Wendy’s Treatment Day Journal

So far, the letskickthispig.com experience has had male-centric authorship. Gross. I sit and write the blog and sort through pictures and Pinterest while Wendy operates power tools and eats rare roast beef and passes gas proudly. It’s our life, don’t judge. 

But today, Wendy wrote the blog. She doesn’t think she’s funny like me. The thing is, writing this thing it’s like real life where I try really hard and I’m zany and wacky and people get sick of me in three minutes, but they spend 30 seconds with Wendy and her authenticity and total awesomeness about every single thing makes them want to be her friend for eternity. 

Or something. Anyway, here’s Wendy’s play-by-play of today:

Today was treatment day. 

How does treatment day go these phase two days? Well, today I went in and Payson was asleep on the floor using my nice blanket. Huh. Then he wakes up to four siblings heading down to breakfast where he is served a nice helping of apple juice and chemo meds. Yay!


No food since he will be under anesthesia for a lumbar puncture. We put numbing cream on his port site an hour before his appointment so that he can handle the needle they’ll access his heart with. Cover that dollop with plastic wrap and throw on the Team Payson Tee. Then he has to take his last sip of clear liquids before we head out. 

Today we had a fun surprise on the way to Primary Children’s. My brother, Payson’s uncle Rod, works at the Utah state capitol as a K-9 bomb officer. Yesterday, as he and aunt Heidi brought us dinner, we mentioned that we pass his work site every procedure day. So he arranged to be outside training his dog at the time we would pass. What a surprise for Payson! Love you bro!

Arriving at Primary Children’s we get to tell the parking attendant that we are here for oncology. Even as the word comes out of my mouth I can’t believe that’s what I’m saying. Oncology. 

We head to the fourth floor Hematology/Oncology clinic or Hemonc as we regulars call it. Sign in, sit down and help distract Payson so he doesn’t psych himself out about the nurses having to access his port when they call his name. 

Port access. This sounds kind of space age but it’s just putting a needle attached to tubing that allows them to take his weekly labs and administer any drugs needed for the day without having to get an IV each week. He will have it inside his body the next three years. It’s great. And terrible. Terrible because needles are scary and the tape they use to keep it secure is his nemesis. He hates sticky stuff so much. But they accessed him today with little whimpering and we were off to the next room. 

Meeting with the doctor. We headed to room 8 where we have the coolest wall toy. Each room has wall toys and we’ve decided room 8’s is the best. A soccer game on the wall. We wait long enough for him to figure out how to have the goalie save the shots. I’m so proud. They tell us how his labs look which is quite awesome. Red blood counts are still a little low but apparently those are the slowest of the blood parts to perk back up after the blow of Leukemia. 

Today we had to address some pain he has been having. They were concerned enough after pressing on his belly to order an X-ray and, since he has had kidney stones, they also tell him to pee in a cup. Lucky! 

Procedure time. After he sings to the clinic nurses at their request- we head down to the first floor for the x ray and lumbar puncture. 

X-ray was no biggie but it was causing us to cut it close for our 12:30 appointment with the lumbar puncture folks. So we talk about anesthesia as we walk. Payson requests they administer the sleepy drug slowly so it doesn’t hurt his throat. I love that he takes charge of his care-stud. She agrees to that request and we head in. They let me stay right next to him each time until he has fallen asleep. Today he is talking aloud right before he zonks out. He says it is starting to hurt his throat so she slows down. He goes quiet and then, in a high-pitched dreamy voice he says “Thank You!” And immediately his head falls off the blue doughnut pillow onto the bed letting us know he is OUT! We all died laughing. 

I now have 15 to 30 minutes to eat, or go to the pharmacy or to sit and chill in the lobby. Today I ran across the bridge the the University hospital cafeteria to hug a friend, but that’s another story. 

Time to wake up. Payson took a little longer waking up today for whatever reason. He wakes up hungry for salty crackers. He eats like 20. He also gets whatever he wants to drink. I guess they feel bad for making them fast until 2 in the afternoon. All for a good cause, right?! Then we are wheeled out to the car. But instead, today we head back up to see what the doc says about the x ray and cup of pee. Basically he needs to poop more. TMI? Payson probably thinks so. Sorry Payson. We are just glad he doesn’t have another kidney stone. Phew. 

Port de-access time. This has become the hardest part. Remember he hates sticky stuff!? He has what must be the most sensitive skin in the world. The nurse even tells me he is getting little abrasions today as he pulls up the “sensitive skin” version of the sticky pad edges. So this is going to really hurt. It did. And he wants to pull it off himself so it was like 40 minutes of shaky, tiny hands trying to pull off a clear plastic sheet that wants to be a permanent part of his chest. IT WAS NOT FUN. Then the nurses apologize that it was so rough and promise to brainstorm how to make it easier next time. We love those girls. 

Home here we come! He sleeps most of the ride home and for the next two hours on the couch. I love him so much it hurts! 

That’s treatment day.