Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Cancer X-mas stocking-Round 2, Day 1

Somehow it doesn't seem right to take an otherwise healthy person and then poison her but there you go. First stop: blood work. Second stop: meeting with Dr. Henry and her nurse Ann. My blood counts seemed as if I hadn't even had chemo. Everything was in normal range, even the liver levels that had been high were now good (no alcohol). Although the white blood cells were in the normal range, they were on the low side. Turns out that Ann lives a block over from me and sees me running all the time and we have friends in common so we spent some time chit-chatting. Third stop: infusion room. Right away I was given a large hand-made stocking chockful of goodies including an etch-a-sketch and a box of crayons. Naomi has since gone through it picking out items that she wants to keep-not the coloring book and the crayons. I did save the Jelly Bellies for myself. Maybe they think I'll be hit hard with chemo-brain. I also got my visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Things went alot quicker as they didn't think I was going to react so they stepped up the infusion rate. While I was getting the Red Devil, I suddenly got this intensely bitter taste in my mouth. Other than that, no problems. The girl in the next bed was in her early 20s(!!!!) with the same regime as I have only she was having her first Taxol today.She said the first round of AC had been the worst but learned tricks to control the nausea-a big believer in SeaBands. Her mom seemed younger than me. What would be worse than having cancer myself is sitting in that chair watching my daughter(s) get treatment. In the infusion waiting room, I saw the young woman from the support group awaiting her first chemo-ALONE. She had said she has lots of family support, which I thought would include them being with her on this very scary day. She was on the phone when I saw her, otherwise I would have gone up to her. I was then called away and she never showed up in the main room but they have lots of private rooms generally reserved for sicker patients. I do hope someone showed up for her. Fourth stop: Lunch. I never had been in the UM cafeteria-lots of choices and fairly good food. Live music too.
Fifth stop: Rhymes with Kaiser people or more correctly Parke-Davis people as most of them didn't fit the "Kaiser" mold. My former boss Mike was in the hallway with several biochemists from P-D. I was surprised to see him as I thought he was in Kansas City. He is but UM is going to trial with his company's new leukemia drug-too bad I don't have that. I said he (his company) needs to start targetting my cancer-now, please, as it is underserved. Even though only 15% breast cancers are TN, that still works out to almost 30,000 ladies. Lots of potential growth factors to go after. He had gone to school with my brother. He is very bright and knowledgeable. I learned alot of medicinal chemistry from him -all neuroscience but now that he seems invested in cancer, put that brain to work to help me and my many cohorts. We wanted to talk more but I was late as it was to Sixth stop: Wig Bank. Still not sure when my real wig is coming in-it was shipped out Friday but my hair is falling out at a faster pace now. Combing my hair is profoundly depressing. I need something close to NOW. On the phone (while getting the red devil-good at multitasking) I told her I had chin length, straight blond hair. Two of the wigs were exact matches for my hair-amazing. I went with the straight shag pixie. I'll post it later today. Steve took a picture of it on Naomi dressed in her X-mas elf outfit she needed to wear today to get free lunch. She had to serve the teachers their annual X-mas lunch. Tonight she gets to start in the home game against Adrian. By all rights, she should always be starting but the academic probation thing meant no starting and last week, no playing. She's in the clear now. The two other posts are much taller but are not as agile as Naomi. There were two other posts: one went down to JV and the other comes in only when it doesn't matter. Naomi should be a forward but that position is no longer available with Coach Steve's new strategy.
Seventh stop: Cancer resource center manned by a very nice lady who goes the extra mile to get you stuff you need. The wig person also gave me some caps to wear around the house and one donated by the Fiber guild, I could wear outside. Got a catalog so I could order more stylish ones. I was going to the American Cancer Society's Looking Good program in which you learn to tie scarves and put on make-up to cover up chemo's ravages, tomorrow at St. Joe's but it was cancelled. I'll go in a few weeks to Chelsea instead. It will be the day before chemo 3 so hopefully I will feel my best.
I had to get up early this morning and was able to talk to Naomi a little to see what is bugging her. Yep that boy. You can tell someone until your blue in the face that nobody is worth it who makes you feel so bad but it falls on deaf ears. She said she is feeling a little bit better about the situation. She called me from the bus to say she forgot to tell me good luck with my chemo.
Yesterday I spent a good part of the day with Shanna's mom-in-law Olga who lives about 5 miles from me. We had a large Syrian lunch with home-made baklava to take home so if anyone wants to visit me, they can have some as an incentive to see me. Olga is a good cook. Olga and I share a grandson-the precious Oliver. The sharing wars start soon as they start the long drive Friday to get here. Later her French neighbor came over. I got to practice my French so that was cool. Olga knows French also from her days in Beirut. Aside from not being able to say 'h's', common among the French and Italian as they have no sounded 'h's-my Quebecoise step-grandmother always called her husband oward, she couldn't say 'r's either like Elmer Fudd . ( think-wascally wabbit) In "Baby Mama" the childbirth educator had the same problem. "So I see you are a caweer giwl" "I'm not gay" 'caWeer giwl, I said" "Really I'm not gay-she's just my surrogate." But she was very sweet. They were talking about ghosts. Both ladies have dead moms that are sending messages. Olga's mom said her mom turned her yellow rose plant into a red rose plant because she prefers red roses. Maybe my dead mom is choosing to communicate through wig names from the Raquel Welch collection. I am to research that to find a more scientific reason. If I don't find out, she'll go to the botanical gardens across the street. But maybe she prefers to think her mom is communicating through messing around her plant's genes. Some of my fancy columbines are reseeding themselves with the plain form of the plant so they are looking less fancy with each season. But this is the plant itself that has changed.

Feeling a little queasy and tired. They dope you up quite a bit. But I won't miss Naomi's game.

Steve will get me a tree soon. Maybe Thursday or even Wednesday some of you can help me decorate? Deb has already offered. I have baklava.

1 comment:

Renee said...

I'll come decorate your tree for baklava! There is a large Armenian/Greek community where I lived in California . . . I so miss the food.

Glad your 2nd chemo went well. That was nice of Naomi to call you to wish you good luck with it. Teenagers are often so very self-centered that we sometimes wonder if we are in their universe.



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