Marc – take two

The first person Kevin and I saw at RVH yesterday was Amy.  Who wouldn’t feel all warm and fuzzy walking to the chemo suite for the first of six poisonings – only to be greeted by a young woman with a huge smile and hug to boot?

“My Mom told me you were coming in today, Stacey”, she taunted me.  “I had to make sure I was here to greet you!”

It made a difference.  Her smile, her warmth, her genuine interest in her patients’ (and friends’) well-being.

“I’ve got a room ready for you – chair #30 – right by the window so you’ve got a room with a view of the outside world.”

What else could I say but “great” and “thanks”?  There are no other words.  Not that I was in a rush to get started on chemo but, what the heck, why not enjoy the view?

“I’ll get your chart and get you ready to go.”

And off we went.  Kevin and I.  My heart racing.  My head spinning.  But not quite as bad as the night before.

And there “she” was.  Another familiar face.  Nurse Karen.  Another face – nurse Andrea.  It was like home-coming.  Smiles from everyone.  Greetings.  They were happy to see me – but not happy at the same time.  You know, that meant I had cancer again and that was not the objective.  From that moment on – I knew I was going to be in very good hands.  I was not going to worry about having an allergic reaction.  I was not going to worry about the speed of the meds being pumped in.  I really had no worries – other than my veins. Chemo kills veins.  I was no exception.  After a few pokes and prods with the needle, the team decided to try a new area of unexplored veins called, “dinner table” veins.  That worked.  We were away to the races.

A good-looking young couple was seated beside me where the woman was to begin her chemo.  She was a nurse and he, a teacher.  She took out a sandwich almost as soon as she sat down and offered me a piece.  I thought, “this is looking promising”!  Being in chemo for nearly a full day requires that one is seated beside someone interesting and compatible.  I seemed to have lucked out.  We chatted about our cancers (not supposed to do that) and life (good thing to do) and travels (always interesting).  I learned I needed a pic line and “she” reassured me that was a good idea.  Nurse Karen ordered one.  Done.  Fait accomplis.  Just like that.  “She” showed me her fashion wear designed to cover the pic area and how to order them on-line.  Kevin order me one.  Done.  Fait accomplis.  Just like that.

No sooner had I begun my pre-meds when Kevin jumped up and rushed to the door.  He left.  He came back arm in arm with “Marc”.  It was the same Marc that had reassured Kevin and I that stage IV cancer didn’t mean death.  The same Marc who reassured us that chemo works.  The same Marc who comforted me when he told me he had never got mouth sores, or pneumonia, or vomited.  He had tolerated chemo well and he was on a tough one.  I was elated to see him looking so well, yet, sad to see him back.  It is such a weird bitter-sweet thing to see someone you enjoy being with … but not wanting them to be in the same place with you.

Marc’s cancer had a few complications.  In spite of that, he was in such good spirits.  So positive.  “B and I have thought about you often and prayed that you were doing well.  Honestly, we talk about you a lot.  You two had such positive attitudes and always up-beat.”

“Kevin and I felt the same way about you, Marc.  You know I wrote a story about you?”

“Yes – and I lost the contact you gave me.  Or so, I thought.  I found it only the other day and was able to navigate to your web-site.  That’s how I knew you were here today and I came looking for you.”

“Did you read “your” story?”  I asked him.

“No.  I couldn’t find it.”

So, I gave him directions to find it.  “It’s called Mark and Bea.  I know I spelled your names wrong, but I intend to fix it.”

We chatted for a good half hour and parted with the promise to keep in touch.

“You know I’m going to have to write about this visit, eh, Marc?” I advised him.

“I look forward to reading about it, he said.”

No sooner had Marc departed when the entourage began.  First with my nurse Candi to check up on me – then Amy to be sure I was settled, then my friend Cathy to continue her routine of “never missing to visit me on a single chemo-therapy”.  Amazing.  I felt loved.  I didn’t care that I was unable to form words because of the benedryl administered via IV.  I was happy beyond words.  Then the girls came: Katya, Emily, and Katlin.  Then Ben.  Then I was done.  I had 4 more hours of being hooked up which Kevin and I spend in a haze of fatigue and chemo.  It was a long day.  But it had been a good day.

“You are all set, Stacey”, said Nurse Karen once I was unplugged.

Off we went.  Home.  Chemo # 1 down.  Five more to go – I hoped.

It was only fitting, I thought, that Marc was there today.  He and Bea were with us on the beginning of our last journey and he is with us on the beginning of this one.  Journey number one went well – gave me another year of life.  Here’s to hoping this journey will go just as well.  Maybe “Marc” was our good luck charm?  Maybe we were his?  Who knows?

I still find it odd to have friends that you really like but never want to see in that same place again.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in appreciation, Cancer Journey, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Marc – take two

  1. Judy says:

    Reading your blog is like reading a novel and turning each page with anticipation. But honestly, I am gripped with anxiousness for you. It takes courage to write like this and the details draw me in. I pray each round will go smoothly and that you are feeling okay. Hang in there.

    • inmycorner says:

      Ha – well, I wonder what kind of novel? I’d like to think it would be a romance of sorts – or humour? Turns out it seems to be more mysterious? I love the way you have encouraged me to continue to write. You are correct that there are times I struggle to write. I don’t know how much people want to read? Will there be reader fatigue? Will I repeat myself too often – or leave out too many details? Your note has helped to relieve at least one of my anxieties of late. Thank you for that. I am feeling well so far – no nausea (and that’s the best!!!) but I am very tired this time. Spent most of the day resting – and that’s not like me. Nonetheless, this is a small price to pay for life. Thanks, Judy, for your encouragement.

      • Judy says:

        Stacey, I’m so happy to hear you are writing because of my encouragement. A good blogging friend of mine died a month ago and I miss her. I think in my heart I am carrying her with me because she gave me so much encouragement to write.
        It is such an easy gift to give! And so beautiful because it makes us both feel good.
        Tonight I visited a good friend of mine who has multiple myeloma and has been receiving chemo. It was special to be with her. I am in awe of what it means to fight for your life. It is something that I have taken for granted because I’ve never had cancer.
        Keep writing, Stacey. It is inspiring.

      • inmycorner says:

        Oh dear. I am so sorry to hear about that. I’ll bet you miss her – it seems you are a person that – once engaged – is committed. I’m so glad you had her when you did – and I’m sure the reverse would also be true. I never had cancer before either so I know that side of the coin. It’s like parenting – or losing a parent. You never know what it’s like until you are in it. And I want to – once again – thank-you for your encouragement.

  2. Judy has said it all…

  3. What Maureen said about what Judy said.

  4. pepe says:

    The last line Stacey “friends that you really like but never want to see in that same place again” is so meaningful..i love the line..!! Keep writing 🙂

  5. April says:

    What a good day for such an anxious, dreaded one. It shows how good people can be, and how a positive mind helps ever so slightly, to give you the strength to make it through one more. Keep fighting, Stacey!

  6. karen markovic says:

    What a profound and truthful way of putting chemo….poisoning. There really is no other way to refer to it…..may your angels surround you with love. Blessings to you on Mother’s Day!

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