Lesson 1: Never ask a person if she is pregnant unless you are 100% sure!

As we raced to UCLA, since I was composing my latest and greatest medication list, we were short on time. I also changed outfits since the one looked like I was an old lady and the other looked like I was appearing “too pregnant”. When I left the hospital after surgery, I appeared to be “9 months pregnant” with the inability to touch my toes. During the weeks following, this changed and looked like I had gained a bit of weight, to the look of some major gas, and finally to the look of pregnancy once again. It seemed that I am only “6 months” and this is caused by the cancer, surgery, fluids and all things that you would want out of your body if you are having trouble touching your toes. We arrived to UCLA and I had to take a series of blood tests. At the UCLA lab, you are given a number and it makes it feel like you win something every time when they call your number. Who knows why? Probably when you walk in, the number is 10 and they give you number 87. I always jump up right before my number is called and asked what I win, some look at me like I am crazy, but I usually get a few followers yelling, “I won too!”. Now, here comes the comment while taking the 5 vials of blood, “how many months are you?”. If she actually read the lab work paper, it indicated that the “bloat” was not a baby. Of course, I had to tell her, it is not a baby, it is cancer. She felt horrible, but then went on to say her sister has cancer and she dropped out of nursing so she could help her. After my 4 minute blood test turned to a 15 minute conversation, all was not too badly damaged from the no baby comment. Of course, this began the ongoing  joke in my Dr E’s office who had several nurses wish me luck with the “baby”.  Dr E’s spent 3 seconds telling me that we were going to drain my belly. WHAT? To Drain or not to drain was the question. Procedure=possible hospital stay =possible infection and the fluid will come back and be there on/off during chemo, so “NO” was the answer to that question and Dr E. was off. So, we went to the next appointment which was the hematologist. We met with both Dr G and Dr K and we love them both, but in a different way. They have this willingness to care beyond what a doctor should do as far as caring and extending themselves. Dr K has called us on the weekend and sends us immediate emails. He holds my hand with both of his and looks into my eyes and tells me that it will be alright. Dr G is funny and also has this penetrating look into my eyes as if looking for a secret answer that I am not giving him. They said they would have lost the bet on me since I am such a unique situation. I am confident that I am going to be upgraded even more to a new status for my uniqueness. I am sure books, papers, and pharmaceutical companies will be calling me?!  We start the chemo this morning and it will take 5 hours each time. They have many drugs to counteract the side effects.

I am now an official branch of Walgreens. I have it all. My counter is so full that I need color coding for all the narcotics. I am thinking of opening up a shop later or maybe a what not to take when walking down the stairs. Seriously, it is a store!

I am ready to go and even if I am in a small room (chemo closet) they promised me to fix the wi fi since I was having some major trouble. Both Dr G and Dr K said that they would hook me up since I will be there 5 hours. Luckily, I will have my cousin coming over since she goes to Dr G and has been through this many times. I am bringing all devices for entertainment: iPad, mp3 player, droid, and Kindle loaded with some funny books. I am turning into a sales rep for these devices when in the waiting room, I am doing “show and tell” to the patients. I am trying to convince them of my new idea to get some of these companies to donate this type of equipment to the chemo closets of the world! So far, they think it is good idea, but would require a lot of work. These people don’t know me and I will be getting some donations eventually!

So, say some prayers, wish me luck, send your positive thoughts, and I am thinking of changing the chemo closet to the P4, pleasant, positive, powerful, place……hugs to you all!

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5 Responses to “Lesson 1: Never ask a person if she is pregnant unless you are 100% sure!”

  1. Sandra Says:

    Joanie-

    I enjoy reading your posts and only wish I could be there to give you a big, fat hug and laugh with you as you humor all those you meet. My prayers are with you and I never stop sending you positive vibes from where I am. Stay strong and smile like a Cheshire Cat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Linda Says:

    Eventually you will have to find a publisher so that other people, sitting in the chemo closet, can download your blog-book onto their Kindles and let you regale them with your adventures.
    I’m sending you hugs and love.

  3. Teri Pay Says:

    Joanie,

    I love you blogs. You have the best attitude. I wish I would have seen you at the school the other day, then I could comment on your new hair cut and I would make sure not to ask if you are pregnant. People should know better. Have a wonderful day and thanks for making mine better.

  4. jennifer Says:

    Joanie:

    You are unique and don’t forget it. We are praying for you and your family. Funny you are making my day with your positive attitude and your wonderful sense of humor.

    Lots of love,
    Jennifer and family

  5. joan moss Says:

    I love reading your blog. You are hilarious and I am sure a much needed positive addition to the “closet”. You are so technically inclined, I need some lessons as it will be a first if this reply actually works. You are in my thoughts and I am sending you all positive energy for a smooth chemo journey. Love you, Joan

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