2.3.1 chemo and positivity

Yesterday I assured my hemonc nurse Toni Terrific that I’d be ready for chemo. After all, I can again breathe the whole distance of climbing the stairs up one floor :), and, most important, I’m in dance shape–well, cancer dancer shape. Naturally, this was sufficient validation that I’m chemo ready, so off to the infusion center we went today. Hurray, the transfusion was successful in restoring my RBC count to 10. Funny how excited we are to have our chemo treatments after missing even one.

chemoIphoneMarvin went to get me my veggie breakfast burrito while I got the usual prep of saline, Decadron and Zofran followed by my monthly dose of Zometa. He came back with breakfast and a scarf with white, black and bright pink. I really should take photos of these. His doing this is so special it almost makes going to chemo a treat :).

One of my peds residents visited me, and it was such a delight as she is always so sweet and fun to visit with. This class of residents is the first group that I worked with when I moved to pediatrics, so they have a special place in my heart. I will really miss them. I may be prejudiced, generally, but I think I have the best group of residents at UCI. I am really fortunate.

Sometimes I think about what all of this news does to one’s emotional makeup. I will admit that it’s hard to hear the tough words . . . unfortunately . . . incurable . . . we’ll do what we can . . . Your ears hear the sentences, but your mind buries many words, leaving you with scattered pieces. Marvin gets it all and answers my questions later. Usually a decent listener and someone who asks questions, I have found myself saying more and more, I don’t want to know any more. I’ll learn what I need later. For now I know I need to be strong and positive; I have to do what I can to make sure I’m healthy enough to endure the treatment. The bleak details don’t add positive thoughts or feelings.

One way I do get positive vibes is from coworkers and my residents. I am blessed to work with some of the most caring people. That support is very enriching to my  positive outlook. Every note by e-mail or written card or spoken word or gesture helps me be strong; all of it is more encouraging than any one of them probably realizes. I deal with a lot of bureaucracy and negativity, which I detest, and some days it takes every bit of strength I have left to cope. Some days it makes me feel empty. The encouragement from others restores me so I feel I can continue being effective and strong. I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.

After chemo we shopped at Trader Joe’s, Marvin leading the way to ensure we didn’t spend the rest of the afternoon at the store–he claims I dilly dally, comparing too many labels. Who, me? Late afternoon after my energy returned, I tap danced to Ohio Players, old-school funk, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Tiring a bit, sure, but more it exhilarated me. Now, I’m off to choreograph in my dreams.

1 2 3 4 dream
to see my dance unfold, hear
my paddle ‘n’ roll

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