Chemo 11/12

The camera was in fact in my purse.  I guess it’s about the same size as my brick of a smart phone so I threw it in there without thinking.  Now the question is where’s my phone?  Oh, right, in my chemo bag.  Anyway, here are Week 10’s ReCap photos.

Yesterday’s penultimate chemo session started late in the afternoon but finished quickly.  I was wondering whether we would arrive on time since on the way into the hospital the cooler started making whirrrr, whack, whirrrrr, whack, whirrrr, whack noises.  When Earl pulled over and looked at it closely, he noticed the right wheel starting to fall off.  C’mon, cooler, you only have to last until next Wednesday!  Earl kicked it back into place and we continued on our way.

Our weekly arrival at my infusion chair first involves some equipment rearrangement to accommodate the 75 quart cooler, a chair for Earl, and my rolling bag.  I pull out the items I need for the few hours we’re there:  my Kindle, a granola bar (a distraction during the first couple of Cold Caps when they are most uncomfortable), a water bottle, a small cooler full of ice cubes and frozen fruit, and a washcloth plus various cuts of moleskin for protection from the Cold Caps.  I pull on my trusty electric blanket, plug it in, and switch to a low setting, gradually cranking it up to high during the Taxol hour (when I’m sucking on ice cubes).

Earl meanwhile takes out the first Cold Cap from the bottom of the cooler, measures it with the thermometer, and lets it sit out to thaw to a balmy -32C.  Eventually, he will knead it with a wooden rolling pin to equalize the temperature in the various small pockets of coolant gel, but in the meantime it rests on top of the cooler.

In the midst of our preparations, I noticed the oncology pharmacist take a sharp detour from the route back to his office to stop by us to say hi and, rather amusingly, take a really good, but surreptitious, look at my hair.  It occurred to me that he hasn’t seen my hair properly since I’ve started treatment, since the first Cold Cap usually goes on not too long after we arrive.  While he has been fantastic in terms of recommending various over the counter remedies for preventing chemo side effects, I truly hope my hair success encourages him to point out Cold Caps to other new oncology patients.

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