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5/31- Turn Your Head and Cough

Today is my fourth treatment. I'm typing this as I am getting my oxaliplatin. Pretty exiting being a third of the way there! Not sure what ‘there’ is. But I am on my way.

This morning as I was getting my labs done my port wasn’t cooperating. Oh, by the way, I have a port in my chest now. It’s surgically implanted and is attached to a major blood vessel. It’s where they draw blood from and infuse me with chemo. You can see it when I have my shirt off. You know how in cartoons when someone gets hit on the head a bump grows instantly? That’s what my port looks like. Except instead of my head it’s on my chest.

But today I guess my port was being persnickety so my nurse asked me to turn my head and cough. I was like, “why are you touching my balls?” She said, “Sorry, wrong patient.”

I’m kidding, of course. I was the right patient.

JK. LOL. But she did ask me to stand up and raise my hands over my head and walk in place. That is true. It must have been a ridiculous picture: me with my arms over my head, walking in place, coughing, while the nurse was shaking the IV line, telling me to breathe.

Those ridiculous moments have been the best part of this whole process. Not that there are that many “best parts.” It’s not like I wake up going, “I love the taste of saline in the morning! Can’t wait to not want to eat anything!”

This whole thing can feel so serious that I long for those moments of absurdity. Like why is each level of the parking garage at Emory named after birds? Why did the doctor who first told me I have cancer feel the need to open her spiel with, “None of us know when we are going to die.” Or the woman next to me in the waiting room who kept talking to me about her stool. She’s going on and on about it

and I’m like, “Hi, my name is David, nice to meet you.” Or the nurse on the first day of my chemo who made a joke about Cosplay. No not Cold Play, Cosplay. Look it up. Or when I was at the fertility clinic saving some of my little guys and the room where I had to go do it in had a white noise machine. Why would they have that? It’s not like I’ve ever listened to white noise and thought, “Yep- it’s go time.”

Life is so beautiful and painful and absurd, usually at the same time. I don’t think that’s an accident. I’m reading the book called The Jesuit’s Guide to Almost Everything. One of the ideas the author, Reverend James Martin, S.J, brings up is that God is in everything, and our job is to learn how to see it. That’s how I see it, in the absurdity of it all. In having to swat away flies in the church at my grandmother’s funeral. In playing the cancer card in order to get out of doing dishes. In walking in place with my arms over my head when I’m about to get chemo. It’s how God tells me everything is going to be ok. Even if it isn’t ok.

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