The New Kid in the Chemo Lab

Today is my first day at the infusion center.

Other than having a large needle taped to my arm for almost six hours, it’s a good day. Okay, I had a migraine before I started, probably because I was so nervous I barely slept last night. And okay, when I have a migraine (unfortunately, a chronic condition) a large fleet of trucks can run over me and I’d be oblivious — so it’s very possible I had a crappy day, but was just too migrained-out to notice — but I think the session went well.

I’m so relieved to have finally started treatment, I almost cry several times but I pretend it’s allergies.

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My husband Les drives me to the lab and stays for the first thirty minutes while the nurse explains the procedure. He asks several questions, all of which he’s asked before, but he hopes the new nurse will give different answers. I roll my eyes, first at him and then at the nurse.

When he returns, I still have fifteen minutes left on my infusion. He talks with me for five minutes to ascertain that I’m still alive, and then walks around the lab. He stops at several stations to talk to the other patients, spreading cheer and sharing stories.

The man I married does not speak to strangers. He can barely say two words to people I’ve known for years. But this man, this doppelganger, is so overflowing with kindness he brightens the entire room.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, he promised to cheer me up and be positive. If I quote the latest depressing online medical statistics, he says, “Well, then stop reading it.” This is the man who inhales data, who can never have too much information — but he wants me to look past the studies that say my odds may not be as hopeful as I’d like.

This is his way of showing his love, to vow that he’ll he’ll support me no matter what happens.

As for me — I’ll take the facts, thank you. I’m hard-wired to be a fighter, and I fight best when I see the enemy.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

6 thoughts on “The New Kid in the Chemo Lab”

    1. Positive thoughts, positive attitude: I do believe docs have solid (at least anecdotal) proof of their benefit. When my first husband was diagnosed with cancer back in the 80s, his oncologist have him a book on the power of visualization and positive thinking.
      I was amazed, because while I had come to believe in the strength of these tools, my husband had always mocked me for these “woo woo” beliefs.

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