Back to School

The girls went to school and L went to kindergarten this morning. The elementery school annual rice dumpling festival was today. The head of the committee invited foreign students from the nearby national university to help pound 90 kilograms (198 lbs, probably doubled in weight after steaming) of steamed sticky rice into gooey glutinous dumplings to feed the 550 or so elementary school students. I was also invited to speak a little aboout holiday customs in my country. S dedcided that I would be too busy to go and approached the chairperson to ask if he could go in my place, bringing a few university judo team students and one of our adult English students to help in the manpower department. They were glad for the extra help and I got out of going.

To thank the judo students for their help, he invited them here for lunch, so I spent the time I would have been standing around at school cleaning and cutting chinese bokchoy cabbage, shiitake and other mushrooms, tofu and other items (can't find what some of them are in English) so they could have "cook-at-the-table" miso based soup (o-nabe) I also put some already cut sashimi on a nice plate and cooked a big batch of rice. After they arrived and started eating, I went to get L at his bus stop. The girls arrived home already full from all the rice dumplings and didn't need lunch. From the dirty bowls they brought home, I see M liked the red bean paste topping, J liked the yellow powdered soy bean topping and N liked soy sauce and nori (flaky seaweed). I left the dishes to soak and told S I'd be off to the hospital. He asked when I'd be back and seemed surprised when I said that it might be around 6 p.m. because I'd be having an I.V. Our adult English student was nice enough to stay and play with the kids, even taking them to the park for a while.

I took the bus to the hospital and arrived in time for my 2 p.m. appointment only to be kept waiting until 3 as it was a busy day. The doctor apologized and then took his time to carefully explain the regimen and the medications before setting me up for my I.V. and sending me on my way around the corner on the same floor to the outpatient chemotherapy clinic. The in-clinic pharmacist and nurses gave me the same explanations again and got me started.

Kytril (anti nausea) + 100ml saline solution - 20 mins

Decadron (steroid, anti nausea) + Epirubicin + 100ml 5% glucose
solution - 20 mins

Cyclophosphamide + Fluorouracil (5FU) + Solita-T3 (rehydration
solution) - 60 mins

and a final vein flushing of 100ml 5% saline
solution - 5 mins.

I was given metoclopramide (3 times a day for 5 days), Zofran (once a day for 5 days) and Decadron (8 tiny tablets 3 times a day for 3 days) to ward off nausea and was told to take the first Zofran tonight.(Done!)

So far, so good. A friend sent a text message to my cell phone asking when and how I'd be going home and offered to pick me up in the evening so I had an unexpected ride home. She said too call next time too, because although I might feel fine, it is better not to be on my own on the bus. Her dad had chemo a few years ago (he's fine now) and she is very sympathetic.

When I arrived home, S and J had gone to our school for tonight's lessons and our adult English student was sitting with the younger kids, covered with mittens and gloves, attached by clothespin, and playing picture drawing games. He may have been a bulldog in a former life; he is everso patient with the kids.

Dinner for the kids was leftover o-nabe from lunch with chinese ramen noodles added. Nobody complained as they didn't eat it the first time around anyway. I had some too and feel fine. The doctor and nurses tell me that the next few days may be trying. Maybe S can due crossing guard duty for me (it's our turn) and go to L's kindergarten class new year's party tomorrow morning. Then again, maybe I'll be fine and can at least go to the party...


Anonymous said...

Hi from Nashville. I was going through all my bookmarks have revisited your blog, the link to which I think you posted way back on MIJ, or somewhere. So, I just thought I'd say hi. We are loving it here in Nashville, but miss friends in Japan, too.

It must be hard for you to manage all the medical treatments and be cheerful for the kids, too, but if anyone can do, it is you! You inspire me with your positive outlook on life. I'm going to try to catch those vibes from 6000 miles away!

Ellie and Kieran are genki and enjoying our backyard. We have so much room we don't know what to do with it all. It will be an interesting challenge to readjust to Tokyo in about 10 months.

Anyway, I'll check out your blog every so often to catch up. I rarely check MIJ of late--just not where I'm at right now--literally!

take care,