Friday, June 19, 2009

Chemo Day Three

Ahhh, chemo. It's such a pleasant experience, especially when your particular chemo cocktail is so potent or "hard core" that it takes an expertly inserted IV to be able to administer it without blowing my vein apart. This usually requires at least two stick attempts and then some ultra-comfortable adjusting of the needle while in my vein. Sometimes the nurse tries both arms, sometimes the vein by my wrist, sometimes the vein in my inner elbow. This one seems to always be the winner, however the downfall is that I can't bend my arm for the entire 5-hour process. I suppose this is a lesser evil than imploding my vein, however. 
But other than that, Wednesday's infusion went as usual---long, a little woozy, dipping in and out of drug-induced hot flashes as anti-nausea after anti-nausea drug is sent through my veins then "A" dripped in, "D" dripped in and "V" and "B" inserted manually by push by the nurse for added vein protection factor. I mimicked what I learned from last round and sucked my way through an entire bag of ice chips, me and my mom ate several "chemo cookies" baked by my mom's dear friend and I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich which seemed to sate the nauseous bouts as I tried not to watch the bags of meds slowly, very slowly, depleting. 

However, one unusual and exciting thing happened at this particular chemo session. I met a woman in her THIRTIES, believe it or not, on her way out of the Cancer Center as I was coming in. She came right up to me and said: "Hi, how are you doing? Breast cancer?" I was so taken aback by this bubbly, very cool woman that I forgot what kind of cancer I had for a second. 

"Uh, no. Hodgkin's." Then we shook hands. 

"Nice to meet you, Hodgkin's." 

"Nice to meet you, breast cancer." 

She told me that she finished up her chemo treatment six weeks ago. And she really looked fantastic. I asked if she had radiation and she told me that nope, she just had 'em lopped right off. Obviously my eyes avert to her breast area where there lies a particularly nice and perky set. 

"Oh these, they're not mine. I just had them put in," she says as she jiggles her new additions. We laughed and it felt so incredibly good to be talking to someone that I could relate to. 

She told me about a great website to get scarves from and that though it sucked for her over these past few months, all you can do is pile drive through it and keep heading for the light at the end of the tunnel. 

"And you will too; and you'll come out even stronger for it," she said. 

It made me both comforted and proud to see this strong woman "pile drive" through this and still have the strength to give me the inspiration to know that I can do the same --- all in just a brief conversation. 


  1. YOU are an inspiration, even with your pokey veins. And you totally rock that scarf.

  2. Travis Lipinski-
    That was a cute story about that woman. (:
    Keep walking and moving! God, have I told you, you are a great writer!??!!?? (: (: