So, today I was supposed to meet my mom at her chemo appointment at 11:30.
She had forewarned me that the room wasn’t really that big and there may not be a lot of space…that I may be bored just sitting there with her for 2 hours while she has “poison”, as she calls it, pumped into her veins.
But I’m empathetic. Not enough to have my boobs cut off, but enough to want to sit through boring appointments with her! So, Auntie came over to the house to spend time with my handsome little lover boy and I set off.
We live about a half hour to forty five minutes from the hospital and oncology offices where my mom is receiving treatments. I decided to call my BFF on the way there and catch up since it had been way too long. As a result, the 20 minute traffic delay didn’t seem so bad, but I did arrive a 1/2 hour late to my mom’s appointment, thinking I had missed a good 30 minutes of toxic tonic time with my mom. My dad met me in the lobby and we headed in to see Bebe. She was in an examination room waiting for, what, she did not know…
Someone checked to see what it was my mom was waiting on, besides getting the show on the road. Apparently she had a doctor’s appointment first, so after that was all said and done, it was an hour into when my mom thought she’d be done with 1/2 her chemo.
We headed out to the chemo room.
Oh! My! Word!
Imagine a room as big as your family room with a dozen recliners in it, 6 and 6 opposite one another, and a dozen portable IV stands. Granted, there was a sky light, windows on one wall and a glass wall into the nurses station on the other wall, so there was ample lighting, but the scene was nothing short of a blood bank donation station or a gore-less scene from M.A.S.H.
I ASSURE you, there’s no way on earth that cute kids at Children’s Hospital are lined up getting chemo without space for their Mommy or Daddy to snuggle up next to them. What the freak? How wasn’t there room in such a setting, under such circumstances, for a loved one, friend, or family member to sit aside their chemo recipient and press on through 2 hours?
I tell you what, there’s got to be a better way! There were cute little old men and ladies in there, sitting in their comfy chairs, getting chemo all by themselves. The sweet little man who had had a stroke, snuggled under a warming blanket, stole my heart. The brave woman next to my mom, IV flowing, fighting her disease, seemed alone.
I smiled at each one. I made eye contact. I let their hearts know that I was sorry they were doing this, that I thought they were brave and strong.
And then I had to walk out of the room with my dad because there wasn’t room at the Inn for us.
My dad and I headed to the bistro and had a bite for lunch. After about 45 minutes, we were wrapping it up and my mom called my dad to tell him that she hadn’t even started her chemo.
So, yes, if you are doing all the math, we are now at the “15 minutes until I’m outta here” moment my mom was looking forward to and she hadn’t even had one red drop of her chemo yet!
They couldn’t find her port, for goodness sake!
After 4 painful pokes, the nurse called radiology, set up an x-ray for my mom, and, long story short, I called my mom at 5:00 after I had been home for 3 hours trying to get Ryan down for a nap, to see what the scoop was…she was in the car finally on her way home.
…her port had shifted a little in her arm so the nurse couldn’t find it, but they finally did with the help of the x-ray and my mom had her second round of chemo, by herself, in a room full of other alone people, all of whom were not her family members.
So, next time I go I’m taking my own folding chair, by golly, and I’ll blog an interview with my mom…and anyone else in there that will talk to me…because we’ll have 2 whole hours, or 5 and a half, or whatever…
I was praying for her (and you guys) yesterday on my bike ride at 4:15 eastern time. Which is, I think, 2:15 your time. For some reason God placed you heavy on my heart and mind. I thought you were writing at first that your mom was getting a clean bill of health, hence the delays. I’m sorry to learn of what actually happened. I was thinking if I need chemo in my life sometime I would like to have it drip while I ride a stationary bike. Do you think there’s a chance that could happen? It’s obvious that even though we have “modern medicine” that we still have a ways to go in treatment of cancer. I hope your mom keeps fighting the fight-with peace, optimism and most of all hope! I’ll close by saying I am still caring and praying and this is the truth that came to mind as I prayed and rode yesterday, “Greater is He that is in me…” May that keep you all going. Even when there are twists, turns and delays. xoxo
Oh girl! I love this. And it’s SO SO SO true. I have been in too many of those little teeny rooms and have shared your empathy for the other sweet people that are curled up in those chairs with slippers on their feet & blankets over their frail bodies. Wondering what their lives are like outside those tight walls. Mothers, fathers, sisters, people that are SO incredibly loved by their grandchildren, What do they do when they aren’t thinking about dying? Are they CEO’s, authors, doctors, school bus drivers, pastors, marathon runners, students…..2nd graders???
It’s a walk of patience & endurance for sure! It will bring you to your lowest point & strengthen you all at the same time.
I am praying for your sweet family as you move through this season!!
I love you. And your heart. And your humor. And your honesty.
And your strong momma.