This blog is a collection of stories on the ordinary days of today and a documentary of the days of the past. Thank-you for reading and allowing me to share. Enjoy your ordinary days and hopefully the bits and pieces of mine will resonate with the moments in your lives that bring you happiness.
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
May 23, 2013: Chemotherapy Lounge
“I don't understand this, I only turned my back for a few seconds.
All our money was in there.”
“Up next: Daydreaming about sex and why its good for you.”
The televisions talk for us,
fill the endless spaces.
There is no understanding
only tacit treatment of cancer patients
who are all alike.
Lined up in recliner chairs,
at times almost fifty of us.
“Welcome back. We’re talking about how to have house guests and enjoy them.”
“What makes your adrenaline rush? What makes it pump?”
The faintly metallic odor of noxious drugs,
the sour-sweet overlay of vomit permeates everything,
even the carpet.
Trapped in our seats,
plugged to poles we sit for hours.
Poisoning takes time.
“It was to be a yearly lease but I let him have it month to month.
Then he wanted me to pay for the utilities.
I said, ‘Do you want me to fix your breakfast, too?’”
“Let's get together for dinner and finalize the details about the wedding.”
“Sorry, Roxanne, not tonight.”
“But darling, why?”
The nurse has on a felt pumpkin hat for Halloween.
She sits heavily on a stool by my side,
drops ten or so filled syringes in her lap.
All of this will go into my body.
“So, how've you been?” she asks without looking at me.
I feign sleep, try to shut out noise and small talk.
Neither one of us is really here.
Magenta Adriamycin crawls up the tubing to the port
just above my bra.
“Tanya, welcome to our show. Tell us why things haven't been going so well
between you and Roger.”
“Storms will fire up north, expect some wind damage,
it’ll juice up down south with heavy rain.”
The taste of the drug hits me
as it disappears down the port in my chest.
My tongue itches.
I whisper, “I'm so sick.”
A reflex pat on the arm,
an emesis basin and towel in reply.
“Now your clothes can smell like you just hung them out to dry in the sunshine.”
“When are you going to tell him the baby isn't his?”
What I need is a large breasted woman—
pale, yellow house dress
worn, blue plaid apron.
I catch the scent of Vel soap
as she enfolds me on her old porch glider.
Bridal wreath in full bloom shades us
as we rock back and forth.
She rubs my back with a depth of compassion I can collapse in,
never bottom out
while she softly repeats,
“What a terrible thing to happen to you, honey.
What a terrible thing.”
AmyHaddad Haddad, A. (2004). Chemotherapy lounge (poem). The Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19 (June), 715-716.
A picture is worth a thousand words. But let's start with six...
"And they lived happily ever after..."
I bought this little sign more than seven years ago. It caught my eye at Target while shopping for milk and kitty litter on a weekday school night. The boys were in varying grades in school and I was single-handedly running my daily household.
Recently divorced, I was also dating a man from Denver. Garrett. Our relationship felt like forever, but the 550 miles between our homes was a stark reminder that our long-distance relationship was more like a fairytale than reality. We were reminded of this frequently by the people who knew us best.
"Guard your heart. Long distance relationships rarely work out."
"You are both good people, so be realistic in where this is going."
But the funny thing about love is that no matter how practical-minded or mature your mindset, your heart guides you to places that are scary to others, but quite comfortable for you…
I vividly remember being asked as a child to describe what I hoped to have accomplished by age fifty. This thought was inconceivable to my young mind.
"Fifty? That's ancient!" or something close to that was my roadblock to answering this question. So I answered with the stereotypical; married with children and grandchildren, living in a comfy home and....knitting by the fire??
But here I am almost to this milestone. The big one. So what are my thoughts now with my more mature forty-nine-year-old mind?
"I made it!!!!! YES!"
Yep, I'm thrilled. I can truly say that I have never dreaded a birthday or wished to be young again. Every wrinkle is earned and with every new ache, a reminder to enjoy the good health I have today. Reversal is not an option.
A wise person once told me that getting older was much better than the alternative. I have always held this thought close to heart. Every day really is a blessing.
This birthday will be celebrated taking in the bea…
Sorry about the cover picture. It's the best I had from our Top 10 day in Flagstaff. And in all honesty, I had to Google "Snapchat Filters" to figure out how to create this picture. Then...wahlah... I am a deer or a dog??
Garrett and I are in Flagstaff, checking it out. I am feeling like a senior in high school, touring schools and narrowing down final decisions. We are going through the same decision process. Kind of. No school, though. Basically trying to figure out commonality in where to live post-kids.
What we have found is this is an easier decision for Garrett. He has a master spreadsheet that lists comparison of cities in the US listed by major categories of importance to us...days of sunshine, inches of snow, recreation, cost of living, median home cost, etc...
Easy, peasy for Garrett. We can narrow down by a spreadsheet.
Sandy...not so much.
Our breakfast conversation was a nice point of clarity as we visited our city #2, Flagstaff, on the spreadsheet.