Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day -4 (Etoposide and Cytarabine x2)

One positive about having cancer. It can get you out of a speeding ticket.

On Friday again it was another very early trek to New Haven and I was again a grumpy girl not wanting to drag myself back for more chemo after I had just finished it up at 11pm the night before. So I pushed it to the last second until Craig was able to get me in the car and out the door.

As we were a bit behind, Craig may have been going just a bit over the speed limit and out ripped a police car, lights flashing behind us. We both looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing.

"Take off your bandana," Craig said, pointing to the navy kerchief I had tied over my bald head. Really, who can give a ticket to a man driving a bald woman to a chemo appointment? We thought it was worth a shot so I pulled it off revealing my shiny, freckled hairless head and even better exposing my droopy, swollen eyes and very sparse showing of eyebrow hairs or eyelashes ... not a pleasant site at 6:30 a.m.

The officer came up to Craig's window, requested to see his driver's license and asked if he was on his way to work. He explained that no, he was taking his wife to Yale's cancer center and I bent over so he could see me in full and piped in that I was on my way to chemo.

As predicted, he took one look at me, didn't even take the driver's license and just said: "The roads are wet. Take it slow," and let us drive away. Cops do have hearts.

We pulled away laughing hysterically at the situation and the fringe benefits of cancer patienthood.

After the little pull-over blip, we got to Smilow in plenty of time. And added bonus, it was massage day in the clinic. I was whisked away by a sultry accented woman into a massage room complete with music and a real massage table and a view of the meditation garden. My IV pole and dripping chemo came with me of course, but it was a fantastic half-hour respite.

I returned to Craig and the chemo recliner and we caught up on e-mails, watched funny videos and flipped through mags and books ... the usual routine. Everything went smoothly.

After some errands and a visit to a Yale haunt "The Educated Burgher" courtesy of some thoughtful friends, we were back home with time for a little nap before the night nurse came to the house for the second 4-hour set of chemo.

This nurse was quite a bit more chatty than the first night ... unsolicited chatty that is. I heard all about her heavily drinking father, her cluttered house, her son's cars all over the yard, her daughter's boyfriend that she disapproves of, her cats, her sunroom and the grill that exploded in it. Really fascinating material for someone who just wanted to zone out, but what are you going to do? No matter how much I pretended to be into the TV or computer or book, the verbal diarrhea continued to flow. But at least she was nice and Craig and I were able to just give each other knowing glances and elbow jabs to get through it. Eventually we just passed out on the couch until the final drug beeped that it was done.

It was time for bed to be up for Chatty Cathy's arrival the next morning at 8 a.m.


  1. somehow I missed the details of this friday jaunt- pulled the cancer card huh?

  2. you better not tell that nurse about your blog!!
    love you :) you two are so funny!

  3. Lol, I pull the cops wife card as my get out of jail free card. I'm also laughing about the verbal diarhea, my home health nurse is the same way. I know way to much about her and her intimate life.

  4. Way to work the "Cancer card" It better have some fringe benefits! You deserve many!

  5. ok first of all I have pulled the cancer card myself---not proud but it had to be done---second of all my brother is a retired police officer who always told me that the truth works---you were in fact going to an appt and not arguing with him that you were not going over the limit soooo he would have done the same which makes me proud!!!! He always said --truth works!!!! xoxo Bev & Blake