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May 5, 2017

There is something pleasant about the chemo room. It looks like a nail salon. Seriously. There is row of recliners and people giving you pedicures. They were like “your feet are so soft” and I was like “how is this helping my lymph nodes?”

One of the biggest challenges of my treatment up to this point is that I like to people watch. Which is a fine activity in Central Park or Marion Square, but in the Infusion Center at Emory…feels a little creepy. People are looking at their phones and I’m just staring at them over my computer, typing furiously.

Oh, by the way, everyone getting chemo is on their cell phone the whole time. Everyone. If you don’t have one when you walk in they just hand you a Galaxy 7. They’re like “have fun and I hope it doesn’t explode!” I understand why. It makes total sense. You’ve got to sit there for two hours while the medicine drips into you so what else are you going to do. Thank God we have them. I can’t even imagine what chemotherapy was like before cell phones. Just a bunch of people staring in the distance contemplating life.

But this past Wednesday as I was people watching in the chemo room I became incredibly inspired by the whole enterprise. I was in the company of fighters the people who love them. You could feel the hope in the room.

The whole thing is so amazing. Like I should be dead. And I don’t mean that dramatically or with any sort of sadness. It’s just a fact. 500 years ago my tumor would have killed me and my tombstone would have read: David Lee Nelson, 1478-1517, Died of Ye Olde Stomach Cramps.”

But because of medical advancements I’m here. It’s unbelievable. The fact that people know how to cut other people open, remove parts of our bodies, and sew us back up without killing us. The fact that there is medicine that can run through our veins to stop mutant cells from spreading while we sit in chairs that lean back, staring at handheld, insanely powerful computers that also make phone calls, all while people are rubbing our feet and asking what color we want our nails!? Are you serious???

It’s fucking amazing.

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