Last night at 8pm, I got to the infusion room at the Cancer Center. It's really very beautiful, considering what happens there. It's a large room with an arching smoked glass atrium. In the center is a fish tank and lots of plants.
Also, in the center is a row of comfy chairs, each one with a pillow. As nice as they try to make it look, you know what it's there for. Chemo. I suppose if I do end up with a cancer diagnosis, this is going to be a familiar setting. But, I wasn't really thinking that way. I'm still convinced this is just the usual routine gland swelling that accompanies AIDS.
I was the only patient there at first since it was after hours. I checked in with the attendants and got an wristband so they'd know who I was. And another one with my medication allergies (sulfa drugs).
Then this adorable Asian nurse named Josh came over and said to just sit anywhere I liked. I found a nice chair and had my book with me. Figured this couldn't be half as bad as back 11 years ago when I had the catheter up inside my vein and we were doing TPN infusions. Still, I wasn't look forward to the poke. I still hate needles after all these years.
He said, "The needle is a bit long so it can sit in your vein, but it shouldn't be too bad. It has a plastic tip."
Now, why a plastic tip would make a difference I have no idea, but okey doke.
It hurt like hell for a few seconds, but then I got used to it and pretty soon, I didn't feel anything at all.
"It'll only take a few minutes to drain out blood to fill this bag, and then a couple of hours to replace it with the saline solution."
In case you haven't been keeping up, my blood is too thick, so we're watering it down just a bit.
After I got set, another guy came in and sat. He looked really healthy, but obviously had been there before because he had a port in his arm and they all knew his name. I wondered what he was there for.
I started reading my book, got about three pages into the new chapter and fell dead asleep. Slept through the whole procedure. (I love sleeping through procedures. I do it often.)
I was awakened by this very loud beeping noise. Josh came over, disengaged the pumping meter, unhooked me from all the tubes, gently pulled out the needle and that was it.
My first show since my surgery. With Blake Zolfo.
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