Here I sit in the Cancer Center Chemotherapy Room. It doesn’t feel real. It sure doesn’t feel like my life. It feels more like an overly realistic yet badly written episode of Gray’s Anatomy (but without the sex and romance).
The room itself is huge, probably the size of a gymnasium. Comfy leather recliners sit in groupings of two, four and six; but instead of end tables and strategically placed reading lamps, the accessories are IV poles, used sharps bins, and rolling carts filled with sterile gloves, blood pressure cuffs, alcohol wipes and so on.
Patients are scattered throughout. It is not at all full, but there are still enough people here to give me pause. This many people have cancer? Now, make it times 5, for the five days a week the center does chemo. Make that times 3, because of the chemo cycle of once every three weeks, so every week there are different people on Monday than last Monday and so on. WOW! That’s a lot of people – and this is not the only place in Omaha that treats cancer.
There are at least two other women here for their first day of chemotherapy, as well. There could be more, but I spoke with two. Which also brings up another observation – at least based on today’s chemo patients, cancer seems to strike women much harder than men, and seniors harder than middle aged or young – but it does manage to strike everyone, old, young, rich, poor, beautiful or ugly; cancer doesn’t seem to care a bit.
I did have some reaction to the first actual chemo med I was given. I say that with such specificity because prior to that “first actual chemo med” I was given a few other meds, to prevent reactions, nausea, stomach pain, and I don’t even remember what else. One of them was Benedryl, which is totally wiping me out at the moment. I’m kind of dozing as I write, so I may sign off for today.
BUT – not before I share some very good news. My oncologist, bless her darling heart forever, gave us the prognosis on my case today. She said she expected to treat me with 6 courses of chemo (one course every three weeks for a total of 6 courses) and that she expected me to be cured (yep, that’s the word. Cured!) by the end of that. She couldn’t guarantee of course, but that is what she expects.
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death Psalm 86:12,13