Monday, February 9, 2009

Chemo Weeks Bring Teh Crazy

It's a chemo week for the Unknown Son, so things are a bit on the crazy side. While I don't usually get into the details too often, I thought it might be instructive to walk you through a typical chemo week.

U.S. gets the chemo every day for five days (the clinic where he goes is only open on weekdays), so we make the 45 minute drive every day. We leave the house at 7:30, armed with a backpack full of whatever his latest video obsession is - for the moment, it's classic Pink Panther (the cartoons, not the movies).
  • Monday's are the long days - he first has to get his fluids up to snuff, so they take about 2 hours to put in lots and lots of saline. Then they start the chemo (two separate drugs, proceeded and followed by various other meds to protect him from side effects) usually around noon or so. I get the morning shift, and the Unknown Wife relieves me around noon (after her Ladies Bible Study) and takes the afternoon slot, which allows me to go into my office for a few hours to prep for the weeks' classes. When all's said and done, Unknown Wife gets home around 4 or so.
  • The rest of the week, we're out of the house by 7:30 and home by 2 - they don't need to pump as many fluids in as on Mondays, so the chemo starts (and ends) much sooner.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach until about 2 and then rush home to meet the Unknown Daughter at the Bus Stop (Unknown Wife gets chemo duty),
  • Wednesdays and Fridays, I get chemo duty. If all works well, I get to go in the office for a couple of hours afterwards.
Unknown Son typically handles the first day (or two) of chemo fairly well, with only a bit of nausea, By the end of the week, however, he pretty much is sick until about 6 every night (and sometimes into the evening, and we're pretty tired out.

Somehow in the midst of this, we manage to get everything else done (with the help of the Unknown Wife's friends, who bring us a LOT of meals). We also typically have a family member (usually the Unknown Mother in Law) stay over for a couple of days to help out and lend moral support.

Luckily for Unknown Son and I, the clinic has all the essentials: a DVD player and Game Cube for him, and Broadband for me (hence, this post). So, he gets to watch hours of Pink Panther DVDs and I can catch up on my emails, blogging, and work -- between working on two existing projects (one of which I'm just about done with and ready to hand off to my coauthor for his part) and prepping for the new cases I've added to my Corporate Finance class, it never ends.

But at least it keeps me off the streets begging for data.