Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nurse Betty???

The days seem to fly by and I know it's been a while since I posted an update on Reid's progress.  I always seem to fall behind when he's hospitalized and then it takes me a while to catch up.

Reid was released from the hospital last Friday after his third round of ICE chemo.  This chemo has been quite different from the ABVD chemo he had last year.  With the ABVD he would feel rotten for a week and then the second week he'd start feeling better and better each day until it was time to go back for another treatment.  With the ICE chemo there is no recovery period.  He has relentless fatigue and the nausea comes in waves.  He might be able to eat one day and then have trouble the next day.  The last couple of days have been pretty good as far as eating goes.

The next step will be harvesting the stem cells for the stem cell transplant.  Much to our surprise we learned this week that I would have to learn to give him injections of Neupogen...two each day.  YIKES!  (Did I ever tell you that I'm a little phobic about needles?)  One of the nurses down at MD Anderson assured me that they've been able to make nurses out of lots of people.  Other Bettys have gone before me...

The Neupogen will help trick Reid's body into producing more stem cells than it normally would.  They'll keep checking his blood on a regular basis and when there are enough stem cells in his peripheral blood they will harvest them.  One of the nurses gave me a crash course on giving an injection this past Wednesday.  She demonstrated by giving him the first shot and I gave him the second one.  Thursday and today I was on my own.  So far, it's gone well.  Reid said it feels just like when the real nurses do it.  The ultimate compliment!  Of course, he could do it himself, but he doesn't want to do and I can't say that I blame him.  I know diabetics do it all the time, but since this is a temporary thing he really doesn't have to learn.

I watched a bunch of You Tube videos.  Everything is on You Tube nowadays including people giving subcutaneous injections.  You know how they say people become insensitive to violence by watching violence all the time?  I decided to see if that would work with injections.  I watched those darn videos over and over again.  Besides, I want my son well again.  If they told me I had to turn him into a voodoo doll or a pin cushion to get him well I'd do it.

Tomorrow he has an appointment in the Fast Track Clinic and we'll see how things are going so far.  There's a good chance he'll need a platelet transfusion again.

Meanwhile, with being so vulnerable to infection right now he's been staying away from his cat Ash.  However, this afternoon Ash climbed up on his lap for a few minutes and he let him stay.  He just makes sure he washes his hands or uses hand sanitizer when he touches one of the animals.

And I managed to get a few pictures of Ash's siblings today.  You can find their story in a previous post here.  It's hard to believe they were feral at one time.  They live mostly in our backyard and the garage and have become very friendly.  Their mother comes by every few days.  I know someone on the next block also feeds her, so I don't worry when I don't see her.  She is still feral and will scratch if I get too close.  I'm glad I managed to catch her and have her fixed so there won't be any more kittens!

This is Atticus.  He waits by the backdoor hoping I'll come out with more cat threats.

And this is Scout.  She's getting a little chubby and I'm trying to cut back on the number of cat treats she gets now.

This is sweet Jem.  He doesn't even like cat treats.  In fact, he has no interest in them whatsoever.  He comes over because he wants me to pet him.  I initially thought I'd never be able to tame him because he wasn't interested in treats, but one day he surprised me by walking over with the others.  The first time I pet him it freaked him out, but then he eventually came back for more.

It's getting really cold tonight (for us anyway), but we have cat beds for them in the garage.  They hang out in there when it's cold or rainy.

Thanks again for your support and prayers.


  1. Hi Betty..... so good to get an update on Reid, and his treatment and ultimate recovery.

    You'll be a great nurse for your son, but I'm sure at first the thought of giving a shot was scary.
    You tube is wonderful!

    I love your kitty pictures! I'm a kitty lover too.

    I keep Reid and your family in my prayers for healing.

  2. Those darling cats. Oh, Betty, giving injections now. Poor Reid. I am so sorry he feels so sick right now.

  3. Dear Betty, You are a very brave woman. I'm not sure I could give injections. Most likely though, I guess I could if it was my son who was so sick. I pray God will give you strength, and I pray that Reid will recover 100%. What a very tough journey for you both. Please give Reid a big hug from me! Lots of love from Loretta


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