Top Ten Things People Talk About at the House of Chemo

in no particular order...

  1. How many sessions of chemo have you had?
  2. Are you doing radiation?
  3. Have you lost your hair?
  4. Diarrhea or constipation?  
  5. What's your diagnosis?
  6. What's your chemo regimen?
  7. Do you hate these new needles, or what? (The FDA just recalled our old ones - to make them safer for our healthcare providers) We all hate them, nurses and patients together.  It feels like they're pushing a dull stick into your port.  
  8. What surgeries/procedures have you had lately?
  9. It's freezing in here.  (It has to be cold in the room where they mix our chemo, so it's pretty much cold everywhere.  They have lots of blankets at the House of Chemo)
  10. How are your family/friends handling this?  How are you handling how your family/friends are handling this? (We do not talk about this in front of the rest of you. Cancer takes you to a place that no one else can follow.  Unfortunately.)  
  11. How come these magazines are from 2004?  (okay, that was eleven things)
Does this sound sad?  It's not, really.  Not most of the time.  You would be surprised at how much we laugh at the House.   We laugh about this being one of the only places on earth where you will discuss your bowel health with people you have never met before and not even think twice about it.  We laugh because anywhere else it would be rude to ask someone if they'd lost their hair, but here it's routine.  You make instant friends here, and you are delighted for them when they finish their final treatment.  They will come back and look for you when they have their blood checked, and you'll hug and kiss like long lost friends.  You'll talk with people you never would have looked at twice before.  Cancer is a bonding experience, and a great leveler of the playing field.  It knows no color, no socio-economic status.  It gets the pretty people and the not-so-pretty people; the young and the old.  It brings us together in ways we never could have imagined.  I thank God for the people I have met here; for what they have shared with me and for the prayers we exchange for one another.  For giving me opportunities on a regular basis to help someone who is having a harder time than I am.  For allowing me to open a door for someone, or to tell a first-timer that there's nothing to be afraid of when they sit down in that chemo chair; that it will be okay.  That we're all here to support one another.  That they are not alone.    


David said...

Hang in there! You are over half way through treatment.


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