It’s not nausea, but he’s been violently hiccupping for over an hour.
These hiccups are loud! We ask for our oncologist’s office to be notified and his nurse Anna stops by with a prescription for Thorazine like last time and soon they’ll subside. (Thank you, Elise, for the door to door delivery!) Rich had this ten years ago for three days so we know the medication is generally effective.
Sometimes it’s comforting to have these old “friends” crop up. It makes you feel like you’re on known ground again and the outcome will be assured. If this voodoo worked last time and we have the same reactions this time then we can extrapolate success again. If A=B and B=C then A=C.
Who says you never use High School math??!
The recipe is followed to the letter today… we make sure the Ativan for nausea is administered at least half an hour prior to any chemo is begun. We advocate for what we need and will not allow any deviation. Success!
Since there is no Benadryl today, Rich stays awake and we watch Mike Rowe deliver calves and shovel muck, we enjoy some food and snacks and play Scrabble. But even without the Benadryl, the meds do have a wonkiness factor in them and Rich insists that you can set up words on the diagonal (and thereby utilize virtually every double letter spot in one turn) and that Kneen is a viable word. Despite his cheating ways, I win. My record holds… I have only won against him during chemo.
Nurses stop by and chat about our photos that we have put up… family and places we’ve traveled. It helps them to see us more than the NHL or RCHOP in #25. A social worker drops in and gives us information about services and groups that might be of interest to us and asks us a bunch of questions to see where we are in the dx acceptance process. This place is a little noisier than the old facility, but there is also a life to it as well. Our headphones can silence the background noise if we choose so the hubbub is not intrusive but optional.
It does feel like an alternate reality tho’. While dealing with cancer, you find you block out all your other bits of life and concentrate on making it through this point and getting to the next… one by one putting each cycle behind you until they’re done.
But, of course, life doesn’t really work that way and bills need to get paid, work needs to get done, laundry needs to get washed. And it does get done but at the same time it feels like those tasks aren’t your real life anymore. Or that they don’t quite fit together in the right puzzle-ish kind of way… home and work. There’s a sort of disconnect when you transition from one to the other that’s a bit of a jolt. In time, you find the balance that makes it all fit back together again into a new reality for the time being. You also find yourself getting more flexible with making the switches that you seem to need to do.
Most important is to keep a connection with who you are, a connection with what your life outside of cancer is about and a connection to the people who mean something in your life. When THAT all adds up correctly, THEN the math is correct.