Not a PICC-nic

Do you know how long it took me to come up with that oh-so-clever header? Okay, not long.

Yesterday, I squirmed my way through the procedure for placing the peripherally inserted central catheter (or PICC) by getting high on valium and nearly passing out. Fortunately, my mother-in-law, Georgia, was there with me to be silly and ask questions when I was too loopy to do so myself.

It’s still a bit disconcerting to think about the catheter that is in my arm, knowing that there is a thin piece of plastic running through my veins and into my chest. So, I try not to think about it too much. For those of you more clinically inclined, here’s a pic of the PICC:

But today is another day, and I am again reminded of the amazing nature of my fellow humans. As I write, two nearly complete strangers are at work in our bathroom, trying to quickly get the new walls up so that we can have a functioning bathroom — including a shower in our home — making chemotherapy that much easier to bear. I can’t imagine climbing the basement stairs to use the dingy bathroom toilet when I am at a low point in my treatment. Perhaps the most touching part of the bathroom saints is that they refuse compensation of any kind. I even offered to donate the money I would pay them for their work to a charity of their choosing, and they refused, saying, “You get better — and when you do, you help someone else out like this too.” Karma. We must have it good.

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4 Responses to “Not a PICC-nic”

  1. Nice overalls.

    And in regards to a previous post about the horror of watching Dawn watch, well, that certainly relates to me telling people. Because then, at least I only have my crap to worry about, and I don’t have to watch them watch. But I try to comfort myself with the fact that folks (like Mom and She–and maybe Dawn) can use the cancer excuse, too. People have a lot of sympathy/empathy/support for the caregivers. Caregivers are even included in the Jewish prayer for healing, you’ll be glad to know.

    Okay, maybe that isn’t much comfort, really. Not much at all, in fact. Because it’s still almost as bad to watch people watching as it is to go through directly. It only compounds the unfairness of it all.

  2. Jason Haines Says:

    Last night Tami asked me where you lived so we could bring you dinner. I told her you lived in Wisconsin and she shrank. She really wants to cook you guys dinner. I think she is determined to do it anyway, though I don’t know how. Chin up! We all love you, and give those “nearly complete strangers” a hug (or a good “chuck” on the shoulder) from all of us.

  3. Wow, Jason — what can I say? I’m easy to bring to tears these days, so be careful. I’m sitting in my office right now (I know, I should be working, but it’s hard to concentrate), and I can’t be breaking down in front of my co-workers (supportive and loving as they may be). Anyway, thank you for the thought, and please tell Tami thanks too. Fortunately, we have a lot of love around us and I don’t think we’ll be short on meals. In fact, one of our neighbors brought us dinner last night, and I haven’t even started chemo yet!

  4. Stephanie Jutt Says:

    Dear Mike and Dawn,
    I’m sitting in Marianne and Charlie’s living room in Austin and writing this on Charlie’s laptop. We are thinking of you and sending a million good wishes. Marianne and Charlie gave me the update that you might go to Indiana to a place that specializes in this ailment and might be even better for treatment. You can count on me for any number of things around town – and I’ll call you when I get back. Marianne says she wants to clean your new bathroom with a toothbrush!!! They both love you a lot and their daughter is DARLING. What great people, and they think the world of both of you. Keep me posted, and more cake and heaven knows what is on the way. Help is on the way, you are going to be FINE. It’s a terrible ordeal but we will all be with you as much as ever we can to help. Lots and lots of love, Stephanie

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