There have been lots of “endings” to this journey. When I finished chemo, we celebrated. When I finished proton and headed home, we celebrated. When my results from testing came back before surgery and there was NEC (no evidence of cancer), we celebrated and when I went in for my one month check up after surgery and the biopsy results from the surgery were all NEC we celebrated again. And, of course, we’ve been thrilled with both checkups. BUT today was BIG…getting the port out means that my oncologist is reasonably sure that I won’t need a port for chemo for a long, long time (if ever again) So today was special.
The nurse and nurse practitioner who did the procedure knew it was special. There was almost a celebratory atmosphere in the room. They just do a local for this and it took a bit longer than I expected….about an hour..but was pretty straightforward. As she did the procedure, she had Broadway show tunes playing on Pandora (my choice) and we gabbed about wedding plans (she’s getting married in January). She asked about Erin. She’s looking for a photographer. I gave her the info. (Erin, her name is Katie and if she calls you, give her a good deal)
So we’re done…done with chemo, done with the port. How wonderful It feels uncomfortable but not terribly. Went out to lunch with two nieces, Jill and Jackie. It’s dreary and rainy here but I’m certainly not feeling dreary or rainy! And later in the day I visited an elderly woman with Anne. Anne brings her Communion every week when she’s home.
My friend, Mary Anne, had her first chemo today. I’m going to share a few parts of her blog with you. She had to go into Sloane Kettering to have a drainage tube inserted because she was having serious trouble breathing. She was waiting in Urgent Care when this happened.
From Mary Anne’s blog;
This is what happened while I was waiting my turn for my X-ray. We were waiting in the hall and there was a man on a stretcher behind me who was moaning and groaning. Barbara said he was alone and looked like he felt miserable. We were saying how badly we felt for him. My compassionate sister walked over to him. He was writhing in pain and looked at her and put his hands together as if in prayer. She began to gently stroke his arm and he very quickly calmed down. He began to fall asleep with tears streaming down his face! When they began to move him, thereby waking him, he looked at Barbara ( who was now standing by me) and waved to her! As they wheeled him away, he crossed his hands over his chest in thanks. Barbara blew him a kiss and he blew one back to her! What an emotional, tear-jerking experience! Barbara’s small actions made the world of difference to this man!
Later in the same post, Mary Anne describes what happened later. When she arrived, her sister Barbara had loaded up on MaryAnne’s clothes because, of course, they immediately had her put on a gown. The nurse had taken her shoes and put them on the shelf under the stretcher. They ended up admitting her and she stayed the night, had the procedure and had a PET scan and MRI the next day before she was finally discharged.
Ok now it was time to get dressed to be discharged. Remember, when the nurse in Urgent Care put my shoes under my stretcher? Well, when I was transferred to a bed, we forgot to retrieve my shoes! We had several people call urgent care as well as lost and found, but remember, Sloane is HUGE! It has 7 buildings-all interconnected. So, they offered to replace them!?! What, they were going to send someone shoe shopping and then bill me $500 for a pair of shoes? We asked for several pair of the non-skid booties instead. I put them on, then someone grabbed hair nets from the food cart and we put them over the booties! They felt badly for me because it was freezing and already dark, so someone draped a blanket over my shoulders. So, I went back to Marie’s looking like a deranged homeless old lady! Booties and hair net on feet, blanket over coat, and all bent over due to discomfort! Barbara wanted to take a picture, but her arms were full-all the crap we had brought to the hospital plus a box of supplies related to caring for the drain. It was quite comical!
I told the nurse at MD Anderson the story about the shoes. When my procedure was done and she was giving me my things to get dressed, she said, “And here are your shoes. We didn’t lose them.”
Thought you’d like to read both pieces…the sublime and the ridiculous. That girl is certainly having an adventure (although not one she would ever have chosen to have) Keep her in your prayers, my friends. She has a long road ahead.