Monday, September 17, 2012

Infusion Room

Well, we are fully in the process now. Upon arriving, you check yourself in at a kiosk and proceed to the lab. You sign in again, the nurse calls, and your blood is drawn to determine whether you have enough white blood cells to withstand having some more poison dumped in your veins. The blood chemistry takes an hour or so to process. In the meantime, we sometimes meet with the doctor to get a status. It's always the same, so far; things are going very well. Meaning, you haven't died from chemo and you seem not to have allergies. Actually, in Mom's case, it's even better than that. The doc recommended coming once a week for a smaller dose on the grounds that many patients have reported much more manageable side effects. That's surely true for her -- with the exception of the thinning of her gorgeous hair, she feels great. No tingling, no nausea, no mouth sores, no crippling constipation, no taste like metal. It's truly miraculous.

When you leave the lab, they give you a beeper, so you know when you will be called back for infusion. Once it goes off, you walk through a swinging door into quite a sight -- a cancer ward out of your nightmares. There are 32 chemo chairs in the room, which is huge and brightly lit and filled with nurses. People range from age from the 20s on up, but it's pretty clear that age is the predominant predisposer to cancer -- 60% at least are over the age of 60. Or they look it anyway.