It's Monday morning and we've finally started actually treating the cancer. Everything up until this point has been diagnostic. Today we're getting "chemo".
Our appointment was for 9am but we got here a little late, 9:10am, the nurses were fine with it. Karen's hooked up and drugs are streaming into her system. I get the feeling we've entered a bizarro-world.
We're in the chemo room. It's a hospital room with lots of comfortable chairs arranged in an open-plan. Patients are sitting in the chairs with a caregiver beside them, well most of them. All the patients here are 55 or older by my estimation and they are all characters.
There's Steve, the well spoken gentleman, he's quick to introduce himself. He's having trouble with his port. Nurses jokingly say he's trouble.
Then in walks Gerry, a Larry King look and sound-a-like. He himself is a doctor and he's quick to offer the medical point of view to the others who're complaining. Medice, cura te ipsum!
There's the skinny talkative Jewish sounding guy. He's been here over an hour and hasn't stopped talking since he walked in. He's got all sorts of stories about articles from the AARP. His insurance has been giving him trouble. He can't sit still at home but doesn't have the energy to do his yard work.
The lady next to Woody Allen is just nodding to his rants. God bless her.
There's a fish tank by Karen, and on the nurse's desk they keep a live frog in a tank by itself. It's like being in a weird Chemotherapy Breakfast Club.
Then there's Karen. She's getting anti-nausea meds, Oxaliplatin, Leucovorine, some kinds of Calcium thing, then 5-FU in a pump over the next 46hours. The nurse warns against drinking anything cold or opening the fridge without gloves on. She'll be here at least 5 hours today we think. So far so good. The tumors are quaking in their boots.