You probably think this post is about you

I’ve had 3 major infusions and 3 little ones.  I’m by no means the go-to person on all things chemo, but I’m starting to feel a little bit like a pro.  The last 3 times I’ve gone there have been new people sitting near me asking all of the same questions I did on my first day.  And I sit there and remember how terrifying that first time is.  Part of me wants to reach to and let them know it’s going to be OK.  The other part of me just wants to kick back, enjoy my Benadryl buzz and grub out on the munchies it gives me.  What can I say, I’m selfish like that sometimes.

The one new guy I’m pretty sure was also on team colon.  When you leave the hospital with a new colostomy, they send you home with this travel bag to put emergency supplies in while you’re out and about.  I usually try to keep on in my car.  This guy very adorably had his clutched under his arm and that look of sheer terror when he say down.  Now anyone else wouldn’t know what that bag is, but I do.  And I feel for him thinking that he had to bring the bag with him.  He’ll get used to it eventually and will leave it in the car.  But the newness of it and there’s a feeling like everyone in the world knows what is it and is staring at you.

Last week there was a new lady.  I’m not sure what kind of cancer she has.  She was asking the million questions as they were trying to find a vein for her hep-lock.  They had trouble but eventually got it.  Not without pain though.  After, the nurse brought over information for her about the power port.  It’s the thing in my chest that they use to give me my infusions.  After the nurse left, I told the woman that I had a port if she had any questions about it.  She asked a few questions and we started talking about it.  She said she was hesitant about it.  After a little while she said, “guess it’s one more vanity thing to deal with”.
While I would like to not have it, of course, I never really gave much thought to it like that.  They recommended it in the hospital and I just did it.  I really didn’t even know what it was going to look like. I just knew it was part of this process.  So I wondered what else she was told she’d have to do like, lose a breast?  Hair?  I guess I was resigned to all of that once I found out I had cancer.

You can’t have cancer and be vain.  You just can’t.

Unless you have a very mild cancer, you will have to deal with some kind of scar, bag, hair loss or some kind of change to your body.
So far I haven’t had to deal with losing my hair, but it was one of the first things I mentally prepared myself for.  I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but I figured if it has to go I’ll have a mohawk for a day or two and then enjoy the low-maintenance head.
I was really not thrilled when I found out I was going to have a colostomy.  I mean, seriously, who wants to poop out of the side of their abdomen.  It is amazing technology yet horrifying. Especially when you first get it.  And I can tell you I’ve had my moments with it already that have not been pleasant at all.  Plus it’s difficult to hide.  I’m vain in that aspect of it, but I know it’s what needed to be done to save my life.  It’s all part of the process.

I feel bad for that woman.  Cancer is hard enough without the insecurities of vanity.  She will either buck up or she’s in for a tough road.
I’m happy I don’t care.  I guess it’s made that part of this journey pretty easy for me.


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