small is beautiful
January 4, 2007 § 8 Comments
The treatment area was jumping yesterday. All those Monday patients shifted into a Tuesday slot thanks to the New Year holiday.
What could have easily been the equivalent of a traffic jam at the lab turned into more good luck for me. Chair 8 was occupied and in a last minute shuffle, I was upgrade to Chair 1. Numero uno. From the corner lot, I had a birds-eye view of the room I am not allowed to photograph. Lots of blue vinyl chairs with IV hook-ups surrounded by faded geometric curtains in shades of blue.
To my left, the tiny Asian woman with her mother, or was it her sister. The patient wore a wool cap, with tufts of hair peeking out. She was clearly a shedder, but resisting the shave. What a teeny tiny woman, maybe 80 lbs. I suspect she was always small and the chemo had taken her to a new low. Their station sounded like checkout at the Supermarket 88. I couldn’t understand a thing.
Next to her, an older woman sat in the chair accompanied by I suspect her husband. The TV was blaring, the couple wasn’t talking to each other. I caught a few melodramatic pleas. I had forgotten how over-the-top soap operas were.
I was assigned Nurse Nicole for Tuesdays drip. She turned the volume down on the soaps. Thank you. My regular Nurse, Julie had the day off. I missed Julie. Especially since nurse Nicole played hide and seek with my veins. Or rather my veins played hide and seek with Nurse Nicole. After two difficult and unsuccesful tries she sought her supervisor for assistance. Thank you. When I suggested spots that seemed IV friendly like the inside of my arm vs. the backside of my bony hand, Nicole pointed out that the Adriomyacin was too toxic to put into something so close to a joint. If it gets into the tissue it could result in permanent muscle damage. Now that’s the way to kick off an afternoon of an IV drip.
Rodger the volunteer came by for a visit peddling lunches. I have to wonder, who on a drip of Adriomyacin and Cytoxin craves egg salad or chicken salad sandwich? Certainly not the teen tiny woman. Maybe the husband of the soap opera fan. Just the thought of mayonnaise made my stomach turn; the color, the texture and the odds that it’s turning bad in their little white lunch bags.
Rodger wanted to help, and I wanted to help him so I put aside the video iPod and swiched HEROS to pause. Then, I asked Roger if he would fill my thermos with hot water. He was happy. I was hydrating.
Even as I babble about my chemo adventures; my chair neighbors and the roaming volunteer. The high that afternoon, was a surprise visit from Dr Come. This guy really impresses me. He is down to earth, soft spoken, sharp as a tack and always available to say hello. Initially, I braced myself for trouble. Did I have another blog faux pas on my hands? There was no mentioned of the forbotten pictures.
Instead it was tumor talk and what I had been feeling, or not feeling was confirmed. After two doses of the heavy stuff and my blood pulsing with dose number three, my golf ball sized tumor has shrunk, significantly, for real.
It’s true, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
Day two is never easy. Tomorrow will be better. Still, there is a flip side to the fact that I totally felt like crap today, nauseous and contorted with discomfort. My tumor is shrinking and for the first time in 20 years, I have a secret stash of the uber alternative meds to generate an appetite or launch a party.