For lack of better words, was a compendium of unorganized paranoid schizophrenia health care at its finest. Like I said before, I had to switch from Harvard Vanguard to Beth Israel hospital right when I started to feel really comfortable with all the staff at HV. And it was convenient and private and I felt like they were really personal with me. BUT in the middle of my treatment I had to be yanked out because of insurance switches and it was all really stressful and annoying. I just wanted to get to the treatments ASAP so I can get this shit done and move on with my life. Pardon my french.
My CHEMO was scheduled around 9am. 2.5 weeks after my first time. Darren and my dad took me this time and they were really nice and wanted to just stay with me through the whole thing to make sure I was comfortable with the new place and my dad wanted to meet my new DR. who was a woman this time- but soon as I got there it was pretty much chaos.
Before any chemo could be done- esp. if you are at a new place, you have to take your blood sample, and the Dr. has to clear it and THEN order your chemo. This wasn't really explained to me over the phone so when I got there I had to go to the Hematology Dept. first. Between your labs being drawn and the Dr. approving this- it takes about 1-1.5 hours of waiting. So my annoyance already began. To make matters worse, my oncologist had faxed over all my paperwork and info and Hematology seemed to not know anything about me. When I went in to draw blood they tried to stick a needle into my arm which is NOT what they are supposed to do when I already have a port in my chest. So I had to explain that as well.
On top of that, they had moved all their staff/depts. around, so everyone was lost- so they stuck me in this random room that were between offices down a long a confusing corridor. The Cancer Center was actually 2 floors up and I was supposed to have chemo done up there but they thought it would be best to just have me in one place and just have one needle stuck in me instead of shifting me around, which I understood- but it really didn't make me feel comfortable. The room was small and had 2 "chemo chairs", a curtain partition, and of course a freakin' Georgia O'Keefe poster from the frikkin' MFA. HAHAHA!!!!
I swear to GOD I laughed out loud at the irony. I seemed to never can escape this place ever since I left- maybe it's a sign I'm supposed to go back working there. Who knows. I posted this on my FB weeks ago:
THE MFA IS WATCHING ME
The nurse that helped me with everything was actually really nice and funny and she genuinely felt bad everything was so chaotic so I tried to just grin and bear it. I felt bad my brother and dad were just aimlessly sitting there so I actually told them to just leave and that I would call them it was all done. My dad had mentioned he was going to do some holiday shopping anyways, and since I had to wait for the lab samples, there was no point for them to be sitting around for an additional 3-4 hours when they can just do what they needed to do and not waste time. After a lot of re-assurance and my fab brother grabbing me some lunch from downstairs, both of them left.
So here I am alone again. Seems to be the theme LOL. But it's okay because I'm a type of person that prefers to do tough things alone sometimes. I'm a big girl and I can handle bad things.
Right after my brother bought me lunch, a nice lady came into the room to offer me snacks and drinks. She introduced herself and told me she was a cancer survivor and that she was part of the volunteers that came around to help support others that were going through the same thing. I thought it was really nice and sweet and she mentioned that they would bring me lunch later :) Well, you know me, I love food so that made me smile. LOL.
Chemo was honestly very tough this time around. And I'll tell you why. A few days prior, my hair just started to fall out of NO where. I was fine for about 2 weeks then one day my hair just started thinning out and looking really unhealthy. Within 3-4 days, clumps of it were falling out....
BYEBYE BAD ROOTS
Although I knew it was coming and it was going to suck, it definitely is weird to look at the hair you've had with you for 31 years just drop out. Random memories just rushed to my mind- proms, dates, summer beach hair, all the millions of highlights and horrible dye jobs I've done to myself over the years. Bad bangs, bad haircuts- all of that made me think of how far I've come. It's like I had a 30 second bunny movie of my hair. (HEHE) .
I know in my past post I said that the thought of it falling out made me cry for the first time - but now it was annoying me so FREAKING much that it was getting on everything and everywhere that I just got over it in my mind and had my brother help me cut it off with scissors at first. Eventually someone nice helped me do it with a razor a week later after chemo.
