There are dates and there are dates. Some dates you go to because you just want to meet that guy and then there are dates that you go to because your friend told you: “I met this guy and he would definitively be something for you! I can see you two together. Perfect match!” You hear your friend’s excited voice and you just think: “Really?” And then your friend might come up with: “You know, the guy is great, he might have a little bit of a reputation, but I still think you’d be an awesome match. Just give him a chance and then you can work it out. Anyways, nobody says you have to marry him!”
I still remember that day at the beginning of January when my husband told me: “I just talked to the doctor. I have good news and bad news. Don’t worry, the bad news is only short term and you might feel pretty shitty, but the good news is overall it will be better longterm.” Yes, I admit since that first phone call when I learned I have cancer, I designated my husband as my middle man and refused to pick up any more phone calls from doctors.
So that’s how it started. Our mutual friend decided I should go on a first date with a guy with a bad reputation. My friend decided I should try it for sure: “Don’t worry, it won’t last too long, just 12 dates over 12 weeks.” Trust me, I was not that into it, way too often if you ask me.
On Friday, February 10th we went for that anticipated first date. We handed our little guy into the capable hands of my mom-in-law while my mom, my husband and I hopped in the car and went to the hospital. We decided our first date should be in a more public space than the intimacy of an infusion center where we will be continuing our dates. I showed my mom the hospital store with wigs and all kinds of head coverings and then it was time to go.
Waiting room – they call my name, on time. I guess it’s the first date when you want to make the right impression. Everybody is in blue, they really do try to make you feel less like in hospital, like you are actually fine. It works. The nurse is great, laughing, making everything feel nicer and calmer. “Ok, so first I will give you some saline and steroids, than Benadryl. That one might make you high. Than there will be the actual treatment. Don’t worry, I will need to dress in my special coat. It’s a rule – but don’t panic,” my nurse announces cheerily.
“Am I going to get muscles from the steroids?” I just had to ask it, right?
“No, that’s a different kind of steroids.” Pity, I could have look so toned.
The room is awesome. With a special chair just for me. Side chairs for my fan club, and man, they even have tea and coffee! I might even like it here. They know how to seduce people.
The slow drip, drip, drip starts. My mom’s face is not that cheery, my husband is taking pictures. I have a feeling it is easier for him to look through the lenses. So it feels less real.
Oh, man the Benadryl really does hit me. I feel happy and relaxed. The doctor’s are smart, they really do know how to make you feel like nothing is happening. Just drip, drip, drip one big bag of Benadryl and you will have a calm and happy patient.
Now the nurse is finally in her white coat. I am so high I cannot even look straight. My mouth suddenly feels like I licked a toilet bowl straight after a disinfectant was poured into it. It passes pretty quickly though. And still that drip, drip, drip.
I feel like time flies.
I feel cold.
I get a warmed up blanket, one, two, three. Except for the feeling of cold, there is no reaction. I even eat and go to the bathroom – those little drip, drip bags come with me.
Fours and half hours and we are done. It went fast. My husband and mom feel the opposite – time is so relative. I am still so out of it.
I fell asleep in the car. Wake up at home. My mouth feels like I burned it. No taste, my stomach a little wobbly, but not that bad. Once the Benadryl leaves my system, the steroids have me all to themselves. Luckily I got some pills for sleeping.
Overall I think our first date went pretty good. It’s not going to ever turn into love, but maybe we can be friends? What do you think, chemo?