My Mema was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Some doctors describe it as preleukemia. Typically only those who have already undergone chemotherapy treatments are given this diagnoses, but it is said that people who are exposed to high levels of benzene or radiation over long periods of time are also at greater risk of developing MDS. Well she never had any cancer or cancer treatments so that only leaves option number 2.
Mema was a nurse for 40 years! That’s right 40 years! You better be jumping out of your chair applauding, people. Besides putting her immediate health at risk to help others, I believe she put her long term health at risk too. I’m so convinced that working around all the equipment she did, is what has caused the health issue she’s faced with now. I’m not saying that with a bitter heart. But what I am saying is go hug and thank a nurse… today!
When I found out she was going to go ahead with chemotherapy treatments I was really angry. I harbor a lot of animosity towards big pharma in general. I asked her if there was another way, a natural way. She says the doctors said she’d be dead in two months without chemo. So I did the angry thing for a while. But the good news is, you can get glad in the same pants you get mad in. I quickly realized that I needed to do something proactive. I decided to make a “chemo care kit”.
I put a lot of thought and research into it. I know you’re probably thinking that the stuff isn’t very crunchy, and you’d be right. There are several crunchy alternatives to the stuff in the basket. But right now she just needs some love and comfort. Not a lifestyle shoved down her throat. I mean, let’s get real… if she’d listen to me, she would have done an holistic approach!
We went up to Lake City to visit with her before she began her chemotherapy. I was really happy to deliver the kit personally instead of just mail it. I’m not going to lie, I was really concerned for her. She seemed so distant and apathetic.
Well today was the first day of treatment. I was so relieved to hear her on the phone tonight. She sounded relieved and happy! I could see her smiling in my mind’s eye. And she said absolutely everyone loved the care kit! Even the nurses asked if she could bring in the whole basket for them to see tomorrow. Isn’t that sweet!? She told me that they went to Cracker Barrel after it was over. She says she feels just fine! Praise the Lord! There are only four more days left and then she gets a month break until they administer the second round, and there will only be six weeks total. I’m feeling O.K. about this, not good, but O.K. And you know what? That’s O.K.
What’s in the Chemo Care Kit?
Inside the basket are some jello snack packs, which I happen to know she loves! There are some canned soups and dried fruit snacks. Peppermint flavored Tummy Drops for upset stomach. Act Total Care mouth wash for dry and sore mouth and also some Burt’s Bees lip balm. Unscented lotion, as skin can become dry due to treatments and unscented because smells can be overwhelming. Foaming alcohol free hand sanitizer for her compromised immune system, that promises to not dry out her skin. There are some soft no-slip warm socks. According to my research this was a must! And my darling mother added a warm soft blanket shown in the picture as the background, and a beautiful seat belt pillow that will keep the belt from rubbing her port. And lastly some cards with verses of encouragement. (not pictured are some bottles of Propel and Gatorade as well as a second seat belt pillow for her second vehicle).