cancer wife: thoughts from the edge

by vanessagobes

June 18, 2013

 

I’m sitting in a wimpy plastic chair.  Mick is snoozing, all hooked up, comfy in his enormous adjustable leather chemo glamour bed.  I can’t complain.  I mean, I want to complain, but I can’t complain.  Because Mick has cancer and I’m fine.  But between us hens?  This chair sucks.  It’s one of many chairs I’ve encountered during fluid transfers.  Some seem to be worse than others.  For example, there was this one chair that I sat in from 3am to 9am in the ER at MGH.  Well, “sat” is not the right word.  More like perched.  Or maybe endured.  Suffered through?  Call it what you will but I ended up in the chiropractor’s office twice that week.  That chair was a bastard.

 

This was my first chair, the little one on the left:

It’s not a great photo.  I think the chair feels so inadequate that it’s hiding from my camera.  This wood veneer piece of real estate with metal legs and pilled polyester seat bottom had a great view of the Charles, though.  Not bad there with the Salt and Pepper Bridge cutting over Boston’s dirty water.  Location, location, location.  The window made the sitting more tolerable.

 

Mick’s afore mentioned night from Emergency Room Hell followed.  Soon after that valuable learning experience I created a trifecta of chairs that worked for me quite nicely.  During Mick’s next infusion, I employed two chairs and a padded rolling stool to create a combination that allowed me to recline.  I call this the “C-S-C”, Chair-Stool-Chair technique.  Hips on the stool, shoulders and calves stretched to opposing stationary chairs.

 

Next came this little number, wedged between a thin curtain and Mick’s glamour bed.

No view to boast but by the second treatment I’d become emboldened.  I asked the nurse for a pillow and blanket.  I eventually arranged my white hospital accessories in just a way that I could comfortably sit straight and tall while my head slumped forward and jerked back up, slumped forward and jerked back up.  The Buddha would not have been impressed but I was surprisingly happy in this seat.

 

Today is the last chemo treatment and I’m finally getting smart.  I have three great things going for me:  a pillow from home, my seat overlooking The Charles, and our nurse who just delivered several warm blankets for padding and comfort.  Not bad at all.  Mick’s been passed out for four and half hours.  He begins to stir and opens his eyes.  He smiles at me and notices I’m really trying hard to achieve optimal comfort.  “Climb in with me.”

 

“Really?” I gasp.  “Are you sure?”

 

He scootches to the right and I squeeze my body into the crack between him and the armrest.  I am asleep within seconds and wake up only when it’s time to go home.  I haven’t slept that well in…  well, in a good while.