Friday, January 25, 2008

Reno:The Biggest Little City in the World

I wish I could figure out a way to post my photos from my digital camera to my laptop so I could share them with you here before I got home. Maybe Shanna or Dave or Paris could help me when they get here in the the next few weeks.

Today is Friday and I go in for my last infusion of Salicinium for the week. It takes about 3 hours to infuse and the infusion room and experience here is so different than in the Kaiser Chemo Suite. I've always heard of people talking about Chemo Buddies and how they all sit in a circle and chat and laugh while infusing in their Chemo Suites at other medical institutions but at Kaiser, because of patient confidentiality, we aren't allowed to have Chemo Buddies or guests, even family members, sit with us. All of the chairs and beds are lined up in a single file, facing out the windows. Nobody really talks or chats, except to the staff who are hooking and unhooking them. In the infusion room here, the big comfy chairs are all 3 walls of a big room, facing each other. The TVs hang from the ceiling in the middle of the room. Everyone (including my mother in law who is welcome to sit back there with me) is laughing and talking and even singing and playing instruments! One 56 yr. old woman (google Laura Allan) brought in her guitar and a thumb piano and played some songs she had written and recorded. One was called "Right as Rain" and I think it came out of her experience with cancer and it totally spoke to everyone sitting in that room. It was amazing to see this 100# little frail thing with a big voice who days earlier looked like she was at death's door. She handed out some of her cds to some of us who have been infusing during the same time as she had. She sounds alot like Sheryl Crow. It was a very moving experience. Brought tears to our eyes! Even the doctors and the staff had come in to listen and then we all applauded. It was truly amazing to be a part of that.

We are starting to settle in and get a routine going. Starting to sleep better and get up earlier every day. We usually have breakfast and have some reading/computer time and tea while breakfast settles and then we go work out for about 20 minutes (high altitude kicking my bootie!) in the hotels workout room. We shower and head to the clinic for my 3 hour infusion. Annie usually leaves me there and goes down the street to Wild Oats/Whole Foods and gets us lunch. Yesterday I met with the homeopath again at 5pm and she spent 2 hours with us! Going over different tests I should have done and how often. She set me up with a whole schedule. We talked about diet and nutrition. She is so informative and I could listen to her talk for hours.

After my appt. we stopped at Barnes and Nobel and picked up a book she reccommended. We didn't get back to the hotel until 730ish and then answered phone calls (our phones ring off the hook in the evening!) prepared dinner and didn't eat until about 9! We sat around the dinner table talking for the next 2 hours and then didn't get to bed until around 12am.

Dave's dad, Jerry, is driving up to get Annie earlier than expected because there is a big storm rolling in that is expected to hit really hard on Sunday. Here in Reno it's the strangest thing, it snows every night! Not during the day though. I guess once that storm hits on Sunday, more and more storms are expected to roll through with no end in sight. So hopefully that won't mess with anyone's travel schedules. My friend Shanna was going to come into town Thurs - Tues, but may try and change it to Tues - Fri and then Dave and the kids might fly in Fri - Sun. since Kaelin is off of school on Friday (Spencer will miss). And then Paris is due in Tues - Sat and we fly home together. Time is going so fast! I'm going to blink and it's going to be over. I guess staying busy and occupied helps. I just wish I had more down time to really get some things done. Like my Christmas and Thank you cards! I have so many people to thank. It's getting harder and harder to keep track.

So for those of you out there reading my blog, thank you. Thank you for all that you have done. For the support. The love. The friendship. The emails, blog posts, friendship, phone calls, meals and carpooling for my family, donations, travel and hotel accomodations, cards, etc. etc. etc. I am so grateful and thankful for everything and each and every one of you. You all make all the difference in this fight. It's empowering having a whole army behind you. We can do anything together right? Let's win this one.



Paris said...

I had forgotten that Reno was called that. Jim can help you w/your photos over the phone when I talk to you tonight. Hope you get some downtime this weekend. What a schedule you are keeping! I'm so grateful that the infusion room is a more social place than Kaiser... I've always been bummed that I couldn't come in and be your chemo buddy there. Can't wait to get to Reno! I just miss you terribly and think of you all the time.Talk to you soon, my friend. Love you, P

Melissa said...

I think it is a sin to have chemo in an environment like you described at Kaiser! So glad you are in a better environment!!!

When I went to chemo, if it weren't for the all the medications, IVs and bald heads, it was like I stumbled into a friendly small town coffee shop. There was a side for people who wanted to get chemo and watch TV or a movie (I noticed those people always fell asleep). The rest of us chatted, walked around a bit and used the complementary juice bar, coffee machines and snack bar. When my girlfriends came with me, it was like a girls day out. It just made it all easier to deal with.

JO said...

Hi Shauna: Thanks for blogging again so soon. I look forward to it each day. If your friend can't talk you through how to download your pictures, maybe you can stop by a camera shop. Sometimes they have those near a casino. It sounds like you are not having any side effects from your treatments. Isn't that nice?! You are doing awesome. I am so glad. It is great that your kids will get to go to Reno. Keep doing what you are doing and YOU GO GIRL! Love, JO

Nightscrapper said...

Thinking of you and keeping up with your Reno travels. Looking forward to hearing more about what you find out. Have a great weekend, hopefully you can rest some.

Jean said...

Love that we can keep up with you in Reno. I'm glad the chemo rooms are more pleasant. That sounds so sad that you cant sit with anyone at Kaiser.
Take care, get plenty of rest, you'll be home before you know it!

Laura Nicholas said...

Hey Shauna - it was so great to chat with you for a bit today, even though I thought I was calling your house - it was a special treat to hear your voice. I hope you are able to figure out your "little kit" for this weekend. lol

We are all rooting for you.

My name is Shanna and I am said...

Hey girl! I am washing my best wintery duds for our time together. I have packed books and mags, cards and movies. I am more willing to help you figure out your digi pics to laptop when I get there. We can do it after dinner on Tuesday.

Can't wait to see you. I have lots of hugs to give ya. Do you think they will allow me into the chemo room with my bugle? lol