it has been almost three years since the pool noodle moment. 2.5 since my hair went to the wind the drain and the broom.
but the blog stalls here ... why is not yet clear -
it has been 1.5 yrs since i rang the bell - nurses abound - all around - a line up of joy -
but no one in sight to capture the rapture
and yet a year ago we set sail - to new adventures - but to no avail -
and within six months. our love did fail.
however - i i shall regale - for there is so much love and light still to share
thus - i am sill here and i still care.
apres le pez
that night sleep did not arrive in any way it had before.
my bones were a hum with a burning -er perhaps eating that egg salad that has been alone in the sun all afternoon is not the best choice -
and the little tiny traiangular steroids were chatting with my narrow marow sticky self
and the flavour or hot dogs and mint was awash in my swollen and tender veins -
but - ahhh what dreams may come queen Mab - when in the arms of juliet you sleep
and what dawn brings - dark or light - at least we made it through that night
Après le first chemo I felt - well - like I had to pee like a race horse - sleep like I had never done so - eat because they said so and wait.
Wait to... See to feel - if it was going to be like all that info in the binder - like the heads up from the all the nurses - like the vets I had met who battled their mets ( not yours Michel Balan from last comic standing whom I love)
But it was just another day when I woke up.
Until the lunch bag and I had a not so hot lunch date. It has to be stuck in you xactly 24 hours after chemo.
Liza drove me to the clinic where I knew I would be seeing great nurses and also touching underfunded yuck.
We were early. I had a short sleeve shirt on for easy access to the puncture zone.
Enter the room. Unzip goes the bag. Dear heavens. Am I a horse? The needle was was huge.- it was like a PEZ dispenser. But so not sweet. Pre ow pre ow.
The care giver says - " Liza I can show you how to administer ... "
Liza is rarely pale - save for on a beach - in the sun by a pool - or when the Raiders lose - but her face was not of a crayon I have seen. She would not have even made Winter Wheat on a paint chip.
"Maybe not " said the care giver. With such a knowing grin.
"SO NOT" said the coward on the table in the short sleeve shirt.
And thus with a pinch of my bicept - this ugly long needle hiding in a easy grip rectangle was slowly inserted into my left arm. It felt like it took a week. But in that five minute week this I knew -
This was a potential life saving needle that not every one gets - as their benefits do not cover the 5 grand cost - yes really maybe more -
That this long and painful super hero shot - as I came to call it - one I might die without it - as it built up my white blood cells and kept my bones alive... Was a priveledge ...
A long and painful needle I accepted as my kryptonie disguised in a an ugly blue lunch bag in an ugly blue needle case -
Disguising nothing more than the ugly blue inequities in access to health and care....
Day two of chemo - and already I face the reality .. That not only is life not fair - but death is so not fair ....
Day one of chemo must be akin to day one of kindergarten. Chaos. Tears. Pee.
And a lunch box.
After my many hours of liquid intake and the absorption of little octagonal pills that made me feel like chewing lead paint off church railings - steroids - to give me strength - and likely back hair - thank goodness that will likely fall out - I was ready to be sent home on the - well - very nice Lincoln short bus.
But not before I got my little blue refrigerated bag tossed onto my lap by the charge nurse. With a giant nasty needle in it. Oh yea that. It has to be injected 24 hours after your infusion. Super fun. Off to the walk in clinic for that.
Ahh. Too cute. It has my name on it.
I was quickly unplugged uplifted loaded up with instructions which frankly had Liza not been there would have pinned to my chest and scene. Done.
We wil call you with your next chair time in leas than two weeks.
Ok. Lol. Call me! Maybe! Cause I just met you and this Is crazy ----- wow I love steroids ! So high. So very fuzzy...
I wonder what this needle is going to be like.... And off I slept as Liza wrangled home and me up the stairs so I could rest.
And then begin to eat.
"If you do not eat you die."
" Define eat" I said.
"Micheal Phelps" she said.
Oh thank goodness i love pizza.
Mamma Mia's!!! I love you.
So I was finally and thankfully walked about and seated off to the left - how fitting - off to left of the main room. Clearly I was a fright to the others. And I was right where the charge nurse - and by that I mean in charge nurse - could watch.my quivering self succumb to to the confines of the giant pleather chair. Like a 1972 lazy boy un gendered to a one size fits everyone. Ahhh. Everyone indeed. As it seems no one escapes this ....
!!! Hurry the judges are coming ! They will want a urine sample!
