Thursday, November 6, 2008

Getting started at Huntsman

Becki spent many days at the Huntsman Cancer Institute during the last two weeks of October. She had multiple blood tests, two bone and marrow aspirations, a PET/CT scan with general anesthesia, an MRI with general anesthesia, an echo cardiogram, and an EKG. She had already had many of these tests before, but Huntsman requires to have them done again at their own facility for their records.

They gave Becki a rough date of November 3rd to begin the chemo, but a few things still had to be done. On the 29th, Becki and her three daughters attended a 3 hour class that Huntsman puts on for the caregivers. We learned a lot of great information on all we need to do to ensure that this is as smooth and comfortable for Becki as possible. Also, they told us that 80% of patients end up getting admitted back to the hospital because of infection. We are determined to have her be a part of the other 20%. We have taken all of their advice and then taken it a step further. Becki calls her oldest daugher "General Emily", because she and Kim are so anal about germs and wearing masks. We are trying to be so ridiculously careful since her immune system is practically non-existent.

On the 31st they put a triple lumen...something...port in.  (All these medical terms are a bit much for us laypeople)!  This really scared Becki.  After waking up and seeing this "huge 3 prong dangly thing hanging out of my chest" she realized that she could no longer back out. It was a really scary feeling. The port could be in as long as a year. They administer the chemo, take blood, give medicine, etc. all through these three "dangly things".

Becki has been so impressed by the people at Huntsman. They are very compassionate and act like they have all the time in the world just for her. Two guys that were part of the team that put her port in could see how terrified she was, so they took her to the room where the procedure was done, showed her everything and explained all the how and whys. They were really sweet.  It is nice to have her in such good hands.

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