Friday, May 1, 2009

The Fat Lady keeps Singing (Part II)

(For those of you who haven't checked out the blog since before April 30th, know that this is part two of the May 1st post. It will make more sense if you scroll down and read the one right before this first. Confusing, I know. But it's your fault for not checking in on me every single day).

When we left off, I was in the chair for chemo #4. And here were the suicidal beanie babies to guide me through the last one:
The one on the right is actually from my view, looking up from in my chair. It's a millennium angel...which I guess means she's been hanging out there for 9 years now. Hanging...get it? Arr.

The one on the left pretty much says it all. The bear's chest is embroidered with "It's Going to Be Okay." You know, as he hangs over a person getting infused with poison. Touching, isn't it?

There were actually 3 empty chairs in the room this time, so I had a selection. I chose the one in the back corner that I had described as "the suite" during my report on chemo #1. And while it was a little roomier, it also was way too close to an AC vent, and Chris kept having to move so they could get back to the files in the corner. Oh, and the chair was broken so the footrest didn't lock in place. We didn't discover all these problems until I was hooked up and well underway. I didn't miss my usual chair though--there was a woman sitting in it and she was barefoot. Her feet were dirty and this was really creeping me out. Eventually, she moved to the private room with the bed instead of a chair (I overheard that she'd been in the hospital during the week and was fairly weak; I felt a little bad about my feet concern). I was happy for her getting moved to the bed. I was also happy for me, I'm not going to lie. I hate dirty feet. It's just a thing I have.

Anyway, I get settled into the chair and the infusing starts (it's now 11:30), and I start sneezing. Not a lot, and again, there's the arctic air blowing directly overhead from the AC vent, so it's not surprising. But the whole room says "Bless You." Except Chris. Chris says "Yeah, we're just back from Mexico, but it's all okay." Luckily everyone had a good sense of humor and laughed. Because swine flu in a chemo patient? Not such a good thing.

The chemo itself was rather uneventful. Chris was able to run out and do an errand or two and pick himself up a real lunch. I wrote, had some lunch and did some reading, but I didn't sleep except for about 20 minutes. The whole thing lasted until just about 5:30. Chatty Cathy showed up around 2 for her appointment but they had messed up scheduling her and there wasn't enough time to give her the 4 hour chemo that day so they re-scheduled her for the next day. Psychologically, that's a tough one; you have to gear yourself up for chemo day (note my lack of sleep the night before) and the office really, really shouldn't do that to a person. Particularly annoying since when I left at 5:30 there was still a gentleman there that had 45 minutes to go. So they could have done Cathy's chemo as well.

I had seen people "graduate" from chemo before--the nurses and doctors give a "certificate" and take a picture of you with the graduation cap. Ummm....not so much for me. They couldn't find the cap or the camera and it was already after work hours. So no big fanfare. Marilyn and Nancy did hug me and tell me to stop by and say hi when I come back to see the doctor. I think I'll just send them cards of thanks--I'm not coming back to that doctor!

I will leave you with this, which was posted on the wall next to my chair in the corner (the parentheticals however are added by me (T) and Chris (C):


1. Cancer does not equal death. (I'm pretty sure people have died from cancer. T.)
2. It's Okay for a grown man to cry. (And apparently required for a woman. T.)
3. Tomorrow does not stretch forever. (Chemo just feels like it does. T.)
4. Life is Precious. Each Day is a Gift. (why is that a cancer lesson--see number 1. T & C)
5. There are positive ways to deal with negative emotions. (say, a t-shirt that says "I have Cancer people, Back off!"?)
6. There is no such thing as false hope.
7. It's true: from adversity comes strength. (Given my life thus far, I should be approaching superwoman status.)
8. There is life with cancer and life after cancer. (again, I'm pretty sure people die from cancer. So, isn't the life after cancer a little dependent on your religious beliefs? This makes me wonder about #6 as well. T.)
9 It takes a community to be a victor. (But it only takes a surgeon to be a Victoria. -C. Yeah, that's all C.)
10 Laughter is truly therapeutic. (Finally, something we can agree on. C & T)


  1. Teresa,

    How the hell did you leave those beanie babies there and not rip them to shreds? You showed great restraint. The "its going to be ok" ("but I've hung myself to end it all") bear is too much!

    Kathy G

  2. Teresa, you are very cleaver in your writing. You make us all laugh out loud. (Can’t write LOL) This blog should be turned into a book. I had no idea of the daily journey of someone going through chemo. Thanks for letting us in. I can’t wait until your beautiful hair is back.

  3. Hip Hip Hooray! You can cross all that off now and close the door. Relax and regroup and chillllllll----radiaation not so bad. Do not even worry about it till that happens:)

  4. Thanks all.
    Kathy--the beanie babies have been a running source of hostility and amusement. I have no idea who thought this was a good idea (they are lynched from every single IV pole), but by now I've become attached in some weird Stockholm syndrome way.

    Mike--at first I thought "Oh no, I talk like this to my clients??! But then I thought, well, I like to think most of my clients are friends, so maybe that's a good thing. As long as no one was offended! Oh, and when my hair grows back, I'll have less time to blog. (More blow-drying = less blogging. Good or bad? Discuss amongst yourselves.)

    Helga--I've only begun to think about radiation. I've got to get in for a consultation soon, but I'd like a little mini break, so maybe in a week or so! Thanks for your encouragement, and I love the card you and Bob sent! Seamus also loves it.


  5. Good thinking there T--put some distance between all the "therapies"--it can all wait for a few weeks, really. Whew-glad you got the little card. Our governmental PO had a time getting that one through. It kept coming back to me and I kept on sending it back out. For petes sake, it had enough postage. I shouldnt complain. My sister in law is a postal trouble shooter and they try hard--no really they do.

  6. Teresa,

    I can almost guanrantee the radiation is easier. Fred's parents lived with us for 6 months while his dad had radiation everyday for prostate cancer. I can assure you that was more painful for me than him. He wandered around and invaded my space the entire time. I actually started hoping it would make him a little sick ! Never did.
    Hope you are doing well!

    Kathy G


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