I’m at the Scripps Mercy Hospital Infusion Clinic and Cancer Center today, getting my bi-monthly dose of Remicade. It typically takes about four hours from start to finish. It’s kind of my peaceful time. I love it because it helps me feel better (sometimes), the nurses that work there are like my second family now (I heart them), and it gives me a chance to really sit back and think.
It still blows my mind that in order to be even somewhat functional, I need to sit in a chair for four hours while medication gets infused into my bloodstream.
I used to prefer my infusions with vodka and fruit, but I’ll take what I can get.
It’s always the same procedure, sometimes a different chair. Lay down, get comfortable, get my vitals checked, shoot the shit with my nurse while he runs saline through the tube before my meds, and take some Benadryl and Tylenol.
I don’t know about you, but any med that puts me nearly to sleep also makes me extremely sensitive to noise and light. I just want to sleep, in peace and quiet. So I’m laying there about thirty minutes in, about to close my eyes and pass out, but there is so much commotion, there is a new patient next to me getting started, and as the nurse walks away from him, all I can hear is him tapping something – a phone or something, on his little table. But it doesn’t sound like a tap when you are on Benadryl. It sounds like a jackhammer.
I’m getting annoyed. I’m exhausted. It’s loud. Minutes go by. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tappity tap. Tap. It’s driving me crazy and keeping me awake, in and out of half-sleep. The nurse goes over to help him and they’re chatting – the chatting sounds loud to me. Every piece of me is just getting irritated, in this half-sleeping half-awake state that I’m in. Then I hear the nurse tell him:
“Let’s get your bloodwork and then we’ll get you started on your chemo.”
My heart drops. I’m over here annoyed that this old man is making noise and the guy has cancer. Whoa, talk about your wake-up call for the day.
I immediately just felt bad that I had been irritated at all, covered my ears with a blanket, and passed out.
Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective to remind you to be patient & understanding, and relax. Nothing’s the end of the world.
I wrote the following eight weeks ago, last time I was there, and posted it on Facebook. I haven’t been able to phrase it any other way, this just sums it up perfectly.
“Peace, Love, and Other Drugs. YAY. Just replenishing my spoons, and it was time! Overall… I feel good! I really do love my life.This is about to get heavy but, well, life’s heavy so that’s the way it is! If heavy isn’t your thing, you probably stopped following me long ago anyway! Don’t worry, I’ll post something funny for you soon.Don’t ever take the good times for granted, and don’t ever think that the bad ones won’t get better.When shit hits the fan, you have two choices: get bitter or get better. I’m blessed every second of my life. What consumes your mind, controls your life.This medicine works but so does the rest of my entire lifestyle. I rarely drink, I sleep enough, I listen to my body, and I eat right. I’m much more in control of my life than I ever was before. January to June sucked. It was a rough six months, but every day I am so grateful that I keep getting better! It’s not just this drug that makes me “better”, it’s being present in life, seeing the beauty in the world, paying attention, letting go, feeding both my mind and body the right way, living intentionally, making decisions no one understands, being “selfish” sometimes, knowing what I need to be healthy and happy and kick a lot of booty.You only get one life – enjoy the moments, and don’t ever take this ish for granted.”