This past Monday we started the second three-week cycle of my chemotherapy battle plan. This time around, the biggest challenge seem to be the weather.
As you may or may not be aware, Jerusalem was besieged by a couple of feet of snow. Now granted, a couple of feet of snow is news and a reason to pause when you’re in the Northeast. But, bear in mind, not many people own snow shovels, let alone snowplows or snowblowers in and around Jerusalem. Quite frankly, with the snow having fallen on Thursday and Friday, completely paralyzing the city, we had no clue how long it was going to take for us to reach the hospital. I had assumed that what was normally a 40 min. drive would’ve taken about three hours but, lo and behold, the whole thing took about an hour and a half.
Granted, these photos are more beautiful than they are treacherous, but just up the road were dozens and dozens of abandoned cars, their drivers having been rescued days before. On top of all this, the news was full of accounts of closed roads and unpassable highways. School had been closed for days (In fact, some of the country is still on a “snow break” and it’s been almost one week!) and I was gearing up, getting ready to talk my way through any roadblocks.
But, none of that was necessary. We made it to the hospital by 11:30, checked in with the receptionist. And then we waited. And waited. After a couple of hours, I was called in for a urine test and a blood pressure test. Happily, I passed, but now I was in for another wait of “at least an hour” as the proper meds were ordered from the pharmacy. “Ah,” you ask, “why weren’t the meds there if they knew I was coming?” Good question. Apparently, Lots of people weren’t making it in (Although you wouldn’t know it from the waiting room!) and they didn’t want to order very expensive meds without knowing for sure if (1) a patient is there and (2) said patient is able to receive said medication.
Actually, it makes sense.
So, any guesses as to what time I was called in for treatment, having arrived at 11:30? That’s right: about 3:30. I spent roughly the same amount of time waiting around as I did getting treatment. Again, I can’t complain; the system seems to be working for me.
Playing the Cancer Card
Here’s a funny story: We had decided to purchase a television for our bedroom. Actually, it was my lovely wife who decided that, since I’ll be stuck in bed for a few days, it would make sense to get a tv in the bedroom (which we haven’t had in years). So, she purchased one, arranged for delivery and then scheduled the satellite guy to come and hook it all up on Tuesday (day after chemo). Wouldn’t you know it, due to the terrible weather, all scheduled installations were being pushed off about five days. Not to be deterred, here’s what my girl does: she tells the hapless customer service rep that we simply have to get our tv installed because I have cancer, am in treatment right now, and the only reason we’re getting it is to keep me company as I’m stuck in bed.
“We’ll call you back.”
And they did. This time, the supervisor got on the line and, after a similar exchange she said, no problem. The guy will be there tomorrow.
As I’ve intimated here before: why not take advantage when you can, right?
So, all in all, Monday was a success. We got in and out of the city, to and from treatment. The tv guy was scheduled. How could it possibly get any better? Well, before we left for the day, my wife had set aside some chopped meat, having spiced it for meatballs to be prepared later in the day by the kids. With minimal direction from us, they prepared the most delicious meatloaf. Said my son: “I found a recipe, but I didn’t really follow it; I just used my instinct.”
Pretty impressive. And delicious!
Finally, how am I doing? The past couple of days have been tough. I would have liked to have posted yesterday or even the day before. But, yesterday was a complete day off for me. I was in bed for most of it (watching tv!). Today is looking up a bit, although the nausea is coming in unsettlingly strong waves. I am reminded that this is what it was like last time and, soon enough, I’ll be feeling better.
Thanks for all the good wishes. keep ’em coming!