7:00 a.m. – wake up, pack back with enough supplies to last a two-week stay in hospital.
7:30 a.m. – decide there are not enough snacks, go to grocery store.
7:40 – buy juice, watermelon, hummus, crackers
7:47 – try to get a coffee from Nova Era, too slow, leave and catch a cab to PMH instead.
8:05 – drop my blue hospital card at reception, request a bed, sit and wait to be called.
8:17 – listen to a patient talk about how her last chemo was delayed. Receptionist says, “Everything happens for a reason!” in an all-too chipper voice.
8:18 – do not punch receptionist.
8:21 – fuss around on facebook.
8:25 -receptionist asks if I’ve repeated my blood work. Wasn’t on my appointment slip, so no.
8:30 – go to ambulatory care to have blood draw. Have the same conversation about my youth, skin, doctor, and cancer type as I do every time that particular blood technician takes my blood. Apparently I am “very young” and bring too much stuff with me to chemo. You sit here for seven hours then decide how much is too much.
8:39 – back in chemo waiting room. Two men are talking about SUVs, “Once you’ve driven in an SUV, you can never, ever go back to driving a car because you get used to sitting up so high. Really, you definitely can’t go back to a car. You just have to always drive an SUV after, you can’t go back.”
8:41 – do not punch SUV man.
8:57 – check out the reading material of guy next to me. No dust jacket so I have to be obvious about trying to figure out the title. It’s Tina Fey’s Bossypants.
9:13 – observe that Fey-reader and I are the only under-40s in the room. We are also, coincidentally, the only ones who have come alone.
9:16 – young redhead shows up with her boyfriend and nullifies my previous note.
9:27 – boyfriend teaches young redhead how to play a game on the iPad. She is very encouraging of him. “You are doing so well! Look at how you did that thing with the thing!”
9:38 – young redhead gets up to go to the bathroom, gets called for her chemo chair. Boyfriend loudly exclaims, “She just left to the bathroom!” YR returns immediately, cheeks noticeably pinkened. Most of the room laughs.
10:04 – my pager goes off, I am sent to a chair. I wanted a goddamned bed.
10:15 – settle in to my chair, accept several packages of tea biscuits from volunteer.
10:36 – get hooked up to pre-meds.
10:41 – get up to pee. Notice my face is instantly puffy from saline.
10:45 – steroids kicking in. Feeling Hulk-like and hungry.
11:17 – switch to Benadryl.
11: 23 – Benadryl making me feel spacy.
11:31 – get up to pee. Again.
11:33 – man across from me talking to other patient, quotes Henry James: Life is a predicament which precedes death.
11:45 – get up to pee. Again. (Wash, rinse, repeat every 45 minutes or so for the rest of the day).
11:47 – sleep for an hour and a half. Rest of the day is a blur of Kailey, roti from Mother India, and more drugs.
5:30 – home. More sleep. Visit with Scott and Dara. More sleep.