It’s amazing how quickly things become normal.
Today was the first day I went to chemo by myself. My mom was going to come with me this time but since her mother died she had to go home and my girlfriend was working so I headed over to Emory by myself.
One thing I’ve noticed about having cancer and my grandmother dying -I could literally get out of anything right now. It’s kind of a shame I work for myself and can’t take full advantage of it.
Me: Sorry boss, it’s been a rough few days and I just don’t thing I can work today.
Me: But you can look at NYTimes.com for four straight hours?
Me: Fine I’ll get back to writing. Damn you boss version of me.
End of play.
I haven’t been sad about her going yet. Obviously it hasn’t really hit me and I’m sure I’ll be a sobbing mess at the funeral. I always cry at funerals and weddings. Basically anytime a life ends. But I’ve mainly just felt fortunate to have had her around for so long. When you’re packing for your grandmother’s funeral and worrying that you saw a few more gray hairs, that means she lived a long full life.
So because of schedules changing I went to chemo by myself. Part of me liked it. Given the choice it’s nice to have someone there. If for no other reason so that the other patients don’t feel sorry for you. They look at me like “he’s so young and so alone. Add him to the prayer list”
Because even in the chemo chair I still desperately care about what other people think of me.
Going there alone just made it feel less serious. I honestly think it’s easier being the one going through cancer, as opposed to watching it happen to someone you love. If this was my mom or my girlfriend or one of my sisters I’d be losing my mind. But because I’m experiencing this first hand it has become my new routine. Like Taco Tuesday or Casual Friday, now I have Every Other Wednesday Chemo. And this was only my third time! Yet I was going about everything like it was old hat. I hopped right on the scale. Rolled my sleeve up to have my blood pressure checked without any explanation. I wore a button up shirt so they could access my port. They put the pills in front of me, I took them. They brought me water, no ice. I didn’t asked to be unplugged to go to the bathroom, I just did it myself. I started nodding to people I’ve seen before. I’m calling my medicine all the proper names. I wrote the whole time I was there like I was sitting at my desk at home.
It was all very normal. And I think that’s good. Normal means knowing what to expect. Normal somehow makes it a little easier to handle.
That being said, I dozed off for a few minutes while I was sitting in the chair and when I woke up I looked over and saw my girlfriend wasn’t there and I got a little sad. I was glad this wasn’t going to be the normal I would have to get used to.
That’ll probably be when it hits me about my grandmother. When I reach over to call her remember that she’s no longer there. And that she won’t be every again.
I guess some normals are easier to get used to than others.