Yesterday was a big and long day. Mom and I woke up at 5:00am to get to the hospital by 6. My surgery was at 7. It was so early that even the main reception wasn’t open and we had to go to the emergency reception.
I was very apprehensive about the surgery. Anesthesia already gives me the heebie geebies. Unnatural sleeping while someone does things to your body, no gracias. And even the “routine” port seems a bit daunting. Oh, ok, you are simply going to put a line directly to my heart. Yeah, that sounds safe. So needless to say, I was not in the best head space. I put on my UAS t-shirt to remind me of all of the people starting their first days back at school and all of the students I was fighting to survive for. And psychedelic pants to brighten the room and my mood. And my brand new Mother Fucking Girl Power socks curtsy of Carmen Watts. These arrived to me at the perfect time. Thanks, girl!
Mom and I were shown into my room. It was a basic two bed hospital room. The nurse took my vitals and asked some questions. Then I was quickly distracted by the surgical outfit that they make you put on. It was either Golly Green Giant or Santa’s Elf. The underwear were my favorite. Mom really liked the giant shoes. We had a great time playing around and tried to think of all of the Halloween costumes we could make out of the items.
At about seven, they came and got me to take me to surgery. The whole process was supposed to take an hour. Ok, I can do anything for an hour. I deep breathed my way through the halls and into the pre-op waiting area. It was kind of overwhelming. Patients were lined against two walls facing each other, all in their golly green outfits. Nurses hustled around in green scrubs asking questions, taking notes, and placing charts. Spanish was flying everywhere. Then, the MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN in the HISTORY OF MEN came walking towards me. “Kimberly, I am Federico, your anesthesiologist.” Of freaking course you are. So you will put my to sleep and kiss me awake. That’s how this works, right?! I lost so many IQ points that day. I put women kind right back into the dark ages just by looking this Adonis in the eyes. And then the sexy tattooed long haired nurse came over. He looked like he should be on the cover of a romance novel about a Indian savage who ravashes the innocent prairie girl and teaches her the ways of the world. He did everything but kiss my hand. I mean I knew the British Hospital was top service, but this was over the top fantasy come true shit. And I wasn’t even drugged yet!
Federico and the Wild Savage Nurse wheeled my bed into the operating area. And then all of the anxiety whooshed back. Rows of doors with ongoing surgeries whizzed by. Some of the doors were open and I could see lights and sleeping patients. Doctors were cleaning their hands in the hallway’s stainless steal sinks. My doctor was sitting in a little chair right inside the last operating room, number 10. I was hoisted onto the table and Federico looked into my eyes and I swear put a spell on me because two seconds later I had an IV and was staring into light while oxygen pumped through a mask. There was no counting, no awareness of drifting, just out and waking up in post-op with cotton mouth, a sore throat, and pain in my neck. Federico came by, sexy nurse came by, and my doctor came by. I honestly don’t think I said one word to any of them. I think I gave a lot of thumbs up and head shakes. I don’t wake up well from regular sleeping, let along artificially induced sleeping.
I was wheeled back into the room where Mom was waiting, a little over the original hour time. And I was a whole lot more drugged.
Then, we waited and waited and waited and waited. I thought we were heading right to chemo, but no. We waited for god only knows what because I couldn’t really understand what the nurse was telling me. Mom and I did have to do a shirt swap. My tshirt was not conducive for where my port line was and Mom had on a flowy shirt. I must say, the UAS shirt looked great on Mom even though she thought it was tight. Those pilates are making her one sexy mama! Four hours and way too many American Ninja Warrior episodes later, we were finally heading to day care. I got a new box this time. Box number nine. And the system was a little different. Because the port is an incision and the tube feeds to my heart, everyone has to be careful so I don’t get a heart infection. All of the nurses gowned and masked up to administer the chemo. And the chemo went a lot faster since we were not dealing with veins having to be flushed and pain.
Then came time for lunch. All I wanted in the world was a turkey sandwich with mayo and lettuce. But you cannot get turkey here AND I am not supposed to have deli meats. So Mom thought of the next best thing. A Mcdonald’s chicken wrap. Probably the farthest thing from my cancer diet, but man did it taste good. And the Diet Coke. I could have made love to that Diet Coke.
But besides eating and watching a little TV, most of chemo was me in this state…
All of the drugs and events of the day tuckered me out. I was done. I came home and plopped on the coach and watched Yentl. Then ate some oatmeal and fruit. By around 9:15 I was done for the day. Bed was calling. And my dreams were filled with Federico and sexy nurse and a Mcdonald’s chicken wrap and Diet Coke.
I am half way finished with my chemo. Done with round 3. I was going to do a whole Bon Jovi dance thing “OHHHHHHH, I’m half way there. OOOOOHHHHH, living on a prayer. Take my hand. We will make it I swear. OOOOOOHHHH living on a prayer.” But I was too tired. So instead, I put on my new hat from my god mother, Darryl. And told Cancer to go fuck itself. I am winning. Even with a few more holes in me.