Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chemo Round 3, I think I Caught The Chemo Grumpies

Last week I spent the Sunday before chemo planning my chemo day with relish, charging electronics, making lists and packing up headphones and chap stick like I was leaving for a weekend road trip.  This weekend was a wee bit different and no matter how many times I pulled myself aside to have the “pull it together” talk, I could not shake the grumpies.

For one thing, I am already over the recliner that is my home for 6 hours every other week.  This week I sat in my recliner, my laptop perched on my lap making my legs hot and I growled on the inside.  I did not want to balance my laptop and phone and mouse, perched on a book, perched on the recliner arm. 


I wanted a desk.  I am lucid, I am productive and for the love of all things holy, is it too much to ask for me to have a workable work surface until the chemo sleepies hit me around hour 5? I glared at the unoccupied nurses’ station and when the occasional nurse sat down for a minute to make a note or a phone call, I inwardly threw up my hands and rolled my eyes in disgust “Come On”!!!

I imagined myself taking over that station, while the nurses sat down briefly in a recliner to make that necessary call and it all made sense in my head,  what nurse wouldn’t like to sit a rock for a minute as they talked meds and what-not.  Not to mention, if I could have that desk, I could bring in a second screen and then…well then I would practically be setting worldwide chemo productivity levels, and one step closer to world domination.

This week I began to feel the effects of the chemo bender around hour 3,  perhaps it was because I was grumpy, perhaps it was because I was still tired from trying to fit a lifetime of fun into a single pre-chemo long weekend. All I know if that my limbs got that heavy feeling and my head got foggy and suddenly, I was happy for that recliner. Happy and still ridiculously angry…at the world.

I was angry at the volunteer who is still circling me like a shark.  I do not want to talk diagnosis’s,  I do not want to chit chat,  stop standing over my chair, I am not going to take out my ear buds or make eye contact…EVER!

I was angry at the empty cubicle curtain tracks above my head.  As a designer, I select cubicle curtains on a fairly regular basis.  In fact, at this very moment I have at least 2 full size cubicle curtain mock-ups in a bin at, at my desk.  I know I could get the necessary pins with one phone call and I am fairly certain I spent at least one hazy hour picturing myself stomping into my next chemo session, lugging a step ladder and a cubicle curtain.  I would build my chemo fort and I would wallow.  I would plop into that recliner with a big HERRUMPH and dramatically swing a curtain closed around me that would clearly communicate my unwillingness to chat with the volunteer who was severely closing in on my circle of privacy.

I was angry at my choice of wardrobe, shorts, really?  I think one of the most annoying parts of chemo is the freaking hot flashes.  I don’t even know if that’s a real thing or not but as I sit in that leather recliner, I go from being chilly and pulling on my wool socks, to stripping off layers so quickly that I am sure to give one of my Amish chemo mates a heart attack as he looks around to make certain his driver brought him to the Cancer Center and not a cheap strip club with a noon happy hour special.

Most of all, and probably the heart of my grumpy fueled tantrums, my sister is going to Philadelphia on Thursday to meet with her Tumor Board.  Then bright and early Friday morning, she will be having a Robotic surgery to see if they can find Waldo (her super elusive cancer) I am her big sister and I should be there.  However, I will still be getting a chemo infusion on Thursday and on Friday,  I need to go back for a shot to boost my white blood cells to make certain that my bottoming blood counts do not land me in the hospital with some crazy infection,  oh and I will feel like dog poop,  like a big pile of dog poop.

Chemo Tuesday ,  there were actually way more smiles,  than growls


There is a lot going on this week, and I am trying to cut myself some slack. I am trying not to let it overwhelm me. I am trying to focus on my daughters laugh and my husbands’ hugs and the Real Housewives reunion special that I have taped and plan to watch more than once.  I am trying to focus on the big picture, but would it kill someone to give a chemo patient a desk with a charging station, Hell, I would settle for chemo by an open window, in a pillow fort.

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