Today we are back in the chemo room at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre and the poisons are flowing freely through my veins .
After flunking my blood test last week, we gave my body seven days to study up for a retest. I passed with honours this time. My white blood cell count is 2.5; pretty much normal and more than double where it was a week ago.
Today the nurse asked me not to call them poisons. She says they are medications.
It was impossible not to notice she was wearing special gloves, a mask and gown and handling everything with tweezers because the “medications” that are sealed inside the heavy plastic IV bags are extremely toxic; aka poisonous. I rest my case.
This post should be a celebration of some kind. It is my 100th entry to this blog and 2 days shy of my 57th birthday. I feel I ought to be inspired to spread the blogosphere with literary genius but I’m just tired.
The drowsiness would have something to do with the industrial strength antihistamines I swallowed before coming to the hospital. My hematlogist has concluded that there is no variety of heparin that I am not allergic to. The only thing we can do is pile another drug on top of the ones I am already on and hope it eases the itching a little. So far not so good.
I dozed off as I wrote the previous sentence and woke up as the chemo nurse was attaching the take-home pouch of bonus poisons (yeah thats right! poisons) that come with every purchase. I’m at home now, itching like Rudyard Kipling’s greedy rhinoceros,
back on my comfy couch and still not sure what extraordinary prose I can conjure up for this momentous centennial post. Wendy says I should celebrate everything “cente”; starting with Centeclause. She loves Christmas.
Once she finished laughing at her Centeclause joke, Wendy said people are asking what I want for my birthday. Two weeks ago I would have told her they should choose something they want themselves but can do without for maybe a year when they can have it back. She would have kicked my unused ass and we would have laughed and laughed. As things stand now they would be more likely to be waiting a good long time for the gift’s return. Looks like my survival just spoiled a good joke. There’s a cloud around every silver lining.
The last thing I ever requested for my birthday was a 10 speed bicycle about 45 years ago; a wish my mom somehow managed to grant despite living on the ragged edge. It was delivered by my mom’s boss’ daughter while I was doing my after school chores. I was so excited I immediately leapt aboard the thing and rode to mom’s office to thank her. I left the water running in the kitchen sink and flooded half the house. We probably subsisted on potatoes for the rest of June. That is the last thing I asked for except for the traditional gift I always asked my kids for; an extra special hug. I can’t remember the last time I had a birthday cake. That’s something I would like.
Its not that I never enjoyed birthday gifts and feeling special that one day a year. I love surprises and thoughtful little gifts that say, “I know you and you mean something to me”. To open a carefully wrapped package to find a book I mentioned once or a bottle of just the right scotch whiskey tells me someone really cares. That sort of thing is spoiled by providing a list. However, this year I really would rather nobody buy me anything.
I’ll be going to the Hospital on my birthday to have a nurse disconnect my chemo pump for the last time until September. I consider Dr. Chung’s promise to remove half my liver in July the greatest birthday gift I have ever received.
The best gift anyone could give me this year would be to give to the Canadian Bucket List Foundation and to spend an hour of your day finding ways to encourage your friends and followers to match or beat your donation. Use the hashtag #georgesbirthdaywish and lets see if it travels.
It would tell me, “I know you, I hear you, I care and I believe in your bucket list dream”.