My sister and I have cancer. Hers is a super sneaky little guy we have named Waldo because for the life of us, we cannot find him. Mine was a tumor that grew around and into my Colon until one day, there was simply not room in my gut for even one more sip of wine, at which point, I went to ER and emerged 10 days later, with half a colon and a cancer diagnosis. My cancer had babies prior to its surgical eviction and sent them to live in Lymph node orphanages (of course my cancer is a floozy cancer baby mama), so even though they yanked out the mama bear, I have 24 weeks (12 cycles of chemo) to go all Chuck Norris on those lingering cancer babies that are trying to hide out in my lymph nodes..
So, as my sisters huge team of geniuses, argued and fought over the best way to find and neutralize Waldo, I have been undergoing my chemo treatments. Until this week, this week, things started to not go my way and in typical me fashion, I got a wee bit sassy.
I am the big sister so that means I go with my sister to the hospital, it means I am her sounding board, it means I sit in her hospital room, post surgery and tell the nurse that no, she does not want apple juice, she wants a ginger ale and a flipping painkiller.
So, there I was, hooked up to my chemo infusion on Monday, having a pity party that rivaled Baby North West’s first birthday in magnitude, over the realization that I would not be accompanying my baby sister to her Tumor board and looming surgery later in the week. NOT Ok.
Seriously, leave it to my sister to make Pre-Op look like a party you don't want to miss!
Now, I have never been one to exactly take NO for an answer, so I figured, cancer or no cancer, this was not the time to stop. As my sister stepped away for a minute, I motioned a nurse over and asked how hard it would be to disconnect my chemo pump from my med port myself, in a hotel, in Philadelphia.
No need to go over all the details or the resulting look on her face, the answer was a NO that I did not seem to have a fighting chance with. So, I slumped back in my recliner and began to pout-think of a plan B.
This time, when my sister walked away, I again motioned the nurse over and asked her about arranging a Philadelphia drive thru experience for my shot that I needed the day after I was unplugged. If I could make this work, I would miss the tumor board but make the surgery. She started to say no, so I quickly threw in tears, and the words “sisters with cancer”, “cruel fate” & “I love my baby sister”.
It was a long shot, but it worked. After a long lecture on not touching anything in the hospital (apparently they really are the grossest places on the planet), she arranged for me to take my shot with me and I promised that my sister, the RN would inject me at just the right time.
Now technically, my sister would be under general anesthesia at the time I needed my shot, but I would be in one of the biggest and best hospitals in the world, certainly, I could convince someone in scrubs, to jab me in the arm with a pre-loaded needle.
In the end, I did just that. I lost all shyness and simply pronounced my case. “Hi I have cancer, my sister is my nurse but she also has cancer and is in surgery, right now, upstairs. I need this shot in my arm (and later 2 in my stomach), please don’t make me show a homeless man a video on Google showing how to give a subcutaneous injection.
It worked, I got my shot(s), my sister got her surgery, and I spent 7 hours recovering from my chemo week in one of the most uncomfortable waiting room chairs, ever, but I was there and when she woke up and wanted ginger ale and a pain killer, I got it for her, well, I called the nurse.
Note to self: no more specifying uncomfortable waiting room chairs, from this day forward, I will sit test EVERY SINGLE ONE before pass I pass them on to a client!!