I never imagined this day would be an event in my life. Eddie was driving me to my first chemotherapy treatment. I felt like I was going to be sick just from the thought of it. Again I asked, "How is this happening to me?"
Upon arrival, the nurse was gunning for me She had been trying to get a finger prick of blood for months now and I had been able to avoid it on the guise of just being there to chat with the doctor. Today, however, there was no getting out of it.
The prick itself should be no big deal, but for me it was monumental. The official start of life-altering, horrific treatment had begun. I, of course, burst into tears, on the edge of uncontrollable crying. The nurse patiently waited for my composure to return, then led me to an exam room.
After re-analyzing my decision with the doctor, he comforted me, saying that he knew I was going to do well. We looked at each other and I saw so much compassion in his eyes. He patted me on the back, and with that I was led to the dreaded infusion room.
There were eight recliner chairs in the room. I was told to sit wherever I liked. "What if I don't like?" was the actual thought scrolling through my mind. I chose a "centrally located" chair with a good view of the door. I wanted to keep my escape always in front of me. One other lady was already seated… smiling pleasantly at me. Following brief introductions, her IV was started. My turn was next.
My IV did not go as smoothly. After much pain and embarrassing tears (okay- loud "guffaws") we were up and running, or dripping to be exact. I was infusing. I can hardly write about it without feeling nauseas all over again.
As I began to calm down, having made it through all the preliminary stuff, a very special day began to unfold for me (did I just say that??). I found myself being warmly welcomed into this new exclusive chemo club. I met the most beautiful group of people. Most had no hair- a membership requirement- but that did nothing to diminish their physical beauty. They were radiant with sparkly eyes and genuine warmth. Everyone shared bits of their story… most wanted to hear mine. All could relate and a deep bond was present. I was given tips on scarf tying, helpful websites, foods that don't make you nauseas and other chemo club tidbits.
The discussion was wonderful and life-giving. I got phone numbers and even a special hug from a woman who was finishing her last treatment. She waited for me to return from the bathroom just to embrace me and wish me well. She told me that she would be praying for me- that I would make it.
Seven hours later I was on my way, feeling very encouraged and hopeful. It had been a good day (did I just say that??). Psalm 91:9-12 "If you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you: no plague (cancer) will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't ever hurt your foot on a stone." It really was a monumental day of being infused with the love and peace of God. He had sent His angels to protect me and fellow cancer sojourners to speak reassuring words to me. My new, hairless chemo club was a membership gift God was giving me.
Did I just say that??