For devoted Cancer Couch followers (first of all, thank you and god bless you, you are clearly a distinguished, discerning, wise and wonderful group of people with a keen sense for good humor… or you’re just gluttons for punishment – either way I appreciate you coming back for more! :)), please recall our lovely, but terrified, driver Luis from the “Hair Today…Here Tomorrow?” post. If you haven’t read that one yet, and are new to my little sofa on the web here, this will be a lot funnier if you take a moment to do so (It’s archived in November). Go read and come back!
Ok, so now that you know who Luis is, and you’re caught up on the trauma we inflicted on the poor man with our freakish alien-cancer-parade into his unsuspecting car after chemo #2, and you know that he made a silent vow NEVER to take our pick up again, you may get a chuckle out of yesterday’s events:
So Monday was my 4th chemo treatment, the last of AC (aka “The Red Devil”), and it marks the half-way mark of my 8 treatments. Remarkably, I still have my hair – WOO-HOO! But…man does 7-8 hours of that frozen helmet, and the cumulative effect of the chemo, wipe me out:
It’s like water torture. The first helmet of the day was so cold and frozen solid, I threw it off my head at my poor sister who has been working tirelessly to help me with this, and I said to her and Tom, “I’m done, shave my F’ing head. I can’t do this.” All out hissy-fit, temper tantrum. So they got creative, used all 4 of their available butt checks and promptly sat on the helmet to warm it up to a toasty 35 degrees below zero. Ah, thats more like it. Almost…tropical. OMG! So yes, all around a rough day with a few hissy fits and the typical hilarity as we prance straight from the chemo chair, through the city, to a lovely hotel lobby with the dry ice, alien helmet, chemo girl about to pass out, and plenty of gawking from sophisticated travelers and business-trip types. Fortunately at this stage in the cancer game I have neither the energy nor the dignity left to care what others think, so I’m over that. I just want to get to my room and pass out. Which I did, promptly.
And…by the next day, after a good meal, a great night’s sleep, a fair amount of smoke and mirrors, and a hefty dose of steroids in the morning, I can make a reasonable transformation to a normal, healthy looking person. I had a dinner to attend with my husband that happened to be on the way home from NYC. So my sister threw me a dress, slapped some make-up and heels on me, got me in the vertical position, out the door, and Tom sent a driver to get us. And guess who? None other than…
Luis. Poor Luis. At first he didn’t recognize us, because he was collecting us from a hotel this time, not the hospital. I was dressed up, and sans alien headgear. But then I saw it. That terrified moment of recollection as the hotel valet wheeled the dry ice coolers out of the lobby and started placing them in his car. His eyes darted from the coolers to our faces, and it all came back to him in a flash. I swear he almost ran for it. For fear that he actually might flee, I chose that moment to engage him, blew our cover and said “Hi Luis, it’s Rebecca, cancer, frozen-head girl! I bet you never wanted to see us again right?!” Well, he almost fell over laughing with his face in his hands, and the combination of shaking his head in disbelief at his poor fortune, confusion and fear about what was going to go down during this escapade, and his hysterical laughter at the situation confirmed everything I thought I saw in his darting eyes last trip! And, as he had to make a stop-over to transfer my sis and pick up Tom on the way, when I came back to the car, I saw this hanging from the back seat!:
A bottle of disinfectant!!! Oh Luis!! Ye of little faith! That was not there when you picked us up!! C’mon, man – we are not lepers! Even all gussied up, he did not trust this crew for a second not to hurl in his car or give him a communicable disease. You can’t make this stuff up. It was hysterical. We talked through the whole ordeal, had some laughs, and no one vomited, exposed him to dry ice, or a terminal illness, so all in all the evening was a success. And I made it through dinner, relatively coherently, and didn’t turn into a pumpkin or pass out in my soup. Thank you Luis for not leaving us stranded at dinner when you had the chance to bolt, and thank you Tom and Paula for being my hair nazis. As awful as the freezing process is, I am so grateful to be able to attend an event within 24 hours of chemo, and look (albeit not feel) like myself. And we may have even been civilized enough to get off Luis’ no-drive list. We’ll see…