If you ever wondered what it's like to come get chemo, this is where we start.
This is the cafeteria. It's the first smell of the hospital. If it's your first time, it can smell pretty good. After a few months, if you're getting chemo, it's the first smell to make you nauseous.
This is a common sight in the hallways...mommy or daddy trying to pass the time with a little one.
This is the first stop...Hem/Onc Clinic. The clinic doors open at 8:00 a.m. and that is when the fun begins for us. We have to get up at 6:15 a.m. to get here on time. If you're 5 minutes late, it usually holds up the process by 1/2 hour.
Here we sit until the nurse is ready to weigh and take vitals. Jake laughed at the nurse taking his height this time. "I really don't think I'm growing anymore!"
With his height and weight, they can now order the chemo to be made up. It takes hours, but that's ok because they have to make sure he is hydrated enough before they can start the chemo.
Then we get to sit in a room like this and ...wait! On "long" chemo days, the home care nurse has already accessed his port and he has been having saline solution all night. The nurse will start some more bolus of saline. A doctor will come in and check on Jake, then we move on to the next room...
This is where we spend most of the day. We pick a spot and there we stay all...day...long...! This week we were in station 2. Jake kinda likes the corner because it's not too bright and close to the bathroom. They have Wii and Xbox 360, but after a few months of this, it gets old too. At first, Jake would play the Xbox the whole time. Now he listens to his music, plays on the laptop or watches movies if there is anything good on. We watched How to Train a Dragon yesterday. They change the movies about once a month. The last two times we were here, we got to leave around 6:15 p.m.
If you're not so lucky to get your chemo done in one day, your are banished to this area of the hospital! JK This is where they keep the nicest nursing staff in all the hospital! The nurses in clinic are pretty nice too!
This is the next stop. This area of the hospital is filled with children with compromised immune systems, so it is critical that everyone makes a sanitizing stop. Then you have to lift the phone to gain entrance.
This in the main nurses pod. There are 4 hallways with additional nurses pods, so there is always a nurse right outside your door.
|Dr. Wright, checking on Jake|
This is where we spent the night last night. Luckily, we had a room with a fabulous view. Unluckily, it is foggy today! The yellow chair folds out into a bed. Not the most comfortable, but better than having to sleep in the rocking chair! Because they continue to hydrate him, there are many trips to the bathroom throughout the night. Lots of beeping going on, so very hard to get any sleep
I am so grateful we have never had to stay in the hospital more than one night! Many of the parents here are here for months at a time. They have showers here and there is a gym across the street, but I have never used them.
This is the first time I have stayed overnight with Jake. The other times, it was routine stuff, so I didn't mind leaving him here by himself. But when his blood pressure dropped to 69/37, I couldn't leave!
As I prayed for Jake that night, I felt all the mother's prayers going up from this hospital into a very nearby heaven.
This is Jake about 5 minutes ago. He is so puffy from all the fluid they have been pumping into him. It's about 11:30 A.M. The doctor just told me he needs to stay for one more round of antibiotics at 4:15, then he can go home. (big sigh!)