Wow- incredible day of medical visits - got my blood drawn by rather inept lab tech. Had 6 blood draws done and after first vial was full- instead of popping the vial off to set the next one- she ripped the needle out of my arm with about a one inch gash - lots of blood and lots of angst on my part- I still had 5 more vials to go and had to use the other arm. She said I was very pale - no kidding - and got to sit there for awhile and suck down a couple of cranberry drinks.
Also had my 2 hour session on Chemotherapy with side effects, etc. Lise and I met a very cool, but sad woman in the class. This is her second time around and lives alone with no relatives or friends to help - and is pretty much confined to a wheelchair to boot. She is having a difficult time finding someone to help her in this situation. Another reason to count my blessings. She has to rely on an unreliable transport system that often forgets her or shows up late- therefore she misses her appointments.
Now I know:
Hair will fall out.
Will throw up. A lot. Often.
Should not get pregnant or cause pregnancy and that there are chemicals in the hospital that California knows to perhaps, sometimes, maybe cause cancer (which shows there is some humor in any situation).
Have new meds (5) just to combat nausea in the first 3 days.
We all live our lives with very narrow parameters with our singular scope of our immediate experiences. It is interesting to discover parallel lives (alternate universe) existing right along the one you are comfortable with and then bam! - you slip over like changing lanes on the freeway and you are in another universe - the Cancer Universe. Took a tour of the chemo infusion center with every chair (15) full of a new universe of people old, young, every race, mostly bald , reading and wearing iPods and with a tube running from their arms. Are they people I see every day on the street, in my work, in school? I am now one of the "they". One of the "other people" - you know - the "this only happens to others" - glad it's not happening to me - others".
Will I be invisible to the old world? (except for the fact my Kaiser Medical card got a new red sticker that say "Chemo Patient"...pretty cool - kind of like a Captain Midnight Decoder Ring - extra privileges....in that you get quicker and more sympathetic service at the prescription counter.
Took the family on a cool early 4th of July excursion. One of my clients has a yacht that was a participant in the annual 4th of July (early) boat parade up and down the Sacramento River that stopped opposite the Raley Field Stadium - home of the River Cats (AAA affiliate of the Oakland A's) on he river and watched fireworks over the river at 10:30p tonight. about 30 boats of all sizes in the parade with hundreds more spread out on the river- with varying degrees of lights and decorations - People cheering and and waving, as we all went by. My 9 year old got to drive the boat (Captain is a friend) until it got dark and congested with other boats. Very cool experience - and a good memory for all.Song of the Day: Paul Simon - Slip Slidin' Away