Chemotherapy Week 6; Quick & Easy!

7 Jun

This week’s round of chemotherapy was the fastest yet! This was a big surprise to me considering last week was so much faster than the others. This week might have been the fastest yet because I had an 8:30 AM appointment which meant that I was practically the first patient to be treated.

When I arrived at oncology we checked in and then was almost immediately taken back to have my vitals checked. As a nurse was taking my vitals another nurse popped her head in and said “once you’re done, come next door and I’ll do your IV.” This made me happy because in the past I’ve had days where they take my vitals and then I have to wait a half hour to get my IV, just prolonging the day, however that wasn’t happening this week!

As soon as I had gotten my IV I went back out into the waiting room and began using my laptop as I was expecting a long wait like the week beforehand. However, after only about thirty minutes (compared to an hour and forty-five minutes the week before) the nurse practitioner came out to come and get my dad and I. We were meeting with a nurse practitioner (in training) this week because my normal oncologist wasn’t in today. She was very nice and obviously had a very good understanding of what she was doing. It was interesting to see how being a nurse practitioner in training she did a much more thorough check than I was used to. She review everything from diet, to feeling, to reactions from the week beforehand. I found it very impressive. One thing that was different this week from my other exams was that there was an obvious decrease in my reflexes. This is something that is apparently very normal. However, I just found it bizarre!

Finally after finishing with the nurse practitioner we went back out into the waiting room for about fifteen minutes before I was called to receive my chemo. Because the treatment was expected to take no time at all (like the previous week) I was just taken into one of the rooms where the nurses put in the IVs. The chemo itself and the flush took less than fifteen minutes! New record!!! Afterwards they took out my IV and I was free to go.

Today was easily the smoothest and fastest treatment I’ve had! We were in and out in just over two hours! I have to say that I’m not looking forward to next week when I’m back to both chemos (the Vancristine and the Carboplatin) and I’ll be back in the day hospital for an all day ordeal. 😦

Thanks to everyone for reading and following my journey. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to respond.

-Josh

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8 Responses to “Chemotherapy Week 6; Quick & Easy!”

  1. Thomas Steele-Maley June 7, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Hi Josh,

    I am glad to hear this week was easier than in past weeks! I would be interested in knowing how many nurse practitioners to nurses to doctors there are who see you each week. What is the ratio? Also, do you think the closer care from the NP in training was an explication of learning or a style of the person “bed side manner”? What do you think the NP who usually sees you does without saying?

    I will keep you in the light,

    Thomas

    • joshtmeadows June 15, 2013 at 2:31 am #

      Hi Thomas,

      Normally I don’t actually see the nurse practitioner. I only saw the nurse practitioner in training because my oncologist was out that day. On a regular day I’ll see somewhere between two and five different nurses and then one doctor.

      I think the closer care from the nurse practitioner was a combination of both training and personal “bed side manner.” It was very easy to recognize that she was a very caring and careful person. However, I could also see her checking off different categories and topics that she had to talk about with my dad and I as we met with her (this being part of her training). Also, when I meet with my normal oncologist, she has a very particular routine which is much different from that of the nurse practitioner. One of the things my oncologist does that the nurse practitioner didn’t do is check to see how things are going when I’m not in the hospital. Things like school and friends.

      I hope I could answer your questions. Thanks for asking.
      -Josh

  2. Marti Weston June 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Hi Josh,

    I have been reading your blog, and believe me, it’s impressive. You are an excellent and thorough writer!

    I am assuming that the process of writing is helpful for you as you develop perspective about the long and involved process of your medical care. However, you are also creating a record that is detailed, thoughtful, and objective — something that will certainly support other kids and their families. If another student needs to go through surgery and chemo, your thoughts will be a guide and help to diminish anxiety and fear. You are creating a valuable digital gift.

    Are you sharing your blog with your medical caregivers?

    I am a teacher at an independent school in Washington, DC, and I also blog (MediaTechparenting.net and AsYourParentsAge.net), so it’s always fun to read the blogs of other people.

    May I post a short blurb and a link to your blog on mine — MediaTechParenting.net?

    Recently I had some eye surgery, and I did not make it past 97 when they put me to sleep!

    My best,
    Marti

    • joshtmeadows June 15, 2013 at 1:27 am #

      Hi Marti,

      I would love it if you shared my blog! I really appreciate your support. One thing that I have not talked about yet in my blog is how I am actually moving to Washington DC in the fall! Small world! I’ll be going to an independent school down in DC, so chases are we might be rivals! I have shared my blog with my caregivers, however, I don’t think they found the idea as interesting as other people because they hear/work with people who are going through situations similar to mine everyday.

      Thanks again and stay in touch,
      -Josh

      • Marti Weston June 19, 2013 at 12:07 am #

        Hi Josh,
        Where are you going to attend school when you arrive here in the DC area?
        Marti Weston

      • Marti Weston June 19, 2013 at 12:25 am #

        Hi Josh,
        You can answer me at my school address: mweston@gds.org.
        Marti

  3. Lillian Eyre June 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Hey Josh, hang in there. Remember every week brings you closer! Sending lots of good vibes your way. Lillian

  4. Mrs. Jackson, art teacher June 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I had no idea you were going through this, Josh! My thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember… no condition is permanent. Hang in there. Do lots of art. Are you still taking those amazing photographs? How about keeping an art journal? Check out the following blog page on getting one started You’ve always been so artistic! Keep us posted.

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