For Mom’s first treatment in Seattle, my brother Blake accompanied her. Although it wasn’t the most glamorous of trips, it was a memorable one. I’m so glad my mom and brother had this time together.
June 19th, 2011
Blake and I left Medford at 3:30 pm to fly to Portland and then catch the next flight to Seattle in Portland and I sat next to a gal from Phoenix. We spoke a little and said we’d both pray for each other and our families. I was able to share what the Lord was doing a little in my life. A divine appointment. I told Blake that that happens all the time with my trips. We arrived in Seattle around 6 pm and took the light rail to Pioneer Station to catch the bus. I couldn’t find the bus stop and was approached by three homeless people. I was looking for a place to eat dinner and Blake said he’d happily eat food bars for dinner if we could leave the area. They were a little scary because it was a sketchy part of town.
We caught the bus finally and came right to Swedish Cherry Hill campus where we’re staying. They’ve converted a floor of the hospital for patients to stay in as lodging. Nothing special, but it’s clean and safe. They lock things down at 9 pm. The receptionist said it’s too dangerous to go out at night, so we ordered pizza. The driver got lost, the receptionist yelled at the driver (on the phone) and the driver yelled back at her. Ah, the big city. Blake says he never wants to live in the city.
We ate our pizza and headed up to the room. I watched some TV and Blake played games on his iPod touch. Then we read from Table Talk. I need to be at Swedish Cancer Institute at 8 am for an EKG and other tests, so we need to get up at 6:15 am to be ready for the 7:15 am shuttle. The sign in the bathroom says it takes 5-20 minutes for the water to heat up for a shower, so I need to allow time for that. It’s been an exhausting day, but Blake and I laughed so hard about everything that went wrong. He’ll never forget this trip. Neither will I. Well, time for bed.
June 20, 2011
I woke up at 5:40 am (before 6:15 am wake up call) and took a shower and dressed before waking Blake up. We went to the cafeteria and split a breakfast of scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and milk. We took the shuttle to Swedish Cancer Institute at 7:10 am for my 8 am appointment. Was there until 11 am or 12 pm for ECG, blood work, eye exam and going over the week’s schedule. Then Blake and I took the bus to the Space Needle and ate at the restaurant at the top and walked around the tower. I was scared going up in the elevator but okay at the top. Afterwards we listened to Andes musicians at the park outside and took the bus back to where we’re staying. Had a cup of noodles for dinner from the cafeteria. A long way from the Sky City restaurant at the Space Needle. (I had AHI salad and Blake had crab mac and cheese.) It’s 11:55 pm and I’m tired! Time for bed!
June 21, 2011
Today Blake and I slept in and then took the bus to the Museum of Flight in Seattle (outskirts). It was amazing! Of Smithsonian caliber! We had wanted to see about also touring the Boeing plant, but it was near Everett and about a 4 mile walk to and from buses. Too much! We’re getting fairly familiar with the Seattle bus system. We were at the museum from noon till 5 pm and saw exhibits on WWI, WWII, the original Boeing barn, the space flights, the journey of flight, a flight tower simulation, viewed planes outside and went inside the Concorde, Air Force One (built for Eisenhower and also used by Kennedy, Johnson & Nixon). A tremendous experience.
Ate lunch there at the cafe (yikes! a sandwich for $7!) and came home (Inn at Cherry Hill). Had a salad and an astronaut ice cream sandwich for dinner. Blake had a headache and since he doesn’t swallow pills yet, I mashed them up in honey and he just swallowed them. Yuck! Poor guy is asleep right now. All tuckered out. I’m so glad he came with me on this trip. It’s been fun having him with me, a “vacation” amidst treatments. Tomorrow is my 1st treatment. We’ll be at the hospital from 8 am (actually arrive 7:30 am) till 9 pm! LONG day!! Hope Blake’s not too bored. Night for now! Need sleep!
June 22, 2011
What a LONG day! After a split and speedy breakfast at the cafeteria, Blake and I hopped the shuttle at 7:10 am. After hours of countless ECGs, blood work and infusion of erbitux and the new drug, we left the hospital at 9:30 pm via a security car. Main side effect today was splitting headache and light sensitivity. Not bad for caner treatment. Blake was a great “nurse” today, although I’m sure he was bored to tears. I’m so glad to be back at Cherry Hill. Goodnight!
June 23, 2011 – 8:15 pm
I woke up this morning to a blow out in my colostomy bag around 5 am. Fortunately no stool had gone beyond my undies. I got up and showered, changed my bag and night gown and went back to bed. Woke up a couple times but got up around 10:30. Blake and I had lunch around 11:45 in the hospital cafeteria (split it again) before hopping the shuttle at 12:30 for SCI. Had an ECG and then blood work around 1 pm. The side effects thus far are sensitivity to light, slow transition from light to dark to dark to light vision wise, headache, and diarrhea. Not too bad. After the doctor’s visit we took the bus down town and went to the Pacific Science Museum. We watched an IMAX movie on Volcanoes in the Deep, went to the interactive exhibits and the butterfly pavilion. By far my favorite was the Butterfly Pavilion. My favorite was a big blue one called “The Common Blue Morpho.” We left at closing (6 pm) and took the bus back to Cherry Hill because the creepers start to come out at dark. We ate dinner at the hospital cafeteria and started packing. Then started Blake’s state testing booklet. Don’t think he’s too thrilled. I need to do laundry tonight if I can. Was able to do laundry. Relaxed watching TV. Will sleep in.
June 24, 2011
Slept in till 10 am. Got a call from a pilot with Angel Flight. He’ll be flying me from Seattle to Portland next week. So far I have 2 pilots flying me from Medford to Seattle on the 28th, I’ll be staying at the Holiday Inn compliments of the American Cancer Society and I have a pilot flying me from Seattle to Portland on the 30th. I just need a flight to Medford now. I also have an Angel Flight scheduled on July 7th. After going to the doctors today, (final ECG and blood draw) I waited in the lobby and got talking with a gal (cancer survivor of 3 cancers, I believe). She lives in Seattle and we exchanged info. She gave Blake and ma a ride to the airport and I offered to pay her, but she declined. I told her what a blessing from the Lord she was to me that day and we both welled up with tears. She didn’t seem to be a Christian, but I hope to stay in contact with her to encourage her. Right now it’s 5 pm and Blake and I are waiting for our 7:30 pm flight. We’ve been here since 2:30 pm. Ugh! Sitting on airport benches are hard on old bums! Think I’ll get up and walk around.