With me today is my wonderful and patient friend, Cindy.
Chemo Day started with a lovely adventure to the new Whole Paycheck — oops, I mean Whole Foods. This is Dayton’s first Whole Foods, opening just a few weeks ago. It’s a beautiful store, with great ambiance and a very customer-oriented staff. It will be good for items that can only be found at Whole Foods, but for mundane groceries it’s too pricey for my tastes.
Next door is another new-to-Dayton store, Pet People. I am too cynical to not laugh at the very young store clerk as he rattled off how there are no ingredients from China in the pet food they sell — so I kept walking (laughing to myself) and let him give his little speech to Cindy (she’s more polite then I am).
Lunch was barside at one of my favorite taverns, Doubleday’s. It would have been even better if I could have had a beer, but that’s not such a good idea on Chemo Day. Of course, once again I forgot to take a food photo. This seems to be a pattern for me.
When we got to the Chemo Cafe, I picked a chair in an area I’ve never sat in before. Nurse Janna got my port hooked up and we had the first indication that my chair was cursed: my port was clogged and would not allow her to draw my blood for testing. This happens from time-to-time. So Nurse Janna got out the Drano (in reality a low amount of clot-buster medicine, the same as they use for people with strokes). This was pumped into the port (not into my blood vein) to dissolve the blockage. While we waited for the Drano to work, a lab tech pulled a testing sample of my blood the “normal” way by sticking my forearm.
(It’s important to point out that the lady in the chair next to me also had the same problem with her port and one of the chemo nurses piped up with “Yeah, we think those chairs are cursed because there’s been issues with the people sitting in them all day long.” Would it have been too much to put a ‘Don’t sit here, chair cursed’ sign on the chair?)
After an hour, the blockage in my port was cleared, but we got the second indication that my chair was cursed: my hemoglobin level is so low that the doctor wants me to get a transfusion. (So the joke I made about not having any blood when Nurse Jenna couldn’t get it to come out of the port was maybe not such a joke.)
Chemo kills blood cells along with cancer cells, so needing a transfusion is not unusual, and explains why I’ve been feeling so melting-into-the-floor tired all week.
Low blood count also means that today’s chemo cocktail has been re-scheduled to Thursday.
The third indication that my chair was cursed: I’m scheduled to get two units of blood tomorrow at 7. In the morning. Because that was the only appointment open. And it will take four hours.
Also, because the Scourge of the Red Rash is still with me (water retention in the left leg, red rash), I’ll be given lasix between the units of blood. So during the two hours it takes for the second unit of blood to pass into my vein, I’ll be making multiple visits to the bathroom to pee (fourth indication of a cursed chair). Not looking forward to that at all.
There are two blessings to this chair curse:
1. Cindy (such a wonderful friend!) is able (and willing!) to be my driver for the transfusion (I can’t drive myself), and for the re-scheduled Thursday Chemo Cafe visit.
2. Between the transfusion and the chemo cocktail steroids, I’m going to be so buzzed with energy on Friday that I will probably get all my garden beds weeded and the three flats of marigolds sitting on my front porch transplanted by lunch leaving me the rest of the day to thoroughly clean the house and do the grocery shopping for next week.
Is it any wonder that I’m looking forward to chemo vacation next week?