Monday, November 19, 2007

Think Shrink

May we just say that the 25th Ward Clot rocks! When we arrived at the Infusion room( where we go to be infused) there was an awesome surprise waiting. It was the coolest bag full of goodies and labeled "Weapons of Mass Distraction!" It had treats that we all pounced on, especially the nips! The Clot felt it their duty to devour the candy immediately, and we were very careful not to share with anyone. (Hey, we'll share french fries, but we draw the line at the Nips!)

Our all-time favorite goody item, however, was the muffin mix tied with four spoons. No kidding, we laughed till I feared they'd evict us, fusion lines and all. The box was labeled "Erin," but there were four spoons, and that was all we needed. When it comes to guilty pleasures, there is no such thing as territoriality! There was a book of Sudoku puzzles, which we were so happy to get. We had always thought Sudoku was an ancient middle east religion! (We may be confusing that with the singer, Neil Sudoku) And as we were madly spooning muffin mix, we began playing 20 questions. We are obviously ambidextrous...we can indulge in mouth stuffing and game-playing simultaneously!

I guess our very favorite gift was the framed quote from Matthew. We have it right in the kitchen, and reading it again and again has lightened our path. This bag is truly a treasure, because along with all the gifts, there was a whole lot of love. This bag will never be empty! Thank you for making this experience just a little more endurable. We are so glad we are all part of the same Clot. We love you all dearly.

Dennis' chemo/radiation treatments are going along beautifully. He has had a PICC line inserted in his arm so he can be infused with a chemo drug called gemcytobene. This is an easy name to remember because all you have to do is think of jewels and vegetables. He has also been fitted with a bag that holds a fanny pack with a continuous drip of a chemo called 5FU. We wondered why anyone would call a drug 5FU. Then the treatments began... and it all became clear. So that is what is being murmured under each patient's breath! Actually 5FU is medical abbreviation for a drug that sounds suspiciously like what hairdressers use to achieve the color that the Clot claims is "natural blond." Dennis is such a good sport, and smiles indulgently as we christened the attachment his "FuFu (pronounced "FOO-FOO") bag." However, if you see the Clot suddenly sporting a "lighter shade of pale" hair color, you will know we've been into the FuFu bag again!

Dennis is also tolerating the daily radiation treatments, and he is beginning to assume quite a glow about him, which has drastically reduced our need to turn on the household lights. He really lights up our lives. He did his indulgent "under-the-beard" grin when we suggested that with a little tinsel and some ornaments, he could sub as our Christmas tree. However, he has categorically refused to guide anyone's sleigh tonight, even under the threat of being excluded from reindeer games. Oooh, someone sure woke up on the wrong side of the FuFu bag!

As always, Willowcreek has managed to make us laugh with their "First week of chemo" bag. We love the twinner one-piece footed jammies, although we do look rather like refugees from "Whoville." We now go by the monikers of little Boo Who (Joan) and little FuFu Who (Dennis). I will, however, probably have to retire my Minnie Mouse nightshirt. I'm reluctant to do something so drastic since it is only fifteen years old, and Minni's ears are placed so strategically as to disguise the age-induced sagging. (There's nothing quite like Disney cartoon characters to drive the men wild). We are planning a ceremony to retire the nightshirt in the rafters of the house where it will hang beside the apron, which was also retired... before it was even worn!

I am continually amazed at Dennis' tolerance level, but I must take some credit for that. His high "annoyance threshold" is due for the most part to being married to me for lo these many years. He has mastered coping techniques such as looking like he is listening, when in actuality he is working on his quantum physics. He can maintain a two-way conversation with a series of clicks, hmmms, and oh's, while watching every play of any athletic game on the tube. He smiles indulgently at the antics of the Clot while he is being poked, prodded and punctured. We like him very much.

I am not exactly sure what has hit us. All I said one day during a mid-October walk was, "Gee Honey, wouldn't it be nice if we could get away for a while and spend a little time together?" Daily treks to the Hunstsman Cancer Institute while being simultaneously infused and radiated wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I will be a little more specific the next time I make an off-hand remark. But we have spent more time together. Now that's a tender mercy for which I am grateful.

the Clot

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Joan... I adore you. You must make Dennis so PROUD! Please know of our love and concern. Know that "the clot" is in our thoughts and prayers. Reading this blog always puts a smile on my face. Hang in there.
Brooke Bishop