Because I am I competing in what sport? The game of life ? Yes. I cheated and put two blue pegs in my car going nowhere fast...
I .. Began to note that I was hooked up to all sorts of things that beeped and beeped - then in the patting and then in the swirl - the white bees came.
No Scoobie Drool....
As i have said ( or i least i think i did) one of my my fav parts of the clinic is the random catwalk overlooking the super sad lobby. Which for me was transformed by my quick visit with my OPH's
( own personal hero's - which by the way you should become one.)
Liza was appalled that i was (i think) again singing ' On the Cat Walk' - badly - and moonwalking - while waving to the nearly dead - the not dead and the soon to be dead… thankfully like the local cable TV station included in your likely overpriced package - no one was watching...
Whew. i am rarely invisible. A quiet pause. Then my name was called by such a kind faced - but let's get this done nurse - - - and my attitude - fuelled as it was by my quick chat in the lobby --- and my amazing cheerios filled gratitude journey was waning…. fading into… a happy but nervous place full of purple - yellow and blue - people? Fictional but powerful OPH's - my mind was speeding backwards and i was very confused….
25 years of residual angst --- my Mom…her pain…her courage…her death…my death…? These thoughts overtook me and my fear - my pain - was inching into my bones and crawling up my spine...
Crawling up your shins the way socks do when you are on a transatlantic flight - Suffocating your feet and clenching your calves so your toes throb Enter the Evil thoughts that have been walking about your mind for decades - all uninvited - scraping their well heeled muddy stained boots on your welcome ( whatever will be will be ) mat - Then doubt - Edging up in stealthy silent creep - as nasty cats - do before they back up - pose and pee all over your front door… leaves you feeling -
Well - that senseless fear that you plucked one eyebrow too high and now look speechless perplexed - the fear that makes you feel feel feel feel about five five five yrs old - and that becomes the only touchstone you have… and you wish you were once the remote again - so your Dad would say -
"Get up and change that channel mouse - let's find something fun!"
But there is no Dad - you have to change your own channel
Thus at five feet into the chemo room - with Liza and the nurse five feet ahead and disappearing quickly into the beep beep beep - fries are up - cafeteria of chemical infusions - i snapped the dial and the muppets hankfully - arrived to save the day.
Good things also come in three's.
As i was stalling - marching in place - i just kept saying "Nope Nope Nope" The familiar bodiless brown fur bags - That say 'Yup Yup Yup' - jumped onto my chemo doorstep - with all their curiosity - ran right into my racing pacing mind - and tuned me back into the kid who has no fear - and loves loves loves - life.
Let's get his done indeed.
So this is chemo day one. i have gotten up dressed and am sitting on the couch beside my hound. I am really eating cereal. My chair time as they call it - is for 1 pm. I am counting cheerios - they really do float together if there are just two.
Liza coaxes me into the car and with a fresh pink chemo pass on the dash we head for the first dip - the first prick - into - well i have no idea…. but i have other ideas….
And i have thoughts. None of which are all that positive - ( kelly turn it around)
BUT i am trying to stay sooo positive - just stay positive - just stay open - (i am tweeting myself.)
We enter the clinic - turn a quick left and we hear a weak but powerful - "Hello Kelly Dear!"
And there are two of my most cherished role models - brilliant and forward thinking humans - two people who stood beside me - quietly - in the dark times - two people who have just fought cancer as a team - two people not expecting to see me -
as i was not expecting to see them on their last day of treatment - They did it I HAVE to do it.
So i had to be upbeat - i had to be positive - they believed in me - and i in them - what a gift - So
Off I went into stand up panic mode -" ha ha ha" - (Liza save me from myself)
Liza let us joke about for a bit - but then she gently guided me towards the far left exit with the stairs.
There would be no elevators for me. Not today not ever. I promised myself if i could - i would always take the stairs.
As my Momma taught me - so so many years ago - the high road is always - a bit darker - a bit more lonely - sometimes longer - always steeper - but when you get to the top -
"KM the view of yourself you get is always worth it. "
- It has - i am quite sure - been confusing to follow this blog . Confusing to follow the style in which i write - so too to hear the the voices in which i write - or at least attempt to. Also the dates are out of pace with the real time line of my experiences - but then again so i am. Trying to be in the moment these past 18 months and then write about them has been nearly impossible. Yes i said nearly - as i fully believe anything is possible…. and i have a friend who is my proof… and when i looked in the mirror today - i was my own proof...