(Yeah, I ripped off Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, as he breathed in the odor of napalm in Vietnam.)
Chemo today. Gave the blood, two tubes rather than three for some reason, and didn’t see OncoMan or his PA. That sort of freaks me out, when they change the plan without explaining it, but I have learned of late, merely by expressing my own hidden views to my psychoanalytical daughter, that change is good.
I said to her that the theory of evolution would argue that change is a good thing, as those who remain static perish. I said some more things that I found comparatively profound but which she probably forgot as soon as she went to bed that night, but the truth is probably there: to survive, you must accept change, you must embrace change, you must seek change, you must make change.
I do not do that well. But I am working on it. Enough so that when the hand-waver from last week ended up being my ChemoLady today, I didn’t flinch at all. And she did a great job.
The Chemo Palace was hopping. I got the last seat in OncoMan’s area, and it happened to be the first one in, next to all of the traffic. I never did get the machine, you know, the IV job that beeps when you run out of juice, so I had to wave and cry and whatever else when a bag ran out and another was due and no one was there to replace it because, as I’ve mentioned, I am in a hurry to roll, to roll on out of there, and like for the simple things to happen as simply and as quickly as possible.
But they did a really good job of it, to be honest. One time, the lady across from me, taking in about 14 pounds of blood, it looked like, so that she might be there still, four hours later, for all I know, had to speak for me, sensing I guess that as a man I wasn’t going to cause a scene and so would only gesture silently for help. She didn’t mind saying “Nurse, this man seems to need some help!” Geez. I thought my waving and begging pantomime was sure to work, given another minute or two.
She was kind and efficient, of course, but I really wanted to stick with the pantomine for another minute or so, just to see if they would see me jumping up and down (like my puppy does out back…jumping up so that I can see his head, without touching the screen or the wall, when he wants in) and react. Okay, she was probably right. Tell them!
And this cancer fad IS going to take off; like rock ‘n’ roll, it will not fade away.
At some point everyone in my area was sleeping, except for me. The nurses say that they must be issuing Sleepy Stuff, or something of the sort. I suspect it is the Zantac or the Benadryl. It IS interesting. You have people of every possible niche, if you will, in there, and, old, young, black, white, rich, poor, living, dying, they are all sleeping and some are snoring and some are not, and some are in their socks and some are swaddled in blankets and one even has a heater it seems for her IV, and some show teeth, and some are grim-lipped, and family of some just sit there useless for the moment (:)) and it is quite a show. And then there is that one guy bouncing around on the Benadryl, for some reason and I think you know who he is :).
I learned something on the chat room in this site some time ago, and so when the nurse was about to hook me up, I DID ask her what she was preparing to inject into me, to verify that I was getting the carbo and taxol…and not something that the doctor did not order. This had a doubly positive effect, as she also went out and got a copy of my lab report, which showed that my platelets had jumped up quite a bit over the past week, while my white blood cell count, which had spiked following the neupogen shot, was sinking again. I am not sure what that is all about. Yet.
I do know, from reading, that you cannot simply look at the WBC number, that you have to understand the other numbers associated with it, and I am simply not knowledgeable enough to do that. Yet.
It was nice of her to do that, though. I didn’t ask for it. I simply explained that my platelets had been low and thus I had missed the previous week. So nice of her to do that, a way to reassure me re the platelets.
I used the bathroom on the way out (maybe that’s why my feet were so jumpy? … is it possible that you don’t buy chemo, you just rent it?) and had a look at my head again and sure enough, it is thinning out pretty well. In fact, it doesn’t matter how I dress now, I’m pretty much starting to look like a homeless guy (one with a bad haircut, that is). I think it is getting close to the time when I will have to just put the sheep shears to it and be done with it. I am holding out hope, frankly, that I will be done with the chemo before I am done with the hair, but I’m losing this one, I think.
If that is the largest of my worries, though, I am doing fine.