D minus one: The Day Before Chemo Begins

“You can just drop me off tomorrow morning. I have things to read. They’re doing a blood test first and it’ll take 30 minutes to get those results back before they even start.”

“What if I want to be there?”

“I’ll be fine. Plus I have so and so and so and so who are going to stop in and visit.”

“Yeah but I’ll feel better knowing what the routine is.”

Please note this conversation is taking place while we try to find the Oncologist’s office for THE pre-chemo appointment. We park in the garage and enter the Twilight Zone Medical Plaza.

There’s a West and East building. They look exactly alike. At least that’s what we muse when we finally get to the right bank of elevators and get off on the right 5th floor only to realize we’re right back where we were five minutes ago. In the wrong building. Meanwhile, Dr. L (The Oncologist. Not his assistant. Not the nurse.) is calling CC. It’s 4:45 and her appointment was at 4:30—his last of the day. He’s scheduled it that way so we’d have plenty of time to chat.

And chat we did. I learn more about chemo, cancer, Jewish traditions of thought and Irish Spring soap than I ever imagined. Does this all make sense to you? Do you grasp the gravity of why Jewish mindsets and soap are invaluable topics of pre-chemo consultation? If not that’s okay. Suffice it to say Dr. L has the amazing juxtaposition of being a phenomenally brilliant oncologist while also a reachable, available, humble, realistic, attentive, dedicated and personable man.

Later that evening we prep for the Morning—I pack snack bags and count out meds for the morning while CC figures what to wear. (Comfy yet stylish, of course–anything to help the mood.)

New Yoga Pants. Now known as, Chemo Lounge Pants.

We fill The Chemo Bag (a giant Nordstrom shopping bag) with magazines, fluffy blankie, Kindle, charging cords, etc. I’m thinking we’ll be in a hospital unit. You know, with a nurse’s station or chemo kitchen stocked with ginger ale, apple juice, saltines and all those things they always have on a hospital unit.

I am wrong. There is no special hospital unit. In the morning we’ll return to the oncologist’s office, wind through the corridors past exam rooms, bathroom and copy machine…and enter the Chemo Lounge.

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