Jo Ann and Pablo spent the night in room 438, bed A. After two bags of hydrating fluid stuff, the nurses bolted the chemo syringes into the machine, and began pumping Pablo with a series of three different chemo drugs.
At 11 p.m., Pablo was started on the anti-nausea medication Zofran. Then the real party began, starting with an hour of Carboplatin. An hour of Etopocide followed. Within the first few minutes, Pablo developed an allergic reaction. First, it showed as a cough; within minutes, his face swelled. His tummy hurt, and his ears and head got red. Within a couple of minutes, Pablo went from looking like a gaunt, skinhead Ian MacKaye to a puffy-faced '70s rocker, say, John Bonham on the '78 tour. In classic rock terms, he went from the debut album to the fourth album in five minutes. Unlike the dudes from Grand Funk Railroad or Motley Crue, there was an easy fix for puff daddy Pablo.
The nurse turned off the Etopocide immediately. The oncology Fellow was called in, and ordered Benedryl. After an hour, P's swelling went down, and the Etopocide was restarted, at a slower three-hour rate. As soon as that party ended, they added in a chaser of Cytoxin.
He's on a saline drip all day today, to keep his hydration in check. Chemo will start again at 10 or 11p.m. Pablo can (and does) eat anything he wants. So far today, he's had half of his red apple, half of my green apple (he eats around the whole thing, like a dinosaur eating a planet), turkey and broccoli and a tiny bit of brownie, compliments of our lunch angel, Dorrie. As I write this, he's playing with the toes on his right foot, and watching a cartoon on TV.
This is a lot easier than last time we were in CHLA. No gut pains, no drains drilled into his skin, no catheters hangin off his junk. The mood in the room is light and bright. Hell, we even have the less-than-desireable hallway side of the room, and we're still stoked. Most of all, Pablo's smiling face puts us all in the right place.
At 2:45 p.m., I am going on a hard hat tour (I just love saying that) of the new CHLA hospital, which is being built next door. Polly's coming in around that same time, and Jo Ann will head home to shower and chillax. At 5:30, we're gonna head up to Peter and Brie's to watch the VP debate. Everyone keeps telling us that laughter is the best medicine, and there will be no better comedic drama this year. Maybe Sarah Palin will invite Bob and Doug McKenzie to take the stage with her? You know, to fully flesh out the Queen of the Great White North bit for the Repulican cheerleaders, and to divert the nation's attention away from her PTA-sized political pallette?