‘It’s all fun and games until someone winds up in a johnny’ is an alternative fact statement. No part of any cancer treatment is fun and games, but some go much more smoothly than others. I can, without a doubt, make the statement that my current treatment is not my friend. In fact GND may just be the equivalent of my all time nemesis. And I will surely spend my days plotting against it, like the ‘mean girls’ plot against each other in high school. As the score stands now GND 2 – Me 0 and I hate to lose.
GND is an infusion salvage chemo therapy that I have been placed on to hopefully get me to remission for my transplant. I have had 2 full cycles, which add up to 4 treatments. Now treatment days aren’t bad. They are generally spent joking, telling inappropriate jokes, and stories, the usual. I won the lottery with the oncology nurses at the cancer center, even if Tammy accosts me in the middle of the aisle with a flashlight to look at my mucositis mouth sores. (I had to have a conversation with her about being trauma sensitive and to at least warn a person when a flashlight is coming at you. I learned this from my restorative justice professional development. It is probably important to note here that the flashlight assault made me back up but when she pulls down my shirt to access or check my port – nothing, I don’t even flinch.) Tammy is only one of the phenomenal nurses that makes this whole cancer thing bearable. Julie, Susan and Stacy are also necessary to my process. So sticking with the high school theme, I like to think of them as my posse. I know they have my back against GND.
GND really kicked my ass this last treatment of my second cycle. And I’m not talking like we had some words in the hallway, I’m talking like it swung and knocked me out. I didn’t even get a chance to defend myself. I went to the cancer center and Susan was the one who got to tell me the ever thrilling news that I would once again be ‘stuck’ home because my counts plummeted. Despite sounding like a crazy person, I like going to school everyday (well most days, I’m not insane) and socializing with my people. I have a pretty fabulous lunch table! So staying home is not my favorite news to receive. Although I’m sure Tammy was happy that she wasn’t the one who had to deliver it this time. I had to go back the next day to get my white cell stimulating shot but I was not in good shape. GND successfully took me down. I was miserable – mouth sores, couldn’t swallow. I felt like I had gone through the ringer. My posse looked at me like they couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t invincible after all. I generally make jokes and smile but there was none of that. They rallied and conversed with Z and decided that I would be better off recovering in the hospital with antibiotics and all that good stuff. So here I sit, in my johnny, plotting my GND revenge and recuperating with my masked visitors who make being ‘stuck’ here easier.
I also need to tell Tammy that the ENT guy, although he warned me about the scary scopy flashlight that he would shove up my nose and down my throat, that he too needed some traumas sensitivity training. This was true especially because this was only a day after the ER nurse shoved a swab up my nose to test for the flu (which was negative). Like I said…all fun and games until someone winds up in a johnny!