Yesterday afternoon, shortly before 12:30pm, I nursed my sweet baby girl for what I can only pray was not the last time.
I sobbed silently, my tears dripping onto her curls while a swarm of my closest friends and family buzzed around the kitchen. I was losing my religion in the living room and the day was only halfway over.
My mother is back and stayed with Nugget while Nugget’s Daddy worked from home. Barbara and Martha took me to chemo. Despite having loaded up on Ativan, I cried most of the way there.
I wore a top that would provide easy access to my port, which had been slathered with theemla cream and covered in saran wrap for at least an hour.
Patients are only allowed to have one guest accompany them to the treatment room. I had two, who would not take “just one” for an answer. Marla, my oncology nurse, happily pulled up another chair to accommodate my posse.
Then a senior patient, as all the other patients seem to be, swung the treatment room door open and announced, “Well! All the good chairs have been taken.” I wondered if I’d gotten one of the good ones. I hoped so!
Marla drew the curtain so she could access my port. I told Barb and Martha that they would be watching, because I couldn’t really get a good look at the action and wanted to be sure my friends suffered along if there was indeed any suffering to be done. There was not. I think it was worse for them. Then the two of them chatted about how they’d like to be nurses except for, well, all of the gross stuff. Cute scrubs had been really, really appealing, but simply couldn’t trump dealing with blood and needles.
The dynamic duo was relentless in their efforts to keep me entertained. As I was showing them my phone that Nugget had rendered the antenna unretractable on, Martha cracked, “Your phone has an antenna?” I replied with a smart, “Shut your trap!” which sent senior patient #2, coughy McHacksalot, into a rage of laughter and then into a, well, fit of coughing and hacking. Note to self – keep wiseass cracks down to a dull roar in the treatment room or suffer the wrath of coughy McHacksalot.
Treatment went fairly well. I had no reaction to the test dose of Bleomycin. I took the extra dose of Ativan she offered. (duh!) At one point I was having some pain, almost like a burning sensation when I took a deep breath. so Marla switched my iv bags and checked my lungs. Whatever it was, it subsided and I finished Day 1 of treatment with no real issues.