Thursday, August 23, 2007

I got to help someone today

I had chemo #7 today. While I was sitting in my chair, being infused, a "new girl" came in and sat down next to me. She was there with her husband. Through the course of talking, I learned that she learned yesterday that she had breast cancer. (The "How I Got Here" tale was pretty amazing.) She was still in between nervous, scared, "holy shit I have what?" and whatever else goes on inside. I remember it well.

She was really nervous about getting the IV put in. I asked her how her veins were for getting blood taken, and she said they were good. I told her that it shouldn't be a problem and that it's not too big a deal. She looked a little more at ease. When the nurse came over to put the IV in, I just kept on talking to her in an attempt to distract her a little. I know that it worked a little bit for me and hoped it would help her.

I mentioned that I've learned of many people who are breast cancer survivors, in hopes of adding to her collection of hope. We can all use as much as we can get. I told her that they're always happy to answer questions, no matter how silly the questions might seem, so if she has them, she should definitely ask.

We talked about side effects and the whole grand ordeal. She asked questions about my hair falling out, about being sick, about how I feel in general, etc. I was happy to talk with her about the whole thing.

Her meds took less time than mine, so she was done before I was, even though I had a head start. Before they left, they both thanked me for talking with them and giving them information, and we wished each other good luck.

Before I left for the day, a couple of the nurses thanked me for helping her.

It felt good to be useful :) I didn't want to come off as a know-it-all, and I didn't want to tell her that her experience will be the same as mine (so all of my statements had disclaimers before them), but her head was kind of swirling and she had too much and not enough information all at the same time. I'm glad we got to talk. I hope to see her again next time. We're both coming back on the same day.

In news about my body, Dr. Oncologist said today and one more, then another PET, then we'll see where we are. He was much more cautious with me today than he was the last time he talked about being done, which I appreciated. So, with fingers crossed, I'll hopefully have only one more treatment, and that will be on September 6.

He also, in a slightly different context, said that he had no doubt that I would be cured. That's a nice thing to hear from a tell-it-like-it-is oncologist.

I've already decided that this weekend will be the best post-chemo weekend I've had yet. Now just to make sure my body is on board with that...

That's the story of the day. More as it happens...

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