Tomorrow I’ll write about Kobe.
Today, I’m writing about nipple tape.
That is a not a phrase I type often. I don’t particularly like the word nipple. Or the word tape. And no this blog has not taken a turn for the erotic. It hasn’t gone from an in depth look at the hopeful moments of life to an exploration of BDSM.
You see, I want to give people an inside look. To pull back the curtain. What’s it really like to face a life altering diagnosis and years and years of treatment. What surprises pop up along the way.
One of them is nipple tape.
Most of the medicines used to fight cancer are given intravenously. This allows doctors to more precisely dose the medicine. It allows it faster access to the blood stream. Chemotherapy in pill form can be very effective, but it has to be broken down by the body before it can be useful.
If you’ve had the pleasure of getting an IV, you’ve probably gotten it in your arm. Since most cancer patients are getting several IV’s a month, and because some of the drugs take as long as two days to drip out, the arm is a less viable option. Most people you know who have cancer have a port, a power port, surgically implanted in their chest. I’ve had mine for almost three years. It looks like a little bump on the top of my right breast. When they access your port with the IV they need to keep it in place. That would be a pretty awkward moment-you sitting there, having a salad, watching your needle fall out of your chest. So they cover it in tape. And not just that one little area. They cover all of it. And then they reinforce it with more tape. Then they reinforce it again.
This isn’t some bullshit scotch tape. This is medical grade go fuck yourself tape. This is what they bring in when duct tape can’t get the job done. From the moment they adhere it I know it’s just a matter of time before they have to rip it off. And let me tell you- it hurts like hell.
During this process, Jaimie has been nothing if not supportive. She’s brought me tea and gatorade. She’s made me soup. She’s changed out vomit bags and made me sleep.
But even saints have sins. And Jaimie, supportive, loving Jaimie, loves nothing more than watching this tape get ripped off of me. It’s the greatest part of her week! When the nurse comes over her eyes light up. As I wince in pain, Jaimie laughs with glee. And then quickly covers it up and pretends to be nurturing.
It takes them a couple of minutes to get rid of all of the fuck you tape. I call Jaimie evil as she tries to hide her smiles. The nurse apologizes as I writhe in my chair. After it’s finally gone my chest sits there pink and raw and exposed. And she can’t help but laugh.
I forgive her though. Because it is funny. Besides, if getting my chest hair removed is the worst part of my day, it must have been a good one. And if Jaimie’s laughing, that means she’s there with me. It’s a trade I’ll make every single time.