Yesterday was Mom’s fourth chemo treatment out of six. It had been postponed due to low blood counts and an unexpected transfusion last Friday, but we finally got the deed done. There shouldn’t be a need for any more transfusions, as the med causing her low counts has been discontinued.
Three months ago, a port was installed because the pain of digging in her arm for a good IV vein was extremely painful. We all thought it was a good idea at the time and for most folks it is. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good idea for Mom. The pain when they access the port is excruciating. I’m talking about a come out of the chair yelling kind of pain. Before the third treatment, the oncology nurse called a prescription in for a numbing cream to be used one hour before the stick. It didn’t help. This time we started early, rubbing it in every thirty minutes all morning, in hopes it would work better. Nope.
A nurse we’d never seen before cared for Mom in the chemo lab yesterday. She told us that rubbing the cream in doesn’t work. You have to blob it on the area, and cover the blob with plastic, as in Glad wrap or a plastic bandage like they use in the chemo lab. It would have been nice if someone had told us sooner. We are really hoping it helps next time.
One piece of good news yesterday was the oncology doctor is so pleased with Mom’s response to the chemo, she is going to delete the sixth treatment. After the next one, there will be a CT scan ordered to rule out any lingering cancer. Mom and I have discussed asking the doctor if future routine doses of chemo might help stop any recurrence. We don’t know if that will make a difference, if it’s an option, or even if insurance will pay for it. But we intend to bring up the subject.
After we finished at UAMS, we of course went to eat, and I took Mom out to Shackleford Crossing Shopping Center to let her look around. You don’t take her to Little Rock without eating and shopping..... unless you want to be on her list. ;)