I have been looking at October 22nd since July 18th.

But I have pain in my feet that is making standing and walking difficult. These are signs of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy that can be permanent in about 20% of patients. So the doctor and the people who love me but who are not enduring this wanted to cut the dose of Taxol from one big dose today to three smaller doses administered over three weeks. Laura, Carlyn, and Karen were with me. Add Marcus who’s working at reception and one of the five of us would have permanent nerve damage in our feet if I proceeded with the dose dense Taxol today. I am 43 years old and have already lost so much.

The recliner in infusion room #1 is broken. When you lean back, it reclines. Doesn’t matter if you don’t want to recline. Doesn’t matter if the slow recline motion makes you nauseated once the Taxol starts going in. Doesn’t matter if you’re eating a sandwich and want to remain upright so you don’t get sandwich all over yourself. The chair reclines. When the nurse came in to remove the IV from my port I told her that the recliner was broken. That as I sit in the chair, if I lean back at all, it reclines. I wanted her to know this in case she preferred that I sit upright when she was accessing my port. I am very concerned about the ergonomics of nursing. At least two of the nurses in the chemo unit are there because they hurt their backs on the inpatient wards. Nursing is dangerous, difficult work. I don’t want the nurse to hurt her back when she leans over me to pull out the IV, put a cotton ball and large Primapor bandage on the bleeding spot. (I have become allergic to adhesives. The Primapor causes less redness and blistering than the Tegaderm.) I can’t stop it, this chair just reclines. It has just reclined since I started chemotherapy on July 18th. I know this chair very well, many of us do. The nurse tried jiggling the handle on the side of the recliner, the handle you pull on the side of a working chair to make it recline. Jiggling the handle did not stop the chair from reclining. The chair is broken. I leaned back, the chair reclined, the nurse leaned over me, counted to three. I can’t tell you what it looks like because I don’t want to see. This is my eighth visit and I haven’t opened my eyes for this part yet.

Now I am looking at November 5th. I am not embracing November 5th as tightly.

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