A Road Less Travled

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In the midst of all of this story telling, I forgot to mention one key thing. The fact that my brother, Josh, (now 24) he was one of the first to hear about my diagnosis shortly after it happened. And after hearing that I’d been diagnosed. He packed up his things, and moved from California, back home to Idaho, so he could help out, weather it was taking care of the dogs when mom and dad were in the hospital with me, or even staying in the hospital with me for a week of treatment. Sure he helped out around the house, but he helped me mostly. Keeping me in good spirits and making me laugh with the things he did. I can’t thank him enough, I truly can’t. He is a big reason I am the person I am today. He is a great role model, as I will always look up to him, no matter how much taller I am. (Haha) So Josh. Thank you, for all that you’ve done. I know we don’t get to talk much anymore, and that’s a shame, but thank you. For being the awesome brother you are..

Back to the story.

I don’t remember much about my first day of treatment. I felt pretty good for being my first week in the hospital. But that changed, with the chemotherapy drug combo ‘doxorubicin and cisplatin’ those two bags of pure evil, turned my insides worse than mom’s cooking. (Kidding) but still. It made me feel terribly sick. Just laying in bed, then a second later, holding the pink bucket. For those of you who don’t know what the pink bucket it, it is just a large pink, plastic, bowl that hospitals have EVERYWHERE, for reasons as such as. Sudden vomiting. Which is something I was quite familiar with. Yes, laying in bed watching TV, feeling pretty bad. Then throwing up for no reason. I had practically had that bucket in a holster..

The reason I don’t remember a lot about my first few weeks of treatment, is simply because I slept through it. No joke. I would sleep for hours and hours, every day. Why? Because when I was asleep, I didn’t feel hungry, or sick, or tired. I was just sleeping. The only time I’d wake up, was to use the bathroom, or more accurately, a little plastic bottle with a handle on it. Also known in a hospital, as a uranyl. Think about it, being pumped full of fluids, and being forced to drink, almost non stop. I pee’d about every 5 minutes. So imagine. You’ve just emptied your bladder. And drink nothing for the next hour. You’re still going to pee, 5 or more times. It got old, pretty quick. Especially while sleeping. Though it was better, I could hold it comfortably for about 20 minutes. Then I’d have to go again. Thankfully, I had a uranyl by my bed. Nothing better than standing up at the side of your bed, peeing, and going back to bed. And when I woke up, it would be empty. Oh the joy of being in a hospital, and having nurses tend to your every need..

That is another thing I’ve taken for granted. Though my first week of chemo was down right horrible. It just got better and better, due to the nurses and doctors I had. Well, most of them. The ones that actually did their job. And did it very well. Yeah, you know who you are. I am forever in debt to those of you who took care of me, by giving me the medicine I needed, on schedule, and tending to everything I needed or wanted. Thank you, each and every one of you. Without the great help and care you gave me, I might not be here writing this right now..

Sticking to the title of this post, I will explain. You remember how I said the base started construction on the new main gate? Well, we were forced to use the back gate, also known as the ‘commercial’ gate, for delivery trucks, vans, and semi’s. This meant we had to drive an extra 5 miles just to get to the back gate, and an extra 10 minutes to get on the road we usually drive, to head to Boise. Or, we could turn left at the gate, and take Simplot road. Let me inform you, Simplot road drives right by the Simplot dairy/cattle farm..

Cows.. Hundreds of cows. And you know what that means? Yes, manure. The sweet smell of cow poop, and a lot of it. Not to mention, Simplot road was a farming road, it had more curves on it, than a Kardashian. It went up, down, swerved left and right, then left and right again, then up and down again. What a fun ride it was. While I was trying not to puke in the back seat of the van, drinking my magic shake, and trying not to lose the breakfast corn dog I had eaten, and regretted. I’ll explain the ‘Magic shake’ next time.

Needless to say, we used Simplot road 4 times, I threw up all 4 times. We didn’t use it anymore. Though it did cut down the driving time, it also cut down the enjoyment of my breakfast. Something else I remember greatly about my stays in the hospital. The amount of food I consumed. I would probably eat my body weight (then 80 or so pounds) in a week. And other weeks, I would barely eat anything at all.

After my first few weeks of being in the hospital. I became more immune to the drugs they gave me, and got my appetite back. During one course of chemotherapy (Methotrexate) they injected me with a steroid called Decadron. And maybe 10 minutes went by, before the first ‘I’m hungry’ happened. I would order from the menu the hospital provides. Or if I was lucky enough, mom and dad would go down to the cafeteria and bring back fresh food. Like a great big cheeseburger, with fresh deep fried onion rings. Or an amazing spinach salad. I remember, chicken alfredo, a side of white rice with soy sauce, for lunch. For breakfast, I had two scrambled eggs, with sausage and bacon, a muffin, and a glass of orange juice. And then for dinner, I’d have something to eat at about midnight, because chemo throws your minds clock out the window. And I’d usually eat a microwaveable meal that we brought from home. After that, I’d still be hungry, at around 2 AM I would have to order from the hospitals ‘cold menu’ meaning nothing cooked. So sandwich it was! And a pretty great one at that! White bread, turkey, Swiss, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I always ordered more pickles. I think it was the salt, but I was like a pregnant lady, I had like, 20 pickles on my sandwich. It was great.. Man, now I’m all hungry.

I had the weirdest cravings. Like one day, on our way to the hospital, I wanted McDonalds. So we drove through, just for a bite to eat, right? No. I had a Big Mac, two cheeseburgers, a snack wrap, frys and a drink, all before 9AM on admission day. Yeah.. I know..

Yes, my stays at the hospital were something else indeed.

More to come soon! Thanks for reading!

“Because all great oak trees, start out, as just a couple of nuts”

Ty

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