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January 25, 2011 / dcwisdom

The Dreaded Infusion Room

If you’ve followed me very long and read very far back, you’ll remember that my mom is a cancer survivor.  And my Dad (was).  My maternal aunt is.  Both my grandmothers had cancer.

They all dealt with the different types of cancer with surgery and radiation, which took care of the nasty stuff.  Until now.

After a year in remission, Mom received a not-s0-great report.  It’s back and has spread.  The only option she has is chemotherapy.

In my lifetime, I’ve had very few friends go through chemotherapy, so this part of cancer treatment is new to me.  In preparing to write this, I cruised some blogs written specifically by women going through chemo.  These chicks are tough cookies!  I am so glad they have chronicled their stories and shared their thoughts and feelings.  Fantastic encouragers.

I didn’t know what to expect when my sister and I met Mom in Dallas for her treatment.  The picture below is very similar to the infusion room in Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas:

 (I didn’t take my camera, not wanting to invade anyone’s privacy.)  The room was very large; the nurses’ desk area anchored the room while maybe 25  blue  recliners lined the perimeter of the room.  An IV pole stood beside each chair, and television sets with earphones hanged from the ceiling for each patient.

What I noticed right away was how many patients were in the room.  Not every chair was filled, but enough were.  Most were women whose heads were covered with an assortment of hats and scarves.  Some slept; others read or watched the telly or talked on their phones.  Some had visitors; some didn’t.  It was fairly obvious which patients were experienced with chemo, their faces tired and colorless.   Mom’s neighbor was in her early 30’s, and her husband sat beside her.  It was her second  set of chemo treatments, and she had chemo while pregnant with her fifth child who is now four weeks old!  I just almost cried for her.  Precious couple. 

Mom immediately made friends with her neighbors and the nurses.  That’s just Mom.  We all visited quietly while the chemo bag dripped its medication into her veins.  (“Medication” is not really the word I am thinking, but it is the nicer word.)  Afterwards, Mom tried on scarves and hats, and she chose   three hats from a catalog like this cute one:

Mom wants to be surrounded with happy people and things to make her laugh.  I would love to find the old Carol Burnett shows (not the clips with the narration) for her.  In my opinion, the cast was the funniest of any show I can remember.  That cast of characters would brighten anyone’s day!

Please keep Mom in your prayers.  God bless you!   God bless Israel.  God help America.

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8 Comments

  1. Debby Pucci / Jan 26 2011 10:41 PM

    I will keep your mother in my prayers. It must be surreal to be there watching all the people getting their treatments. I am glad you researched blogs, it helps to know what to expect. Give you mom a great big hug from me.

  2. Gay Vaughan / Jan 25 2011 1:53 PM

    Praying for you and your Mom. The memories of “the room” are still a very vivid reality of my past summer. With my course I was a daily infusion patient so I got to know nurses, and other patients well! Your Mom sounds like a fighter and a happy person with many loved ones…she will do well. (I must say that I was somewhat jealous of the tv’s…we didn’t have those!)

  3. Vickie / Jan 25 2011 8:56 AM

    Hey Deb. Wish I could hug you right now. You and your momma have been on my mind and heart and I’ve been wondering how it was going with her & the treatment. Did you tell us that she is staying with you? I hope the chemo doesn’t make her sick. Please tell her that she has dozens of people praying for her that she doesn’t even know out here in blogland as well as all the people who know her. I just pray that the treatment will go well, and that it’ll take care of those cancer cells in her body. That she’ll be strong and be a fighter (which I feel like she will be from what you said) and above all, rely on God. I’m lifting you and your family up as well for strength and dependence on God during these tough times. You’ve got alot on your plate, my friend, with school, job, kids, and all the other stuff. Please take care of yourself. Love you – V

  4. rayanne / Jan 25 2011 8:37 AM

    Thank you Debbie for the update on your Mom…give her a kiss on her cheek for me! I love old hats…they are making a come back, you know!
    I hope you don’t mind… I put you on my post yesterday, 1000 gifts.
    I’m prayin’ for your Mom, and you too Sugar!!!!
    Love you,
    Rayanne

  5. Patty / Jan 25 2011 8:05 AM

    Well, know what you are going through. My father, who is a cancer survivor, had chemo for colon cancer back in fall of 2002-spring of 2003. Wow! It was hard watching all those people in their seats. At the same time my father was having chemo for his cancer his sister was having blood transfussions for her lukemia. That really stunk!! I went with my dad to every chemo treatment. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Needless to say my mother had radiation treatments for her cancer and it burnt her and went to her brain and she died within 2 weeks in 2006..just days before their 50th Anniversary. Hope and pray that your mother does as well as my dad did so she can continue on with her life. My dad just had his 79th b.day last week and now he has diabites(sp)…praying for your mother and her family.

  6. Deb / Jan 25 2011 6:42 AM

    I’m so sorry your Mom is going through this..the Carol Burnett show was the funniest…I hope you can find it for her…My prayers are with your family…

  7. tanna / Jan 25 2011 6:25 AM

    Keeping your mom and her family in my prayers….

  8. Mary / Jan 25 2011 4:44 AM

    My heart goes out to you. I am glad you are near your mom so that you can help. You will all be on my prayer list. Hugs in Christ.

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