To say ( read admit) i was afraid - fearful - of starting perhaps one of the most aggressive chemo regimes there is would be like asking if Liberace liked sequins or does Nickleback actually suck…. or maybe even an understatement like "Tina Fey ya she is amusing…sorta…but not like hosting SNL funny…."
You see - i had not - or at least had not prior to the rather dramatic change in my career path - ever experienced being a fearful person. Prone to some anxiety yes - but not agoraphobic or a panicked mess of rattly nail biting bones cowering in the corner too scared and scarred to even walk to the block. But i faced that head on with as much dignity as i could muster and i survived - thirved actually.
But this fear felt so different. This was deep purply fear. Something misty and unseen that had silently seeped thru my skin and was now pumping through my veins swelling them to the point where they were hanging out of my hand like bulging blue worms writhing in pale April mud.
Which on a positive note made having my blood taken the day before i started pretty simple. I basically had an inner elbow stigmata. They just waved the needle and the vials over my arm and as the bile in my stomach filled my mouth - they unleashed the tube and viola! 3 barrels full.
I had to sit for 10 minutes afterwards. They had never seen anyone hit the ceiling before.
However my Texas Tea style blood pressure and sheer inner pandamonium did not make the appointment with my ( our) oncologist quite so simple.
It began with me bargaining with my care team - asking if i could just wait two weeks to get my stick on the ice - ( ya cause this lesbian plays hockey - ya that's a no.) and then i would be in a better headspace ( ya that's a bigger no.) I was pathetic. I was wimping out trying to postpone tomorrow to never.
Dr. P was having none of this. Nor was the nurse. Nor was Liza. She too was afraid - ( I cannot imagine how i would would feel if our roles were switched ) - But she is so bloody indescribably tough.
So you can guess how that conversation ended.
" Thanks Dr. P. We will be here tomorrow ." i slinked out the door and down the stairs, my self esteem toppling over my feet, over my head, my yellow spine collapsing in on itself step after step unit we got to the parking lot.
" Kelly get in the Jeep." Liza pried open the door for me and offered a hand. "And try not to escape out the heat vent again. Your hair clogs the climate system. " ( images of things to come)
"Yes of course. " I stubbornly pulled myself into the Jeep and said " Best put the child locks on."
i smiled weakly knowing full well they were already on "Or i may take a go at the window."
"You Kelly - will do what you want to do. You always have - you always will."
……………………………………………………….awkward longgg pause…………………………………………………………...
"Mmm…Liza do you think i should wear black tomorrow - or…..."
Liza promptly leaned over, dialed up the music and offered her hand - again - this time with a look.
This time i got it.
I stopped talking - accepted her hand - now knowing full well that we were both - scared - both filled with fear - but most importantly - knowing that we were both -
in it to win it.