knew round 9 was going to be an adventure. My sister from Baltimore and her husband were going to come and be our “helpers”. Hubby had to go out of state for two job interviews. He would leave on Tuesday morning and not be back until Thursday night. I was nervous about waking up with my alarms during the nights to take my medicine but knew if I missed a dose, I would be in big trouble. Thankfully, my brother-in-law stepped up with that responsibility.
My family got here on Monday night, just in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. At least the Games would help to distract me for the next couple weeks. We watched the ceremonies together and then headed for bed.
Tuesday morning, Hubby headed out for work and then later he would leave for his job interviews. My sister, brother-in-law, Bubba, and I headed out for the oncology office. The other patients loved seeing Bubba, as did the nurses, and since we had extra help, we decided this would be the round to let him entertain others. He was very interested in what the nurses were doing as they hooked up my port to the IV…so much so that he tried to pull the IV line. Not a good feeling when you’re connected to the other end. Once we got him distracted, he was quite the entertainer. By lunch time, I was starting to feel awful and Bubba was getting hungry, so my brother-in-law took him home while my sister sat with me and did some work for her job. At first, I was a little annoyed by her “noise” but I learned to be thankful. She was available whenever I needed ANYTHING and it was nice to chat when I was feeling up to it. While we were waiting for the chemo drugs to finished being delivered via the IV, I got a phone call from Hubby. My first reaction was panic as I knew he should be on his way to his interview. And he was. But he had made a quick stop at the bank first…and paid off our mortgage! Yes, you read that right. He paid off our mortgage. This was another burden lifted from us as we contemplated what the future held.
After I got my pump hooked up, she took me home and put me to bed. She tried to get me to eat while I had the pump on, but with little success. It was such a blessing, though, to be able to hear Bubba giggling while the three of them played together. He needed this. I needed to hear it.
Thursday came. The pump finally came off. Since my sister had been here for round 3, she had some idea what to expect. However, I had endured rounds between then and now, and she didn’t realize how weak and exhausted I would be once the pump came off. She continued our tradition of McDonald’s after the pump came off, but I went straight to bed, nauseous and exhausted.
Hubby got home late Thursday night and had lots to report about his very successful interviews. We tried to spend Thursday night socializing together, but I had to go to bed. I’m so thankful for an understanding family who was not offended.
My sister and brother-in-law left on Friday for their drive home. Hubby was able to stay home with me and Bubba as I recovered.
Round 9 was in the books. Nothing new or exciting to report, just extreme exhaustion. Only 3 more rounds to go.
**Click here for my experience with Round 10 & 11 of chemotherapy.**