I wake up and from a distant dream, the light of the morning filters through the blinds and brings into focus the blurry reality of our spare bedroom. Couldn’t sleep last night and I took my insomnia downstairs hoping that Keely would at least get a bit of good rest without me thrashing about.
I can hear Theo, in his early morning chatter – wanting more of this and that… I love hearing his voice muffled through the walls. I can’t make out exactly what he is saying but I know instinctively what he is up to just by the tone of his voice.
Eyes open. Gathering. The daily remembering begins, like fat raindrops falling from the sky. You have cancer… You have to get up. You have to go the Dr today. You need a shower. You need breakfast. You need to remind Keely about the blood tests. You have to remember to pick up your pills. You need to… You have cancer… Shit.
First things first. You need coffee.
The morning is full of things. Mostly normal-ish things. Showering, making the bed. making breakfast, getting Theo off to school and such. Normal ends pretty much there.
The drive over to the hospital is quiet. There is a bit of tense conversation about the day. Re-repeating the things we cannot forget. Planning where to park. Talking about the weekend. Tomorrow is Theo’s birthday.
We get to the hospital. Park. First order of business is to give blood. The day before chemo you give blood to test your levels. White blood, Red Blood, Kidneys, Liver… all systems have to be ship shape.
(Just a little pin prick…) I think of Pink Floyd, Robert Graham, and a hundred things wash through my mind as they draw blood. Then we walk quickly from the labs to the Dr’s office. Stop by the infusion center to check in with them and make sure we have all of the details straight for the morning. We do. Then over to the oncology waiting room – get called into the appointment, get weighed in, gained two pounds. Take blood pressure, 120 over 81 – all good – and then wait to see the Dr.
He says all is well and we are ready to go. Orders two more prescriptions… one for Nausea, one for Pain. We talk about the questionable effectiveness of mushrooms. (Ahhhhhhh a ahhhh and you may feel a little sick…)
We leave and head to the pharmacy – Get pills – Also need to remember to get Zantac. Need to take Zantac before we go in tomorrow. We quietly make our way back to the car. There is a bit of tense conversation about lunch. Re-repeating all of the things that we cannot forget. Tomorrow is Chemo day. Tomorrow is Theo’s birthday.