Piqued

22 Oct

The first day of chemo went well, pretty uneventful. I was nervous and worried about all the chemo dramz I’d been warned about, but really, I just sat there for 5 or so hours while baggies of medicine flowed in to me. I got steroids, benadryl, two anti-nausea medications, taxol and carboplatin.

The benadryl was the strangest part. I’m sure that benadryl is important in ways that martinis aren’t, but as far as I could tell, they just dumped martini in my IV. Up. With a twist. I think the fact that I got benadryl immediately after a mad dose of steroid probably didn’t help, but I felt progressively more and more drunk as the giant bag of benadryl got pumped into me.

By the end of the bag I must have been in visible distress because my mom was giving me this strange look and then said, “Col, are you ok? You like a little piqued.”

I was, well, drunk and said back, “Piqued? What does that mean piqued? What do you mean piqued?” I know perfectly well what piqued means, I think I was just making conversation. And I use the word “said” loosely. I think I was red in the face, bug eyed and leering at my mom when I semi-shouted that. It was a bit of a “David After Dentist” moment. Which if you haven’t seen…

Thankfully this feeling passed.

I do love my chemo nurse. I will call her Fluffers. I will call her this because that, apparently, is what one of the doctors calls her because of her tri-color spiked up punk haircut. I don’t know, that name might not stick. It’s sort of weird. I hope the doctor that calls her that is unaware of the potential pornographic implications of a nickname like “Fluffers”.

I wasn’t sure that she and I were going to get along. The night before chemo she called to check in, which was very nice, and asked if I could come in a bit earlier the next morning. I explained that this was no problem because I was staying in a hotel close by. To this she said “Well aren’t you a fancypants” which I had no idea how to respond to.

“Yes, I am a fancypants, thank-you-very-much”

“Oh, no, I’m not a fancypants, it’s just the Ramada in Seekonk. I even puked there last week!”

Or I could just do what I did, mumble something awkward along the lines of “Oh, haha, yeah, right, I guess, thanks, haha”

Turns out she’s a great nurse, just six months older than I am, and we share a love of zebra-striped Dansko clogs. Also, her aunt is getting a “chemo-sabe” tattoo over her scar from her port. While it is disappointing someone else thought of the clever “chemo-sabe” it did seal our friendship. When I asked her if I could get a tattoo during chemo she said “Absolutely not, but I can” and then told me about the violin tattoo she is planning. I like her. She gave me a glow-stick bracelet, obviously the true cure for cancer.

Back home now, feeling pretty good for the day after chemo. They tell me my hair will start falling out in 10-14 days. I’ve been hat shopping for an hour already this morning. I don’t know about these wigs though. A lady from the American Cancer Society visited me yesterday and gave me a magazine of wigs. We’ll see. I’m suspicious.

Next week is my 25th birthday, which I will be celebrating with a taxol cocktail at the doctor’s office. Maybe they’ll give me more benadryl.

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5 Responses to “Piqued”

  1. Ben Ware October 22, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I am sure you would look pretty hot with a wig Colleen 😉

    Good luck!

  2. Jonathan October 22, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Glad it wasn’t so bad…what a relief. I would’ve been really scared too.

    The nurse sounds awesome. Let’s just hope she doesn’t moonlight as a, well…you know. (Actually, I take that back…more power to her if she does, plus it would make for great stories during chemo!)

    My colleague at work had breast cancer and was very open and proud of her extensive wig collection. She was something of an old, rich, flamboyant and ostentation fashionista (for Buffalo standards, at least). Anyway, it was always kind of fun to see her come in with new wigs, and she had very good humor about how wacky she could be with them and stuff. It seemed to keep her spirits up…go nuts with like an orange one, “Fifth Element” style, just in time for Halloween!

    Love you 🙂

  3. Liza October 22, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    I’ve never seen David after the Dentist before!…But, after looking at a few of those videos, not only does he get the major mind altering injection of drugs…He gets “ice cream, desserts……” out of the deal……So……..I think there would be a certain kind of symmetry if you got some “dessert” as well…..Tatoo sounds okay, but I think you should start BIG-as big as you can get-and see where it gets you. Who knows…..you might just get a trip to Paris, a shopping spree, a zebra bag to match those shoes……And wouldn’t that go nicely w/ a big blonde wig…?

  4. Irene October 27, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Z.~
    Why not go for the wigs and a hat? I am all about going over the top! (If you didn’t figure that out from my “still 80’s ” hair”).
    Sounds like quite an adeventure you are going though and I LOVE the way you share it with us!
    Sending you more big hugs- just let me know when you get tired of ’em!
    XOXO
    Irene

  5. Barbara Call October 27, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Roid rage can happen with steriods ~ it has happened with a family member…quite bizarre but maybe rage is just a family trait. Oncology nurses are the greatest people that walk the earth , well other than your mother who would become a doctor/nurse/magician right now if she could.

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