Sunday, November 20, 2011
Big Boy Pants
Her answer was, "Tanner, I already know" and she went on and explained to him that Caremark told them when Dr. Albritten attempted to call in his next round of Revlimid that Tanner had admitted to them that he has a bottle of medications that he still hasn't taken. She said that Dr. Albritten wasn't there in the office and she was going to talk to one of the other doctors but that she thought it just best that he doesn't try to take any more at this point and they would consider this his week of "rest" and then he could start a fresh new round next week.
She went out of the room and a minute later, Lisa, the "counselor" over the teenagers at Cook's Oncology came into the room and she was just generally talking with him as she always does and then she asked the same question about his medicines. When he gave her the same answer, she told him she was going to "come down hard on him" and she went on to explain to him about how hard it was going to make things if he relapses, how "tired of his medical stuff" he was going to get if he had to go through the aggressive chemotherapy all over again. She told him it would be much worse than the first time.
She asked him if he realized what happens if a person gets sick and the doctor prescribes an antibiotic and the patient only takes them every once in a while? She explained that the "illness" learns how to overcome the medication, to become resistant to the medication, and the patient becomes sick all over again. Sometimes even more ill than they were originally. She explained to him that the same thing can happen with cancer. She told him that she realized that he wants to be "normal" and "just like all the other teenagers" but that if he relapses things would be much, much harder on him.
They told him that they have a program through Cook's where the teenager can get a daily text that reminds them to take their medicines and when he goes to his appointment this next Wednesday morning they are going to set him up to receive the texts - and while we were sitting there, he sat a daily alarm on his phone to also give him another reminder.
He told Lisa and Anita that he was going to do better, that he was going to "put on his big boy pants" and commit to them that he would start taking his medications like they are prescribed and would show up for his weekly appointments.
We are going to get him another one of the weekly pill containers (the one we had broke) and I'm going to help him get organized and we'll leave it on the kitchen counter so that he sees it every time he goes to the refrigerator.
Their dad took Tanner, Cearra, and Trevor down to Clyde on Friday and they all visited with their grandfather. They fished, shot rifles, and had a great time. While they were gone, I took the opportunity to paint Tanner's room on Friday night and then Saturday I went down to the lakehouse in Palo Pinto and spent some time with my cousins. I think Tanner and I both just needed a short break this weekend and this next week we'll regroup and get back to working on getting him back on track with his treatment.
I wish it had been me, instead of Tanner, who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma... but it wasn't... instead it struck my 17 year old son so now he's going to have to "put on his big boy pants" and deal with treatment for the rest of his life. Hopefully, with treatment, that life can be a long, long time.