Aside from the hair, the nausea this time around was horrendous and gross. The first time I had chemo they gave me actual meds that I had to take right there and then each day for the next 2 days. Instead here, they gave it to me via IV and for some reason I think it didn't work as well. I also was being paranoid and kept thinkin' the anti-nausea meds weren't being pumped through the IV correctly because it didn't seem to drip into the line that was connected to my port but I think I was hallucinating. LOL. This time as the nurse was "pushing" that nasty KOOL-AID into my body- my new DR. came down and found me. She was very eclectic and in your face and I liked that - but the first thing she said was "so I heard you got laid off- that SUCKS" . Geez. Thanks for bringing that up again. Then she asked me really direct questions that were personal and kind of embarrassing in front of the nurse. The nurse was giving me gentle looks since she was familiar with this Dr. so I just tried my best to answer without blushing. The nurses seemed to be annoyed she was sitting with her laptop interviewing me in the other chemo chair and she even did a quick breast exam on me as I was gettin chemo done. Quick and efficient I suppose. HAH.
As I was finishing up my chemo and calling my brother, an older couple came into the room. The husband clearly had cancer and the wife looked really frazzled and upset but she had the most amazing boots ever. Like I'm talking this woman was probably in her late 50's early 60's and she ROCKED these thigh high ( you know I love the thigh high) HOT black high heeled boots and my eyes almost watered. I even told her so, and she finally relaxed and cracked a smile. LOL
Putting that aside, I could see they were both annoyed because they apparently had been waiting for a few hours and were over looked and I felt bad and it almost felt like I was invading their personal space. At first they didn't really talk to me but at some point the husband had to use the bathroom in the room and you know it's a difficult thing to witness/watch/go through since the meds really fuck up your stomach BIG TIME. The wife was right in there helping him and just supporting him and it was really nice to see that love has no boundaries :) . That to me is def. true fucking love when someone can do stuff like that for you without asking. And it touched me. And you know I'm not a mushy cheesy type of girl on the surface, but certain times, it comes out.
When they were back in the room, the husband started talking to me and asking me light questions. he felt bad I was so young and he said that his younger son just found out he had cancer too. I felt so horrible for him. For his family to go through all this fucking bullshit not once but fucking TWICE!!!!!! I didn't even know what to say.
As I got up to get my stuff together, he winked at me and said:
"Hang in there Kiddo, you'll be fine". :)
When I got home I legitimately was so sick I could not eat or sleep or move for the next 24-48 hours. The nausea is so overwhelming that there are no proper ways to describe it. it feels like I drank gallons of vodka and it's just sitting there in my stomach and I can't throw up. It is THE most disgusting, uncomfortable, mind fucking thing ever. This is what I loathe about chemo. it just fucks with your head so bad and makes you so sick that you can't even function. I really felt depressed and that is when all of this just hit me. I STILL have 2 more rounds of this medication to fucking deal with and I really didn't know if I can realistically handle it.
After about 2 days I could eat lightly again. I'm talking some old skool Campell's and Progresso chicken noodle soup in a can type of shit. I was never really hungry but would eat to not feel weak. It's really weird because chemo almost makes you not really taste your food. After a few more days my mom started cooking all the soups and traditional Chinese food I love (sorry no chicken wings and pork fried rice here) and although everyone was being really accommodating to me I was being a total moody bitch because I was going stir crazy at my parents. i was craving being at my apt just so I can have some breathing space but I felt fortunate I have parents who support me throughout most of my adult life with just about anything so I kind of just sucked it up and tried to less of a bitch.
I also was on edge because my nurse practioner had sent over refills of my scripts to my local CVS and it took like 4 days of back and forth and my poor mother checking on it for it to go through. SIGH. I'm hoping shit will go through smoothly next time or I really will lose it.
Anyhow, I know this is dragging but I can at least say I'm having a lot of fun with wigs.
Thanks to my friend Lisa <3 (all the way out of state) who was kind enough to send me one before any of my &^%$#@! chemo started! It def. came in handy when all of my hair fell out. I still can't believe I'm bald....
THANKS LISA :)
Anyhow, for any that are interested in fun and funky wigs-they are reasonably priced: ( http://www.voguewigs.com ) I have since ordered 2 more wigs that are ridiculously long, curly, girly and fabulous. Why not? I'm only YONG once :)
As Darren said:
"Girl, that looks better than your normal hair"