1 down, 7 to go

Yesterday was a long day, but it’s over, and we’re so glad!

There was bloodwork first, then an appt with Dr. O’Regan’s nurse practitioner from Grady, whom we loved (her regular one, Kate The Wonderful, is on maternity leave).  Then scheduling the next appts and waiting for a chair in the infusion center.

The worst part of the day was getting the IV started – it took 2 lovely nurses (it’s my small, weak veins, not them) and 4 tries.  I will be getting a port surgically implanted before the next one.

Finally, at Noon, ”let the drip begin!” as my tough, fellow cancer-fighting cousin said last week.  Since Cisplatin is hard on the kidneys, the first and last 1-1/2 hours were hydration (2 liters!).  The middle 2 hours, Cisplatin.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the bathroom, pushing my IV cart.  First time I’ve actually felt like a patient.

The Best Parts of the Day
First, a visit from my college roommate who happens to live near Emory.  She is witty and kind and I love her.  And since each patient is only allowed one visitor at a time – I had a cushy chair, but the rest of our “chemo bay” is cramped – Joey had an excuse to walk outside on a beautfiul day and eat a nice lunch.  Another rule – no hot or cooked foods in there, nothing with an odor.  I had applesauce and crackers from a volunteer’s snack cart and bananas from home.

Second, our children were so wonderfully taken care of until well past 7pm.  Our 6-year-old, sprawled on our couch, tired from playing hard, asked, “Mom, the next time you have cancer, can we stay with the Gillens?”

Finally, the good wishes we got throughout the day, the cheers on this blog reacting to my good PET scan, and the bounty that was on our front porch when we got home…just amazing.  After the kids were in bed (they’d been fed earlier), Joey and I were so tired, but so hungry, and we enjoyed the most wonderful dinner left by a friend.  There were also flowers, a cool water bottle, the coziest pj’s ever, a perfect journal and countless good vibes coming from so many different people.  It is heart-filling and we thank you.

The Day After
Nausea started at 3:30am, but certainly one of the many pill bottles we picked up last night will help!  I’m out of bed now and hoping to go on a walk with my hubby, who is working from home today.  So far, so good.



  1. I was the lucky one to get to visit with you! I hope that you were able to enjoy the walk today and that the nausea is gone. Also, let your great family and friends spoil you! Thanks for keeping us posted.

  2. Nicole, you are SOOOOO brave. You and your family are constantly in my prayers. What wonderful friends you have, but that isn’t surprising, knowing you. Hugs and love

  3. What a beautiful ‘blog’ – I am so proud of you. Hope “one of the 5″ helped you through today. LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

    For all of you in Marietta (and surrounding areas) taking care of my girl – thank you thank you thank you! You are all my angels – but more importantly HER’S and Joey’s and Sara’s and Sam’s.

    • Kathy Barnett says:

      Thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. She is the best friend anyone can ask for. We are happy to be her cheerleaders during this process!

      • Well I hear you are pretty special too and also have two (?) lovely girls – one of which Sara told me all about in St. Thomas!! Your ‘cheers’ are so appreciated and we are hearing them here in VA loud and clear!

  4. Gail Joyner says:

    Sounds like a “good start”, if there is such a thing, but so glad you have started on your journey-”hooked up”, as we say at St. Luke’s. Hope your tummy feels better, and how fortunate you are to have such great friends!! No wonder you love living in the Peach State!