Sunday, May 30, 2010

Roll with it Baby and Tomato Cream Love

9 a.m. Friday morning. Happy Chemo Day! I have a date with an IV bag. 2nd course of chemo. Goodie. Ice cream and cakey cake. Ice cream and cakey cake. Anxious. Anxious. Will my port work? Is it still in place? Has Mopsy been too rambunctious again?

My nephew Wolfgang said that when all a this is over and done with, Flopsy and Mopsy should be grounded, for life. Not exactly honey. They gonna be given new identities and entered into the witness protection program. Two hot decoys will arrive to take their place.

I am nervous getting ready. I get out my medicine bag. Pink Vera Bradley. Used to hold make-up on trips. Now it holds several bottles of pills, laxatives, stool softener, lidocaine, thermometer, and preparation H. I pull a tube out of the bag and get ready to warm up me port. Yeah, I meant to say me matey. One hour prior to my chemo port being "accessed" I am supposed to rub lidocaine all over it to numb it. Like numbing the skin on the outside is going to help way down deep, but somebody feels better recommending it.

I pull out the tube. Just about to rub it in and oh shit. This is the preparation H tube. How bout I rub that on my port and the lidocaine on my ass for the ass kicking I will be getting in a day or two after chemo. I might be on to a new protocol here.

This is a human process. It's scary. I rub in the lidocaine and one more time for luck. I'm ready. I put my butterfly necklace on. I don't know why.

We arrive at the Cancer Center, my new bar. Husband is my valet. He carries my stuff. My chemo bag filled with the necessary accoutrement: blankie; Grace Kelly book; ipod nano; water bottle; lip gloss; all meds; fuzzy socks. Check.

Kitty greets us. Hello Kitty. She is my favorite person here. Ok, there are others here, but she is my favorite chemo nurse. I like it when she takes care of me. Any minute now I know she's going to break out into "Don't Rain on my Parade" just to make me happy. She is gentle, kind, funny, attentive and a former Jesus Movement convert. She wears a small mustard seed in a little bubble around her neck.

Matthew 13:31-32 tells the parable of the mustard seed: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

Today I am the little bird that finds shelter under Kitty's care.

She rubs my port, she is looking for the edges of it in my chest. I make the mistake of looking towards her to see what she's coming at me with. I didn't look on chemo hookup round one. Hello scary. A large hooked needle. Oh geez.

I AM NOT AS BRAVE AS YOU PEOPLE THINK I AM.

"Get ready for the stick. Ok, good, very good blood return."

That means we're in. That means the port is working. That means blood is coming out of my body. That means I have cancer. That means I am about to start chemo. That means where is my martini, not shaken, stirred gently 40 times. No I said 40. Stat.

I settle into my chair. Kind of like a Lazy boy for cancer people. I wrap up in blankie. I make husband play go fish into my bag several times for glasses, water bottle, you name it.

This is payback for all the times a table I'd be waiting on would make me get them things in installments. For God's sake people, don't have a list of 15 items you need but only tell your server one at a time every god damn time we come back to the table. For God's sake.

This is payback. Of course husband has nothing to do with that, but there's always got to be a fall guy and right now, it's him.

"Ok so first we'll flush you out with some saline, then do your bags of anti-nausea meds, and then we'll start the chemo."

We get to rolling. I am feeling fine at the craps table and mama is feeling lucky today. I am still throwing Big Red at the table till the lovely Kitty comes back in and says "Ok we've reviewed your labs and your numbers look fine..."

My labs? What labs? I haven't had any recent labs done.

"What labs Kitty?"

"Your blood work, the ones you always have to do before chemo."

I didn't do that. Didn't know I was supposed to do that.

Kitty looks worried and a bit perturbed at me. "Let me check with Dr., I don't know if she'll want to go ahead without your numbers."

Deep breath. Deep breath. This is a human process.

Kitty comes back. "Dr. wants labs, we have no way around this, let me see what we can figure out. We will probably have to unhook you and have you come back after we get the results."

Deep breath. Deep breath.

Nobody ever explained this lab thing to me, I mean someone needs to say "No labs, no chemo." Everything else I got like getting my neupogen shots are the post chemo thing to do and my 2nd day pill and the 3rd day pill, you know, the ones that cost like truffles.

"Ok, I am going to draw blood from your port, you can run it over to the satellite lab, the main lab will send a courier to pick it up. They'll test it, call us, and we'll call you when you can come back. I will just leave your needle in so you'll be ready to go when you do come back. Probably a couple of hours."

What am I, home of the glitch? Damn.

We head home. I am still half hooked up. I am anxious. I start to feel nauseous. Can anti-nausea meds make you nauseous?

Couple hours later we get the call. Come out come out wherever you are, and bring the young lady who fell from a star...

Started at 9am. Now getting close to 3pm and I'm finally on my way.

She brings over the first one, the red blood kool-aid looking one. Hook me up lady. That one runs about twenty minutes. Flush me out again. Hook me up, this time with the 2nd chemo med, da one hour drip.

I'm done now. I'm hungry. I'm tired. I am shaky. Can you say lorazepam, my new bestest buddy.

This is a human process. I keep learning new things. The hard way. Come on baby, come to mama the easy way, even money.

[whoa, while writing my blog I just went to twirl my hair. Instead because there is none there, I twirled my index finger next to my head - the universal pantomime for this bitch is crazy.]

The bright spot in all a this?

The big container of Tomato Cream soup waiting for me at home, made especially for me and packaged by my Chef. He knew this was a chemo weekend for me. He made me soup. My favorite soup.

I am the only cancer patient in the world who gets to sip da bomb Tomato Cream soup made by a famous Napa Valley Chef, just to nourish my wounded soul. You have no idea how good this soup is, so rich and creamy and slurp slurp slurp.

Making delicious food to make someone happy. That is a human process too.

Thank you Chef. All those times I drove you crazy, ignored your page from the kitchen, the times you snarled at me, I knew you loved me.

I knew.

Love u too.

1 comment:

masonmft said...

You got skills girl. You had me laughing out loud. Here's to lorazepam and laughter. Love You.

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