Here I Sit
Today was the day for my bi-yearly blood work, CAT scan, and ultrasound. Like many others, I experience the scanxiety that goes along with getting these tests and the long ride to the testing site doesn't help. I enter the building, get checked in, and then the wait begins.
Sitting here waiting for my procedures reminds me of all the waiting I had to do with Crystal, right here, at this same facility. Crystal is my middle child, and a couple of years ago, she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma. The memories of going through this with my daughter override my feeling of anxiousness. I remember how long we had to sit and wait for her treatments and how nervous and, occasionally, physically ill she got. It seems such a shame to make anyone sit and wait - sometimes for a very long time, for a treatment, that while life-saving, wreaks havoc on your body. But that's exactly what happened almost every time.
The first time
I remember the first day Crystal had to get chemo. We were both nervous but tried not to show it. On the walk through the city, we did a few silly videos, and walking helped the stress level a little bit. But then we got to the hospital and time seemed to stop. The first visit is always tough - and long. There's the paperwork, initial assessments, and the visit with the nurse and doctor. After this, it's back to the waiting room. Then, eventually, there's the treatment, When your name finally gets called it's hard to decide if you should be relieved, anxious, or should you run? The first time is the hardest.
Getting into the treatment room isn't any faster. Initially, it's just another holding site. Eventually, they do come in to get the treatment going. That also takes time because the treatment nurse has to find another nurse to do a medicine check with them. Then, finally, the treatment can be started.
Although the treatment itself takes time - at least another two hours (at this point we've already been there for about two hours!) it's started. The nurse does the push of the first few IV medications, then the longer IV medicines are started. Warm blankets and light snacks are offered, but Crystal got really sick from the chemotherapy and was never able to eat. The blankets were always needed.
Eventually, the treatment is over and the IV line can be removed from her port. I help Crystal out to the car and hope we don't hit too much traffic so I can get her home quickly to rest. It's a situation none of us want to find ourselves in, but there we were.
It's tough to think back to that time, but every time I go for tests I'm reminded. It was a horrible time for us, but I do feel grateful that we came out the other side with a cancer-free verdict. I know that's not true for everyone.
As always, wishing you all health and happiness!
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?