A cancer journey – week before infusion number three

Infusion drugs!It was just fifty days ago that Rick and I officially stepped across MD Anderson’s threshold. That was mid-February. So far we have paid the hospital eighteen visits, mostly for diagnostic testing. In mid-March, Rick qualified for a clinical trial and started treatment with immunotherapy infusion drugs. This week we are between doctor/bloodwork/infusion visits. He gets a teeny bit better every day, nausea is almost nonexistent, but still has a long way to go.

Since infusion number two, Rick has spent his time working from home with red pen in one hand and yellow highlighter in the other pouring over engineering documents and drawings. Yep … it is all Greek to me! I have no clue what he is doing.

Reflection about MD Anderson – I’ve never been to a hospital that has the patient wear a hospital bracelet, hospital staff calls it a wristband, for months at a time. The wristband contains information like your name … but also your patient number. Rick’s is seven digits. The patient number is very important as it is one of the pieces of information asked for multiple times and scanned during a MDA visit. I’ve been married to Rick for so many years, I have his social security and driver’s license number memorized. And yes … he has been at MDA long enough that I now have his MDA patient number memorized. Oh, and when your wristband gets a little ragged the MDA check-in desks around the hospital have a little gadget that can print out a replacement in a snap! Rick is now on his second wristband.

Since no visits to MDA were made this week we took advantage of inviting worker dudes to the house. We have some home projects that have been on our to-do list since last year. Our very old and crusty water heater was finally replaced. I have been having nightmares it would spring a leak in the attic like it did about 12 or 13 years ago flooding my side of the closet and adjacent bedroom. Potential disaster averted! We also replaced the attic stairwell in the hallway and the cracked windshield on Rick’s truck. There was also a bid for a pocket door accomplished for Mimi’s room. In a few weeks, the doorway will be widened so I can navigate her wheelchair through without gouging the wood door trim. I also finished and dropped off a charity quilt. Future blog post!

This week I learned … waiting for infusion drugs to work takes lots of patience … and we are not patient. I also learned it is OK for Rick to rip off his MDA wristband because he doesn’t want to look at it for a week … and I expect MDA will gladly replace it next week.

10 thoughts on “A cancer journey – week before infusion number three

  1. Hi Dixie, I am in Montreal for a short stay. Just read your notes and loved them. Most of all I am very happy with Ricks progress news .
    Maria Bandeira

  2. I always have them put the wristband on loosely so that I can slip it off as soon as I leave. I put it in my notebook so I’ll have it next time. They also told me once that they are good for only so long.

  3. The water heater part of your blog brought back memories of the Christmas when we saw water was running out your front door & Ger with neighbors got in the house just in time to move your furniture before the ceiling fell. That was probably almost 30 years ago.
    Thanks for the Blogs & sharing Rick’s journey; sure miss our great Texas neighbors ❤️

    • That was a Christmas to remember! Lots of frozen pipes that year in Kingwood! Thank goodness for lovely neighbors like ya’ll or our house would have really been a disaster! Miss ya’ll!

  4. Hey Dixie, enjoyed reading your blog and all the imagery it brings to mind! We were fortunate we saw minor water spots on the office ceiling and quickly took care of the water heater before it burst! I’m a native Ohioan and I don’t recall these things being in the attic? Anyway, I love most everything else Texas, like MD Anderson, who was also there for me when cancer knocked on my door. 10 years cancer-free and I know the hope that the amazing doctors and medical team offer. I also experienced the reality that it is God who numbers our days and trusting in Him is our ultimate Hope! He has His purpose for each of us. Praying for Rick, you and all the family. Love you guys!

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