Monday, February 9, 2015

Chemo #?, I've forgotten the number, underway.

Today was 4 weeks since my last chemo, where I'd received a higher dose in my quest to get done and I did pretty good, I thought. So I was pumped to ask Dr. Wender to up the dosage again to a full compliment of drugs, but he burst my balloon by telling me my counts were not high enough. I was barely able to handle a 3/4 dosage again and would have to have several more shots to build me up for the next time which is going to be stretched out into another 4 weeks. That came as a surprise because I have felt well enough, every though I came down with a bad cold last week and I'm still coughing.

"Well,", I told him, "That is why you get paid the big bucks!" I think he took a little offense at that, he said he doesn't get it all! But he didn't hold it against me and we left on good terms. It was very quiet at the 'Halls of Healing', as Bruce calls it, I had my choice, so went back to the solitude and privacy in the back alcove that holds three chairs. Bruce had some errands to run and I would soon be in La-La Land after the Benedryl IV so he left and I pulled out my tablet to read.

I have never seen any children there, until today. Soon an Asian mother came in with an interpreter and two little girls, one who was sporting a purple wrap on her wrist and she hopped up into the chair next to mine. The nurses pulled the curtain between us and I tried to concentrate on my book but kept overhearing the conversations. They were explaining to the interpreter the treatment schedule, every day after school for a week and then in home visits from a nurse. They had trouble with the IV that was in the little girl's wrist and had to re-do it, but she was very brave and didn't cry. It made me cringe. They ended up not staying long but I felt depressed for the family, how hard it would be to have to go through this with a child.

I like the back room because I don't feel like getting involved with any other patients there, if that makes me a selfish person, I'm sorry. It was still pretty quiet in the clinic when a man claimed the chair the little girl had left and he immediately started giving the nurses a hard time so I knew he was one of the regulars although I don't think I'd ever seen him before. When Bruce came back he talked to Mike a lot, found out he is barely 50, started out with throat cancer and then it developed into lung cancer, both sides. He has come every week for I don't know how long, for chemo. I was dozing most of the time, between being awakened to check vitals so caught some of their conversations. Mike seems to have a rather dysfunctional family and he knows he has a tough road ahead of him but is trying to make the best of it.

I took the girls at the clinic a Valentine's treat, cheesecake stuffed, dark chocolate dipped, strawberries, that I found on Pinterest and that made their day. Just before we left, my nurse, Shari, said she had something for me and brought a beautiful prayer shawl that was made by Loops of Love from a group at Albert City and that brought tears to me eyes. This is the second prayer shawl I have received, my niece, Anne from Gardener, KS sent me one shortly have I started. When I get down I only have to look around me at all the love that is shown, some from complete strangers, to pick me up and shut down the pity party.

And then there is Zoe with her favorite yellow birdie that was a gift from our friends Lisa and Jeff in the animals Christmas stocking a year ago, who knows how to cheer me up.

"I love my little birdie."

"I rub you against my cheek."

"Rub, rub, rub, rub....."

"....sniff, sniff....who have you been hanging around with?"

"Clyde?" "Ghost??"

"You need a bath!"

"Much better."

"Rub, rub, rub...."


  1. good luck with the treatments this session, Julie. How lovely to get another prayer shawl. I love the one my 90+ year friend gave me. Your words are so true about the work of love, many of those loving hands won't even know get to shake your own hands, that of a stranger to them - yet what an exceptional and thoughtful gift. Thinking of you a lot!!! Lots of love, CG

  2. One (treatment) step at a time, I guess it will just take as long as it will take, won't it? At least another one is behind you now. Hang in there!