Hospital time and public awkwardness

Today was day 3 of chemo this week. A friend drove me to the hospital. I’d really like to start driving soon so I will talk to the doctor about it tomorrow. It would be nice to be well enough to drive myself to these appointments. I wore my purple wig because the nurses have come to expect something shocking from me. Today was just one bag of chemo but we were still there from 11:00-2:00. Yesterday we were there from 9:00-2:00 for a blood transfusion and chemo. I really don’t know why it takes so long at the outpatient clinic. I think they all run on “hospital time”.

On the way home we stopped at Panera to get food to go. The restaurant wasn’t busy but I decided it wasn’t worth it to eat there because I’d have to take the mask off. While waiting two young male professionals walked by and one of them started an awkward conversation with me.

Guy: “I like your hair, how did you dye it?”

Me: “it’s a wig”

Guy: “Why are you wearing a wig?”

Me: “because I don’t have any hair”

Guy: “Oh ok, why do you have that mask on, are you sick”

Me: “Yes, I have leukemia”

Guy: “Oh, I’m so sorry.” (nervous laughter)

Me: “it’s okay dude” (echoed with nervous laughter)

Guy: “Have a good afternoon”

Me: “You too, thanks for stopping to chat.”

His friend was waiting at the door and grinning. To try to soften the awkwardness I joked that that’s probably the last time he talks to a girl with purple hair. More nervous laughter…

I have not been in public at all with the exception of places where wigs and masks and sick people are commonplace. I see friends all the time but they know what to expect. I forget in the world of the healthy that cancer is usually the last thing on people’s minds. At The James people see me and know “that girl has cancer” but I guess it’s not obvious in the real world. Or maybe this dude was an idiot.

Last week Wednesday and Thursday were my hardest days and I started to feel improved on Friday. Today I am tired so I expect the same. I have chemo tomorrow (Thursday) and on Friday I see the audiologist for a repeat audiogram to see if my hearing has improved from from the slight loss in the high frequencies from the chemo. Hopefully I’ll feel better for the weekend when I get two days that I don’t have to see a doctor and I don’t have poison injected into my bloodstream.

I’m so thankful for friends who have brought food. You all are spoiling us with all the good food!

A little pint of A+ from yesterday.



Posted on August 1, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What an awkward conversation you had, but it sounds as though you handled yourself well. Good luck with the upcoming chemotherapy and audiogram.

  2. I thought it was funny. You have to laugh.

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