Phone Home.

Posted: February 26, 2019 in Postcards from Cancerland.


We showed up at Oncology clinic on time yesterday,

It was time to start the next round of chemo.

I have felt very weak for a few days.
I was blaming that on the fact that I have a diet of a toothless hamster.
Evidently I also had the pigment of a naked peep.
I walked in the office and my doctor and nurses were shocked and stupefied by my pasty white face.
They did some blood tests. My hemoglobin was dangerously low. So I was sent to the emergency room where I got to wait with a mask on my face in a small room.
After awhile I was put in a room. They took lots of blood and ran lots of tests. I had X-rays and CAT scans. Not only was my hemoglobin low but my lactic acid was very high. I had a temperature at one time.
So I was back in a lovely green gown.
I was admitted back into the hospital.
This time in the ICU. Not because I needed to be in Intensive Care, but because the hospital was full.
Intensive Care seems different from the rest of the hospital. Instead of doors, there are curtains. There are different sounds.
 I did throw up four times. How come vomiting can’t ever be a private moment?
At least for me, puking is always public.
There were five people in the room.
I’m bleeding in places that I’m not supposed to.
That’s never a happy thing.
I’ve had assorted wires and cords, electrodes and needles all over my body. Including a glowing red  fingertip that makes me want to call home.
In the middle of the night I got a flu swab test, that involved a q-tip the size of my arm being put up my nose. I’m pretty sure that it scraped my brain.
I received three units of blood.
I was brought up in a house where my dad gave blood every chance he could. I remember him bringing home the little straight lapel pin with the plastic drop of blood. I wonder how many lives my dad saved in the course of his life.
Random observation: hospitals need more pictures of puppies, easily accessible seventies rock music, and ceiling fans.
It has become like a merit badge to be able to tell the different medical professionals that I have been accepted into Duke’s Stem Cell Transplant program.
It’s almost like I’ve been picked for their basketball team.
We really wanted to get dismissed in time for treatment today, but we just found out that we will be staying at least another night for “observation”.
So I tighten up my lovely green gown.
There’s nothing predictable going on here.

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