If I would have had chemo last Thursday, then my first Thursday would have been on the first day of the first month of the New Year.
Alas, I did not realize how cool that would be!
Nevertheless, this Thursday turned out to be way cooler than I ever imagined!
I do not know what I was thinking, when I thought I would not know anybody!
First of all, there was at least one other "regular" from Tuesday who changed chemo days for the same reason I did (we have the same doctor....).
Then there was the woman from my support group (oops, that reminds me that I haven't posted about some of the interesting and meaningful meetings we have had) -- she has been a "regular" on Thursdays for EIGHTEEN YEARS!!! (halevai alai!! -- sorry don't know how to translate this one). She is such a positive woman; I am so thrilled to have the same regular day as she does!!
My friend TK also came for her treatment today! She does not really have a regular day, but I am always happy to have a chance to chat with her, and she has the same doctor as I do, so it is likely that I will also see her frequently on Thursdays. She is really my chemo buddy, and I get a tremendous amount of insight, information and support from her!!
I had the privilege of sitting next to a relatively new friend, LS, who just started chemo today! We met a year and a half ago on Thanksgiving, at a mutual friend's home and reconnected this summer when the same friend hosted a poetry reading in honor of her mother's yarzheit. (Our friend's mom used to host poetry readings, so our friend thought it would be fitting to honor her mother's memory in this way. It was a VERY special evening. Anyway, I had a very nice chat with this woman, and, among other things, mentioned my blog to her). When LS received her diagnosis, she looked up my blog and found it very supportive. We emailed, and I directed her to another site, my communal blog Mothers with Cancer, that I thought might provide even more support. It did!
But that is not all. No. No! That is not all!!
There was another woman, who came once to our support group, but hasn't been back since, because she lives in Emek (the valley of) Beit Shean, which is really far away!! She comes twice a month to Jerusalem for chemo, but does not have a regular day. I hope she will continue with our group, but it is not looking so likely....
And there was the relatively young oleh from Argentina, who I know from Tuesdays, and was there today as well, though I don't really know if he has a regular day or not.
And there was a nice, older gentleman, whose wife and I used to work in the same building, oh, so long ago. He was also a Tuesday regular. So, it is highly possible that he switched days as well.
And there was another woman, who I met years ago, also through work. She was there keeping a friend of hers company. It was nice that she came over to say hello.
Not to mention that I met another two "new" women.
So, all in all, there were plenty of people to "meet and greet."
Of course, I also had the pleasure of a really fun chemo date today.
So, the fact that I did not even start receiving my treatment until after one in the afternoon, and that I had a reaction to the chemo (it made me HOT!!! or, as A would say, I was BOILING!!!), which made the nurses slow down the infusion, so that I did not finish until almost FIVE, all did not really matter!
I had a really nice time! (Would you believe it?)
At the very end, it was just me, my chemo date, and the nurse on duty, and we all hung out together. No one else was left, so the nurse sat down with my friend and we talked about religious girls' high schools and various other topics. It was a nice opportunity to get to know this nurse better, as she is relatively new to the ward. I will also mention that she did not hurt me at all when she removed the needle from my port!
A word about this particular nurse on duty: A few months ago, just before she gave me my bone treatment, she noticed that the medications were labeled incorrectly (we will never know if someone just wrote down the wrong info or if the actually prepared the wrong drugs for me). The nurse immediately called the pharmacy and sent the drugs back. I really appreciated her care and diligence. It is nice to know that she was so careful about my treatments!
On the way out of the hospital, we ran into Moshe's cousin, who happens to be the internal auditor (מבקר פנים) of the hospital. I made sure to tell him about my appreciation of the staff, I told him the previous story about this nurse, as well as about the efforts made on my behalf during Hanukkah, and how that made me feel. I do not really know what he does, but is sure sounds important...
As I was talking to him, one of my favorite nurses passed by and asked, with good humor, if I was complaining about things. Moshe's cousin smoothly noted that, on the contrary, I was singing their praises. She seemed surprised, given the time I was leaving! I then mentioned that this was Moshe's cousin. Then I worried that maybe that wasn't a good thing -- after all, I don't want everyone to be afraid that I will report them. ...Though maybe that isn't such a bad thing either. Anyway, what's done is done.
I was exhausted when I got home!! But I could not sleep because we had a wedding tonight!
I chopped (snuck in) a few minutes with my kids before I ran off to get ready.
We just got home. Okay, we got home over an hour ago. But I had to check my email!
Now that I have done my "blogging duty," I can go to sleep!
(And I did not even mention the war!)
Good night, dear friends. Thanks for holding my hand through this transition!
May all the changes in our lives be so smooth!!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Yosef Chaim Shwekey (video)
1 hour ago