Sam recovered quickly after our 48-hour retreat at Vanderbilt and we were able to eat at a Japanese steakhouse on Saturday.  Because of Sam’s low white blood cell count, he has been instructed to avoid crowds and especially children. We all know that hibachi grill restaurants specialize in teenie-bopper birthday parties, so we chose to sit in an isolated booth.  Even though we missed the onion volcano and the dramatics of lighting the grill on fire, we didn’t miss having to sit by several 13 year-olds gossiping about Justin Beiber’s new haircut.

Sam received chemotherapy twice this week. Admittedly, I was apprehensive about this week, but Sam was ready to keep on keepin’ on.  Sam is resilient.  This whole chemo thing isn’t easy.  It knocks him down, makes him sick, and about the time he’s feeling better, it’s time to start with the treatments again.  We expect a lot of fatigue, nausea, and hiccupping over the next few days.

Sam’s mom, Jackie, loaded us down with homemade applesauce and several homemade broths, soups, egg salad, ginger tea and sweet potato bites. This was all Sam ate throughout the week. The food was heavenly and it helped Sam’s spirits and aided tremendously in reaching his daily calorie and protein goals.  We refer to the mouthwatering food she makes as, “Jackie Food.”  Here’s how to use it in a sentence:  “Hey, do we have any egg salad left?”  “No, go get your own Jackie Food!” (use this response while eating the last of the egg salad)

Ensure Hijacking =

*Chemo Nurse Spotlight Award*

Andrea

Andrea was Sam’s chemo nurse on Tuesday.  Like all of the chemo nurses, Andrea is nice, smart, and funny.  Most importantly, she treated Sam like the rock star that he is.  We told her that we use Ensure as a protein supplement for Sam.  She recommended that we buy the chocolate Ensure and put it in a blender with ice cream, peanut butter, and Oreos.  After giving us the recipe for deliciousness, she handed us a booklet of 15 Ensure coupons and sent us home with nine bottles of Ensure.

 

This is our auxiliary refrigerator (aka our beer fridge).  It is now filled with Ensure, Sprite, Ginger Ale, and shots.

 

 

Our New Best Friends

Here are some of our Ensure-loving friends!  They come over once a week to play bridge.

 

Chemo Perk!

This is the snack and beverage cart that rolls around the infusion center.  A nice volunteer frequently goes from room to room offering tantalizing snacks to cancer patients.  Here’s a snack and beverage cart tip if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.  Innocently and politely ask the volunteer for a cup of ice.  In order to retrieve the ice, the volunteer has to go to the ice dispenser machine that is conveniently located down the hall.  Once the volunteer has abandoned the cart, grab an extra oatmeal cream pie or two.  Lastly, give a heart-felt smile when the considerate volunteer returns with the cup of ice.  The volunteer never suspects that there is a Little Debbie thief on their hands.

 

Chemo Lingo

The tube that connects to Sam’s port is referred to as his, “pig tail.”  A chemo nurse will tape his pig tail to his chest when his infusion is finished for the day and he is scheduled to return the following day.  Though it sounds odd, it’s always nice to hear, “It’s time to tape up your pig tail.”  Oink!  Oink!

Just in case that last paragraph was confusing, the tube is shaped like a pig’s tail.  Not pigtails.

No!

 

Yes! Sort of.

Sam only has one pig tail, but (butt) since we were on the subject of pigtails, I thought I’d add to the ambiguity and I wanted an excuse to post this gross picture.

 

Crank Up The Volume and Enjoy Two Short Clips From Our Weird New World

The last couple of months have been filled with uncertainty, uncharted waters, and a non-routine lifestyle.  The easiest way to get through a day is to:  be flexible, take notes, listen, be patient, love, show gratitude, learn, and just laugh.  Throughout the last two months, we have seen and heard things that we never thought would be a part of our lives.  We have to accept new norms.  Perhaps our strangest new norm is the ongoing saga of the hairy tape wad.

In all seriousness, the easiest way to get the remaining hair off of Sam is with the lint roller.  The sticky tape lint roller intrigues both of the cats.  The rolling process involves timing and swatting.

The swat and grab! Click on the link to see BB in action.

Even more exciting than swatting at the lint roller is knocking over the trashcan to forage for the strategically hidden hairy tape wad.   Once the hunt is over, it’s time to attempt to eat the hairy tape wad.

Hairy Tape Wad Munchfest Click on the link to see BB in action.

Cats are definitely ridiculous but loving.  No matter what Sam is doing, both Theo and BB always seem to be keeping an eye on him

Linear Eavesdropping

Kind of sweet. Kind of creepy.

We expect the next few days to be a little rocky.  We will visit with the oncologist on Thursday (June 16th) to make sure Sam is able to continue with his five-day treatment scheduled for the following week.

To everyone-thank you, thank you, thank you.  We smile whenever we hear about people reading this blog.  Everybody plays an integral part in this journey.  Whether it’s through prayer, food, comments, emails, or support for our parents, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love.  Even though we strive for humor and positivity, we do have long rough nights and early mornings.  We feed off of the energy and support from everyone, so again THANK YOU.

Love,

 

Leslie

4 Responses to “End of Cycle Three. Bring on the Ginger Tea!”

  1. Jim Sobery said

    I’ve told Tony, Leah’s talkative workmate at BGCA, that this blog is the place to come for inspiration, humor, sense and creativity. Now it won’t be long before she shares with everyone at BGCA headquarters and most of the clubs worldwide.

  2. Jeanne Gore said

    Your new Ensure friends are a hoot! You and Sam stay as upbeat as your blog. Cynthia and I are in water aerobics together. I am so glad Sam liked the stem ginger cookies. So many of us are praying for y’all, you can hear the angels’ wings flapping in joy. Remember that sound when it gets too quiet.

  3. Therese said

    “The easiest way to get through a day is to: be flexible, take notes, listen, be patient, love, show gratitude, learn, and just laugh.” This should be constitutionally mandated, or at least added as another commandment.
    You two are in my prayers.
    T.

  4. louise bilbro said

    Leslie & Sam-
    I love your spirit and humor despite all of your trials, and admire you both tremendously. Sending all good thoughts your way.
    Love,
    Louise

    p.s. I used to sneak sips of mom’s chocolate Ensure milk shakes – pretty tasty!

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