Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Facing Bitch for the First Time

The weeks I had before my first treatment were spent traveling to different hospitals.  We visited MCV in Richmond, John Hopkins in Baltimore, UVA in Charlottesville, VA; and Sloan Kettering in NYC.  Scheduling was extremely tight but we wanted to visit them within two weeks.  We NEEDED to visit them within two weeks.  In order for us to accomplish that we had to accept what ever appointments were available.  We ended up having to drive back and forth, back forth.  Luckily, we were able to fly to NYC though. It was extremely exhausting but I wasn't complaining.  I was so fortunate that I was able to schedule them so soon.  It can take weeks to get an appointment at UVA and Johns Hopkins and months to get into Sloan.  In the end they all had the same opinions and we opted out of clinical trials.  Our thinking was that clinical trails would be our last resort.

The chemo room.  The chemo room.  I don't know how many recliners there were in there, maybe about thirty.  All of them lined against the wall and through the room. Between each recliner is just enough space to fit the IV pole. Almost all were occupied. Most are either passed out or on the verge of falling asleep, bobbing their heads with half eyes half shut. Some have their head and neck leaning back, eyes closed, facing the ceiling with mouth wide open.  Some have their mouths open with drool lining mouth to ear.  Some are crying, some are laughing, and some are hiding under their blanket.  Some are trying to read, and some are praying. Some just have a blank stare. No one makes eye contact even those sitting directly across each other. Including me. If I made eye contact I would just look away and go into a blank stare in the opposite direction.

The first few hours of the drip, I felt okay and we thought that things were going smoothly and no complications. Since we live about 2 miles from the hospital Chris could go home for a few hours. It was sleepy time anyways so Chris took off. I was becoming drowsy but restless and uneasy. My body started itching and my stomach started to cramp. "Uh oh, I can feel something 'brewing".  "I should go to the bathroom before cramps get really bad."  As I'm trying to get the nurses attention the feeling worsened and I started to get the sweats.  "Uhh oh, not the sweats!"  I pleaded to myself, "Pleeeease, Lord, don't let me have a Jeff Daniels Dumber and Dumber moment." Then my chest was starting to feel tight; a slow, gradual squeezing feeling. Kinda like how I would imagine if one was being wrapped by boa constrictor around the chest. Then my heart's racing, and I'm having trouble breathing. "Was I having a heart attach?". Am I going to die?" The nurses immediately saw me in discomfort and the look of fear on my face so they raced over and immediately stopped the drip. I was having an allergic reaction to the chemotherapy. I thought to myself, "Are you fucking kidding me?  I'm allergic to the poison that's supposedly going help me!"  That Bitch!!!". I got up, grabbed the IV pole and headed towards the bathroom.

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