Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chemo Room Gossip

1. Private room. Actually, since I had a private room and bed (YES!), I did not eavesdrop on other patient's conversations. I did meet with the oncology nurse about my neuropathies. I guess I have to be severely gimpy for them to stop the one drug that has this side effect. In other words, my feet would have to be so numb that I could barely walk. I am not in that category and with only one chemo left, he thought I could handle it and that what I am experiencing will not be permanent. This was uplifting to hear. Worrying about it was definitely bothering me.

2. Young Women. Even though I had a private room, I left it frequently to use the bathroom (every 15 minutes the last hour) because of all of the fluids pumped into me. I noticed in two of the rooms near me very young attractive women in their 20's or early 30's. Since they both had full heads of hair, I am assuming they are in the early stages of chemo. It just breaks my heart to see such young people fighting this disease.

3. Cleanliness. They work hard at SCCA to keep things sanitary. When you first come in the building, they check you for respiratory illness. My last chemo, this woman had a cold. They let her in for her chemo but made her wear a mask. If you appear to be too sick, they will not let you proceed any further. The garbage is picked up from each room I swear every 15 minutes. And believe me, there is a lot of waste produced from just me. Every single bag and tube is thrown away. All of the injection needles for flushing my port, all of the gloves worn, and the gowns they put on to protect themselves from the chemicals going into me are all discarded in the room's medical waste bin. The nurses all wash their hands and use the squirt hand sanitizer hooked on the wall in each room. The bathrooms are also cleaned about every 15 minutes. Even so, I still wash the clothing and socks I had on when I get home.

4. Boston Legal. Ok, this has nothing to do with chemo except that we watch it every Monday night in bed. Sometimes after chemo, I fall asleep and do not see the results of the courtroom action. Last night I stayed awake. I loved how the attorney with Asperger's Syndrome defended himself against the Starbuck's bully and won. I was cheering from my bed. Also, I thought they handled the abortion issue fairly. They made the point clearly that people who are pro-choice are NOT pro-abortion. Abortion is a terrible circumstance that is best left between a woman and her doctor. In my opinion, there are too many gray areas to have the government involved by outlawing it completely and sending women into back alleys. They say when Democrats are in charge and the economy does better, the number of abortions decreases. Isn't this what we all want---fewer of them?

5. Ellen. I watched the Ellen Show since I am hooked up to my pump. She had a young singer on aged 18 named Taylor Swift. To be honest, I thought she was darling but I was not impressed with her singing. Perhaps it is because I am not a country music fan. I always catch myself wondering if I should have looked for an agent for Kaley when she was in her early teens. I considered it. At a middle school talent show, Kaley sang a song she had written while accompanying herself on the guitar. It was fabulous. She sings better that the Taylor Swifts of the world and she can write her own music. But I thought Kaley should have a normal high school experience and growing up time. Trying to make it in the music business is extremely difficult and I thought it best to leave such things for Kaley to decide as an adult.

6. Veteran's Day. Today I remember my Dad who fought in two wars, WW2 and the Korean Conflict. He was a bombardier in the Air Force and flew bombing missions over Germany and Korea. During WW2, he was shot down and spent nine months in a Nazi prison camp. In fact, my Mom gave a talk yesterday on the subject of my Dad's prison camp time to a German History class at Carroll College in Helena. It was well received by the young students. He was always a proud veteran and proud of his service to our country. And as his daughter, I have always been in awe of his bravery and strength to survive what he did. Finally, I give a big shout out of support to our troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and I thank them for their service to our beloved country and their courage.