Sunday, January 18, 2009

Manic Monday ~ OFFICE

To visit other Manic Monday participants,
Thank you Mo.

Today is Richard’s (R’s) birthday. He is 61 years old.

On May 8th, he will celebrate another birthday also. It will be his first birthday after receiving his stem cell/bone marrow transplant.

To say the least, we have seen enough doctors’ OFFICES to last more than a life-time.

In July 2007, R was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. This is a cancer of the blood plasma that eats away the bone marrow and bones (from the inside). From August 2007 through January 2008, he was the patient of a doctor (let’s call him Dr X) who had the bedside manner of a clod. Dr X was ALWAYS late for the appointment; he could never remember who R was; he spent the first 15 minutes of the appointment reading R’s chart; and he treated me like a non-person. I asked to-the-point and somewhat intelligent questions, I thought. During these six months, R and I spent 2 days a week (3 to 5 hours each time) at this doctor’s OFFICE. That year, all 6 grandchildren got knit or crochet sweaters and/or hats, mittens and scarves for Christmas. R would get IV drugs to combat these little cancer cells. Dr X insisted it was NOT ‘chemo’. I guess he should know best. And, even though, R didn’t lose his hair from these meds, I say that any medicine given by IV to combat cancer IS ‘chemo’.

Because of all the meds he was receiving he was not allowed to work. For R, this was as difficult as having the disease. He was a mechanic then a truck driver for a produce company in Sacramento for close to 25 years. He was on the go from 2 a.m. (when his alarm went off) until he got home – usually about 4 p.m. His route was in the Lake Tahoe area, so many times during the winter, he got snowed in up there. Anyway, as much as I dislike the personality of this doctor, he provided good enough pre-transplant treatment for R so that he was fully ready to go onto the next step in the treatment of his cancer treatment. For that I say, “Thank you.”

When R’s blood work showed enough improvement, he was referred to Dr Carroll. I call it providence that this doctor’s last name and my first name are basically the same. Our visits to Dr C’s OFFICE began when we returned from our cruise to the Southern Caribbean in February 2008. The very first visit was an hour long… with Dr C explaining everything that we would be going through. And although we didn’t understand very much of it during that first visit, we became very familiar with the procedure. R was one of the first patients to go through the transplant process at Sutter General Hospital. They (Sutter) had brought (or bought) Dr C from his practice in Arizona. Anyway… now R was on the fast track to the bone marrow transplant which used his own stem cells. He had a catheter with 3 ports surgically placed in his right collarbone area. Every day we went to the infusion center (another medical OFFICE) for blood work, shots and IV’s. Finally the day comes when they tell us that they can harvest his stem cells. R is hooked up to a machine that reminds me of a dialysis machine. His blood is pumped through it for hours removing the stem cells to be used for the transplant. We are also told that he may have to go through it again the next day. Thankfully, that did not have to happen. The next day, R was given a hair losing dose of chemo and told the he will be admitted to the hospital on May 5th. The BMTU (Bone Marrow Transplant Unit) is an extremely sterile environment. It was R’s home for 20 days. He was admitted with a full head of hair and a full beard and moustache and came home hairless. In August he was declared to be in remission. Now he visits Dr C’s OFFICE every 3 months to see the doctor and every month he visits the Infusion Center to get an IV of ‘stuff’ to strengthen his bones.

I will just lightly mention that now we have been seeing the inside of an orthopedic surgeon’s OFFICE. I have to laugh… On Tuesday, Jan 13th, R had some arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He is doing well – only using 1 crutch today. Thank goodness #1 son is still here.

Whew… I need a vacation – ALONE!!


  1. Happy Birthday RIchard. I need vacation too ;)

    My entry this week : in HERE. I hope you have time to visit. Thanks

  2. Happy Birthday Richard.

    Carol my sweet, you have really been through it this past year that's for sure... visiting all the WRONG kinds of offices. I hope 2009 treats you very, very well. You've earned it.

  3. oh how great that he has remission! i have had both lung cancer and breast cancer so i understand all of this!

    have a cruise honey! and some cake!

    smiles, bee

  4. Happy Birthday to Richard and may he be blessed with many, many more to share with you and the rest of the family!

    The stem cell transplant that Richard went through sounds very much like the procedure that my father was supposed to go through with his non-Hodgkin's but was unable to do because of damage that had been caused to his heart by his previous chemo treatments. Unlike Richard's doctor, my father's doctor definitely said "chemo"!

    I am so very happy for both of you that Richard's cancer has gone into remission and hope that he stays there for a very long time.

    Bee is right - have another cruise and some cake - you've both earned it!

  5. Happy Birthday R! And, Carol, I'm so glad your husband is in remission! All the best! :)


Thanks for stopping by... I appreciate your comments.