This all feels pretty real now. Day 1 of 112-Day chemotherapy treatment – part 1 of cancer treatment plan – is here. I sat in the oversized chemo chair for 3 hours today. My chemo nurse, Peggy, is kind, experienced and funny. A good mix of desired personality and professionalism anyone would want in a nurse. I’m in good hands.
Peggy has been thorough in telling me what to expect as the chemo gets going…and as the chemo settles in over the coming days. All the side effects she mentions are expected…the degree to which I’ll experience them is impossible to predict.
As I sit in a room full of people that do not look like me, nor each other, it strikes me how different we all are. And while we each fight a unique beast, we are all fighting a beast that wants to kill us. Everyone one of us in here has taken a vastly different journey through life, and yet all of our paths cross right here, right now. We look at each other with knowing eyes over the Covid face masks we all adorn.
The chemo cafe is set up in quads, though we do have plenty of space. My quad is now full, though it wasn’t when I arrived. The woman across from has a been-here-many-times vibe, and she can tell it’s my first visit. She gives me eyes of encouragement.
Another woman kitty corner from me feels newer to this than the other woman, but she is not brand new, her chest port has healed. She arrived after me today, completing our quad. She is about my age. She looks at me with familiarity and kindness.
To my left is a tattooed gentleman that looks as though he’s had a hard life…or a hard chemo treatment. He’s no newbie either. He looks at my ink and, as if he had quickly decided I was ok because of my tattoos, he looks at me with sad eyes that long to connect.
Getting chemo means getting a host of meds to offset side effects of chemo, and more meds to offset side effects of those. I leave the chemo cafe in route to the pharmacy.
Feeling a bit drowsy and slightly nauseated, I head home to hug my family and take a nap as the chemo starts to do its job. More to some soon.