Friday, March 29, 2013

IT TAKES TWO


Me and my youngest nephew - Fall 2006
On September 28 I set off for chemo treatment #2.  Blood work always had to be done first though.  If for any reason my blood counts were not up to par then my treatment could be refused and I would have to wait until my counts were better.  So far I hadn’t had any issues with that.  Anyway, I had my quilt with me and Mike wrapped it around me as soon as I was settled in to my chair in the treatment room.  It took about two hours for the treatment again and oddly, even though it was only the second time at the treatment room at the cancer centre, we had sort of slipped into a routine with it already.  I felt nervous a bit and I always hated to see the elderly people that were there and those others that looked very ill.  I prayed that I would stay relatively good throughout this but I didn’t know what to expect.  I knew that each treatment would compound with the one before and I would most likely feel a bit worse with each one.  I was ready for that, I thought.  As much as I could be anyway.

I had recently received a call that my name was next on the list for the day surgery to have the port-a-cath inserted.  That was a big surprise because I thought it would be a much longer wait.  This was great news because I was able to have the port put in so that I could start using it for treatment #2.  While I was waiting for the surgeon to do the port, there was a woman that was just on her way out of the waiting room that stopped and asked me if I was getting one inserted.  She then said, “I have one too and it was the best thing I could have done.  You are making a good decision.”  That was a comfort and I really wasn’t worried about a thing when I went into the room with the surgeon.  There was no pain at all and I left feeling so good about this.  I wasn’t going to have marks all over my arms now but the bump on my chest near my collarbone would take a bit of getting used to.  After awhile I didn’t notice it so much but others would and often asked me what the bump was.

My Kids with
Grandpa & Grandma - Summer 2006
So for this second treatment, the nurses used the port and it was really so much better than stabbing at my arm.  Mike was with me and he worked on his laptop and I read my book and the time passed fairly quickly.  After the treatment we went for breakfast together even though it was nearly lunchtime.  It was, in an odd way, nice to have this time to just be together with my husband.  Just the two of us.  My Dad and Sheila had made the long drive from Manitoulin Island yet again and I knew they were at our house looking after the kids.  That was such a comfort to both of us to know that our two kids were so well looked after by their two wonderful grandparents.

We were trying to adjust to the outpouring of kindness and concern from family, friends, and colleagues.  Although it was most welcome, it was also hard to know how to accept it all and respond to it appropriately.  This was uncharted territory for us and many others around us.  What was appropriate anyway?  Mike and I sometimes felt like shutting out everyone in the world and just staying to ourselves in our home with our little family and keeping others at a distance.  I think we thought if we closed ourselves away that we could deal with this cancer and get rid of it and then re-emerge into the world when it was over.  We were also trying to deal with the regular things in our life plus the emotions that we were experiencing with the cancer and it really was a lot to take.  Don’t get me wrong though, we really did appreciate all of the support but sometimes we just wanted to hide away.

At this point all of my hair was gone and Mike could finally say that his hair was longer than mine.  The rest of our life did not stop in the fall of 2006 just because cancer had knocked on the door.  Our kids were back to a regular hockey schedule, music lessons had started and Mike was in the thick of his MBA studies.  I now had treatment #2 behind me and I could relax at home for the next three weeks until the next treatment.  I was doing a lot of reading, watching movies and scrapbooking.

So it was now two down and six to go.

It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

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