(This week’s amazing art is brought to you by my friend Fish McGill, a real live artist who sells his stuff and makes money on it and is involved in all kinds of cool collaborative and innovative art projects. He is also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.)
Later this week I’ll go to my eighth chemo treatment and when I’m done, I’ll be two-thirds the way through my first round. I CANNOT WAIT to go. Like seriously can’t wait. You might think it’s because I’ll be just that much closer to reaching a major milestone in my treatment. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong.
No, the truth is that I can’t wait to go to chemo because compared to parenting, it’s the balls.
Picture this. At home, I have a 5 1/2-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. Despite the fact that they are great kids and the cutest I’ve ever seen, I spend my hours doing stuff like feeding, entertaining, driving, placating, directing, and cleaning up after my two miracles of nature. Although these activities fill 90 percent of my waking hours, my house still manages to be in a constant state of disarray. And when at the end of the night I can no longer keep my eyes open, I have a mental list of about 5 million things I wish I could have done that day, like watch more Shameless (UK version) on Netflix or go to yoga classes.
Now picture this. Every week when I go to chemo, either my awesome mom or my charismatic and witty Aunt Jane pick me up for door-to-door-service to MGH. I get to hang out in the passenger’s seat, chillax, and have some adult conversation as we cruise into Boston.
When we arrive and take the elevator to the eighth floor with its stunning views of Boston and Cambridge, I see the same wonderful chemo nurse who is assigned to me. Nurse J is young, cool, has great taste in TV shows and food (just like me) , and is from Vermont (major plus in the “cool” column). We catch up on life as she accesses the port in my chest to draw blood for that day’s treatment.
Later on, after my bloodwork proves I’m healthy enough to get chemo, Nurse J sets me up in my own private room and asks if I’d like a blanket or anything to drink. Nurse J also offers me the plentiful services of MGH’s cancer unit to enjoy as I get infused with chemotherapy. A few weeks ago, a masseuse came to my room and massaged my feet and performed some reflexology. Last week, Nurse J offered the acupuncturist.
All the while, I get to spend time with my mom or aunt reading trashy mags, catching up on family gossip, and tackling important issues. For example, a few weeks ago, I helped my aunt set up Ebay on her smartphone.
More often than not, I partake in the act that becomes indulgent and even kind of exotic as soon as you become a parent… napping. At some point during my treatment, which takes a few hours, a volunteer– sometimes a handsome young male– comes around offering sandwiches and snacks off a rolling cart.
I typically get chemotherapy on Thursdays. This week it’s Friday. It’s going to be a looooong wait.