Goodbye, Old Friend

I learned today that I am going to soon lose a very close and new best friend due to some dramatic turns in my blood cancer. Who would have thought it was going to happen? In so many ways I have mixed emotions but sad to see him go. He made a very deep impression on me and the scars of his leaving will be a reminder.

By way of background, we met through a mutual acquaintance in the surgical center of a local hospital. He was very unassuming and quiet, but in a very new way he certainly stood out. I knew instantly that we would soon become the best of friends. Like any close friend he could be a real pain especially during the first few weeks as we got to know each other.

Things slowly settled down as I learned to trust this new friendship, and it turned out he was always there whenever I needed him. Every time I went in for a chemo treatment, he quietly offered support as the various chemo drugs were injected into my body.

My new buddy is at his best in the infusion suite

During COVID-19, when it was impossible to have the visitors, that said he was with me. Like clockwork every three weeks my new best friend and I would renew our growing friendship. Together we would take the one-mile drive to the local infusion center. He never said a word but patiently waited as the intake nurse took my temperature and asked if I had traveled out of the country. Sure, enough we had not. When asked if I met anyone who showed any signs of COVID such as fever or coughing. Again, the answer was always no. After passing the screening, a thin white band was placed on my wrist and the two of us would quietly go off to wait until my name was called. The intake nurse would always make some small talk as she weighed me in, my temperature and blood pressure were taken, and off I went to the infusion suite. This is where my new buddy was at his best.

He never complained and needles did not phase him. He stuck it out and his favorite role was just to be there and help me on my journey. When my chemo treatment found me in isolation for 7 days at the hospital, he was there. When I needed a surgical intervention due to a chemo-induced bowel blockage, again he was there offering full support.

Goodbye, old friend

Now after weeks and months, I learned my new best friend will be moving on. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am to see him go. You see my new best companion for months on end was a chemo port and while he offered wonderful support, he was really getting under my skin lately. Only about the size of a quarter and he was installed surgically under my skin and attached to a major vein.

The departure of my new best bud signals that for the foreseeable future and hopefully longer, I will not need chemo infusions. While I am pleased to see him go in a strange way, I know am going to feel a bit uncomfortable not seeing or feeling that reminder lump just a few inches below my collar bone. Is it not amazing how we can get attached to things and that remind us of the many journeys we have taken in life?

Goodbye, old friend. It was so nice to see you go.

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