Tuesday, August 7, 2018

DAY 031 -- "And The Accidental Miracles"

 One down and who knows how many more whats, whens, wheres and hows to go, and I’m not sure if I even want to know what I’m talking about, but here we are. Finished today with my first (and hopefully last) six-week round of chemotherapies. So, woohoo! and a hearty retro round of Yabba-Dabba-Doo’s, for any surviving Fred Flintstonians.

When I arrived at my last chemo treatment at the infusion clinic this morning, I walked in and jokingly addressed the nursing team with “Hey, where’s my graduation cake?” It was met with a round of blank stares, looks askance, and no explanation or response other than a note or two of sarcasm. So, I let it go.

But, just as I was being set up for treatment, they assembled at my station, all beaming the cat ate the canary look, and yes, did in fact present me with a “Classic Coconut Chemo Cake.” Seems I’d stumbled on something they’d already planned, and if I hadn’t been dehydrated, I’d have dropped a few tears.

These people are the crop’s cream, the heap’s top, the show’s best, the pong in my ping, onion in my ring and the aforementioned cat’s pajamas. I’ve been a nurse for 35 years, and I know topnotch bedside (and chairside) care when I see it. Especially when I’m the recipient of it.

But, it’s never easy for a caregiver to be on the receiving end of care; we’re all good nurses, but terrible patients. I’d challenge you to get a nurse anywhere to say different. As health care providers, we really need to work on that.

I sure do. Knowing how to well-receive helps the healee, the healing and the healer.

Thus far, this phase of treatment(s) for my Rad Chemo has been steered through history with the innovations and applications of machine, substance and techniques arrived at via scientific technopop-pioneering and/or the accidental miracles of poetic caveman bumblings.

You know: it’s rather like how Diane and I operate (see: “The Dioecians – His and Her Love.” Go on, now. Buy the book. Save a world.)

So, let’s not mix metaphors and put our chickens in the cart before we take the long way around the horses. Today is a day to breathe a bit easier and really feel like we’re steadying on.

Much as I’ll still be in the grip of these damnable side effects for a while, I hope to trade ‘em in at the end of all this for a new body, thinking cap, pathway to better health, and a refueled imagination.

More as we go, El


  1. A cake! How nice! And how wonderful to see you smile. The do-rag looks pretty cool as well...especially with the sunglasses. You definitely sport the new look well. Yup, being a patient patient is not so easy for nurses (see what I did there?) As always, appreciate all you share. You convey so much about the experience through tenderness and humor.

  2. Thanks, Kathy: Uh ... I wasn't smiling; that was just gas (well, it works for babies, and right now I feel like a big one). Actually, one reason it's so hard being a nurse/patient is that these folks are genuinely distressed when what they're doing causes me pain (and this chest burn/dressings are excruciating). I keep telling them it's okay, I know they have to do what they do; I know this has to hurt; I'm okay with it, but their compassion makes it hard for them. I get it. Works the same with me when I'm on the other side of that desk, too. Best, El

  3. As a nurse for over 30 years, I still have trouble accepting the kindness of other nurses. Thinking in the back of my head I should still be on the floor. Being disabled is a pain in the ass. But you can do this! Atta-boy.

    1. Yes, that's it: "I should still be on the floor." Not easy to get rid of that one. Thanks for the upbeat, though. I'm working at not working at it! Thanks for writing, Best, El


Most popular posts (so far)