Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting the "JUICE"

Tomorrow is the DAY~the day for my infusion, the day I head down to JEFF to get the "JUICE".

I stole this term from my friend Fran. She always brings me a big container of delicious homemade soup the week I get the "JUICE" as she calls it.

I like that term, sounds better than drugs. When I get infused I always feel like I am glowing with an neon cast to my skin. I feel like I am emitting a unnatural like light from within my body from all the drugs they pumped into my veins! (Probably true!)

As I sit here thinking about my day tomorrow and not looking forward to it. I really can't help that feeling. I don't want to say I go kicking and screaming but I would kick and scream if Clint would let me!

I am just starting to feel good, feel like my old self. My sleeping patterns have returned to normal. I can wake up in the morning without a headache or runny nose or the runs or cold hands and feet or nausea. I am just starting to feel normal and here I go ~ back to get more "JUICE". You can see why I feel reluctant to head downtown.

It seems the weather is not cooperating this winter. I slipped and slided down last time and tomorrow doesn't look any more promising. Although I tell Clint I am NOT driving down in an ice storm, he ignores me, rightly so, because I would make any excuse I can not to go! He does have my best interest at heart, he knows this is for my own good, he knows and agrees with me  and says he doesn't blame me for not wanting to go but he is right~ I need to go.. just to get it over with if nothing else!

My day starts early. I try to get up with enough time for me to sit in my VOODOO room to write, stretch, mediate and prepare myself for Chemo if that is at all possible. I have my coffee, shower and pack my Chemo bag. I fill it with a good book, fuzzy socks, a magazine and a pad of paper to write on and a few candy bars! It also holds my overflowing big yellow folder with all my tests, notes and info on my disease. This is the folder where all my vital and not so vital signs are recorded and kept,
It is as fat as the Webster's Dictionary.

We leave the house around 7AM to fight the morning rush-hour traffic headed into town. We take Chestnut street. The two lane, one way street that empties into downtown Philadelphia.

The ride is mostly pleasant because instead of checking my phone or staring straight ahead, I look at the old churches and buildings that line this once elegant & beautiful street. It is now filled with convenience stores, fast food places and dollar stores. I have learned that to see beauty I must look up, above the first floors where the arches and stone balconies and carved gargoyles reside.

The beauty that was once Chestnut street lives above the first floor. The ride down is filled with old churches, their stones dusty and dirty from decades of living. We ride through Drexel University, through Penn campus, down into center city, where CVS and restaurants have taken over the once elegant buildings.

I look up, above the fast food stores to the carved niches and beautiful stonework of these old building. It holds my attention and keeps my mind off of the day ahead.

I plan someday to take a picture tour of these beautiful buildings when we can take a leisurely ride instead of trying to meet an appointment time!

As we come to 12th street the scenery changes to JEFF. I swear they own most of the building in a 5 block radius! We park in a lot, sometimes going up to the 7th floor to find a empty spot.

We walk to the Cancer center, up to the 2nd floor, the infusion floor, to access my port and get my labs done. In the course of this day I will be weighed and my blood pressure, temperature and vital signs will be taken and recorded up to 6 times!!!! I am assigned a chemo nurse, usually the same sweet girl. She is both caring and efficient, looking after me throughout the day with tender loving care. She is the one who comes and hangs the bags of chemo, one drug at a time.

I then go up to the 4th floor for sometime a very long wait to see my oncologist. I can't complain about the waiting time because when he does finally come into the room, he closes the door and is not rushed in the least bit. He takes his time answering my questions, checking my vitals, again, asking about my symptoms and always trying to find something that will make this journey through chemo more pleasant. Back down to the second floor for infusion.

And so I sit, sometimes for 5 or 6 hours as these drugs drip into my veins. The room is filled with the beeping of machines, the noise of TV's and conversation. Some sleep (Clint always finds time for a snooze) but I am not one of them, too busy and noisy and crowded with sometime 50 or 60 people in this one room! I come home with a pump that injects another drug into my port in the course of two days.

We leave late ~around rush hour again and once again I look up as we travel down Walnut street to get home.The buildings keep me entertained as we head home and I get in bed.

Another week, JUICED UP!!!!! Send me light and love tomorrow!!! get me through the juice!

1 comment:

  1. Just checking in. I hope you got over that woozy feeling by today...

    Yes, driving down Chestnut is an experience in itself. I too have noticed the beauty of the old buildings (the ones that are still standing that is)...

    Hope today is a good day for you, Susan.