Steppenwolf did “Magic Carpet Ride” in 1968, fifty-one years ago! The hard rock beat and the song title found a nook in my brain where they’ve hidden in plain sight for these many years. Of course, I can’t remember any other lyric from the song. Right now I feel like I’m on a magic carpet ride, but not the one I’d prefer.
The chemo on Friday went fine. Six hours was a long time in the chemo room because as many of you know, the happiness there is a veneer to what’s really going on. Don’t get me wrong, I think the patients and their companions are very happy to be getting the treatment and the nurses are very happy to be able to provide this hope. But, to me, just below the surface, there is the terror of the unknown, the fear of losing, the fear of the pain. And of course, just the fear. The last thing they did after they unplugged her from the drugs was put a little gadget on the back of her arm. Just a little thing, about two inches tall, an inch and a half wide, and about a half inch thick. More on that later. And, the session ended in such a Washington, DC kind of way…we were in rush hour for 40 minutes on the way home.
Saturday was okay. She was very tired and nauseous but the nausea was successfully controlled; we were happy about that because nausea makes the other side effects even worse. In the late afternoon/evening, we went to a baseball game in the cold; Kyle’s on the High School varsity team and although he probably won’t play much this year, we want to support the team. Diane is a baseball fiend and so off we went but we only lasted a couple of hours of the ten inning game. We headed home 26 and 45 minutes after the little gadget was put on her arm.
At exactly 27 hours after putting the gadget on her, the gadget beeped. Or at least we think it did. We were still on the way home and she had her parka on so it may have beeped and we didn’t hear but she felt something. When the thing beeps, a small catheter is inserted into her arm and for the next 45 minutes she is injected with a drug called Neulasta. This drug stimulates the bones to create new blood cells because the chemo kills most of the white blood cells or at least a bunch of them. I don’t really remember. And this is the drug that causes agonizing, brutal, awful bone pain. Several hours go by after the injection before the bones go into overdrive and this morning they’ve hit full force. I’m happy because I know her body needs the white blood cells but I am horrified by the pain she is going through.
A magic carpet ride…