Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Chemo Queen Makes an Appearance
I didn't warn my Mother. I kinda figured she's read my blog, but if she hadn't gotten to it, then it would be a surprise. And when she walked in the door yesterday to pick me up, she was surprised by the Chemo Queen. She thought it was a great idea, in fact we had to parade through the ER so she could show me off to her co-workers. Everyone was really cool about it. I did wear it to IHOP where I got some stares and some people asked me about it. And I told them all it was my last round of chemo we were headed to. People did smile and laugh. There were only a few 19 or 20-something girls in one far corner who may have been sending looks my way. I was tempted to go over to them and take my wig off. Just to put some perspective into their lives. Instead I ignored them and enjoyed my lunch.
On the way to the Cancer Center, we stopped by the Palace to drop off the Piano/Conductors score for A Christmas Carol. Cliff and Mary Ellen accidentally left it at my house the night before. So I got to see all my office family in my gown and even the Habitat guys were up eating their lunch in the lobby and I got to say a fond and very princess-like farewell, waving with a cupped hand, before heading off to chemo round six.
When Mom and I walked in to the Cancer Center, it seems they were all waiting for me. "There she is, Miss America," I swear someone whistled. They were not at all surprised. Turns out a theatre friend, the newlywed Erin G. dropped by a bouquet of roses (seen on the right in first pic) and a huge chocolate bar (um, gone) for me earlier that morning. The card said to "Miss Chemo" so they knew I was pulling a stunt before I got there. But that was ok. Wendy and Yolanda brought out my flowers and chocolate and took my picture with them, which hopefully I will get an email copy of. This pic is of me and Marjorie, of the Breast Cancer Resource Center. I don't have breast cancer, but they don't shun me : )
The whole staff seemed to be having as much fun as I was. They kept sending in staff people and volunteers to the chemo room to come see "Miss Chemo" It was really a good thing. I got to have fun playing princess dress-up, the staff got a few laughs. And they were out a nurse and busting their asses for us yesterday, but always stayed in good temper, like Jennifer seen here, and I don't think anyone felt neglected.
I sat next to Lauren, a 25-year-old in breast cancer treatment. She has finished two months every other week of one set of drugs, now she is starting 12 weeks of once a week treatment on another drug. This once a week drug is not supposed to be as bad as the first kind, they told her the wort of chemo is over. But still, 12 more weeks.
Jennifer told me afterwards that Lauren had been feeling down and spoke of not wanting to be here at the cancer center today. That she hates being reminded that she is sick and to come get chemo you are surrounded by sick people and that makes it worse for her. So when I came in, Jennifer was really glad to sit me by Lauren so she could spend the time with someone not outwardly sick and suffering and trying to make the most of it. We talked about our kids, she has a two-year-old and a 6-month-old. She was diagnosed when her baby was three months. That must be so very hard to handle two kiddos, a husband in Grad school and her parents not real close. Lauren lives in Byran and comes here with her kids and stays with her parents for her treatments. So she does a lot of driving back and forth. People just do what they have to do to get better. Especially when you are 25 with small children and a husband in school. Cancer isn't fair. It strikes at people who should be thinking of nothing more than setting up a household and living day to day and finding pleasures easy to come by because your life is all in front of you. Damn Cancer.
You know, I had to buy ten yards of that ribbon to make my sash. And I noticed that Hobby Lobby has several simple tiara's for $12 - $20 something bucks. I am thinking that Chemo Queen or Miss Chemo needs to become a standard feature in cancer treatments. Young or old, anyone who is game should be handed a sash and crown to wear to whatever treatment they want. Do I smell a frivolous Non Profit Foundation forming in my chemo-overloaded prednisone clouded brain? Would Hobby Lobby, Party City, etc. donate some goods to the Marsha Sray Chemo Queen Foundation? Hmmmm. Hmmmm.
*Private message to Cindi with Ewing's Sarcoma.* Sister, you are going to be the first recipient of the Chemo Queen regalia. You have a long hard road ahead, but I know you will wear that crown!*
Of course now that I put this out there, someone is going to steal my foundation idea and some trendy(or not so) celebrity will be trying to repair their overexposed, ruined career by becoming the spokesperson. Can you hear it now? "Hi Yall, I'm Britney Spears and I don't have any hair either! Ha, well I don't have cancer, I just shaved mine to avoid a drug test, but look at my weave dudettes! It's awesome. So yeah. Wear a crown and feel pretty just like meeee!"
It probably wouldn't work, so Britney, stay away from my Foundation idea! I better get a 501 (c) 3 on this thing ASAP before the vultures steal it.
On a different note, let me tell you about my loot! This week I have been sent some wonderful gifts from people who love me. Now, don't think I only love the people who send me loot. I love all my friends and family. It's just the one's who send me loot make the blog. So you know how to make the blog don't you? That's right, send me the loot!!!
Ok. I'll start with the beautiful Amber necklace and black sparkly hat from Russ and Ellen. The hat was a perfect backdrop to show both the Amber and the Survivors Bracelet my Aunt Marsha sent me. Each color bead represents a different cancer. So gorgeous. I thank you ladies and gent. And Russ, Jackson loves the remote control car. He wants the remote to work on all his cars.
Yesterday morning I was answering the door like a fiend. I got a fex ex while dressed in a robe and my ladybug hat, which was the closest hat to me. The Fed EX was addressed to David so I Im'd him to ask him about it and he told me to open it. My awesome husband sent me a double-strand pearl bracelet, one white strand and one pink strand for cancer survivorship. He bought it from Blue Nile, the online store where he got my engagement ring. I love Blue Nile, their jewelry is certified and first class and their packaging is lovely and elegant. Made me giggle like a little girl to get Blue Nile jewelry for my last chemo. What a man. And it even matched my Miss Chemo get-up so I wore it all day.
My sister sent me an arrangement of roses, this time I was able to answer the door in full costume. The delivery guy didn't even blink. You know, the Fed Ex guy didn't either. I guess they are used to all kinds of bizarre people answering their knocks. Well, the roses are gorgeous and as for the note? Jen, I am so glad you are my sister. I couldn't have done better! Love you! See you Thanksgiving. You can pet my not-so-bald-anymore head.
I got home from chemo about 5:45 yesterday to a clean house. I like to arrange for Chela to clean while I do chemo. Thanks to my Dad for making sure I can pay for the luxury of a cleaning lady. It is so awesome to come home knowing I am about to be sick and just relax in my clean house. Nice.
And last night wasn't so bad. I took my nausea meds (1/2 Unisom Tablet and vit B6) before the nausea really hit me and although I did get sick, it was the most gentle of all chemo nights. I was uncomfortable. Queasy, but not all out miserable like I have been in the past. So the last one decided to go easy on me. That or only taking a half-dose of the Vincristine made all the difference. Yucky Vincristine. Blech.
This morning, I woke feeling pretty dehydrated and weak. I had some cereal and took all my pills and decided to blog a while and ignore the fact that I feel hungover. Too queasy for my comfort. I may need to go back to bed for a bit. I am usually energized a bit on day two. But maybe sparing me the worst last night means it just dragged it out a little into today. Oh well. Nothing a little nap - and two weeks time - won't cure.
Thanks everyone, for laughing, crying, supporting and loving me through this awful summer of cancer. It means a lot. And thanks to whoever left the copy of Goodnight Moon on my doorstep. Makes me smile to know you, whoever you are.