Life In Fast Forward

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Chapter Four

So bone marrow biopsies suck. That is my professional opinion. They started me on chemo the day they told me I had cancer so I had a few experiences with doctors before that hellish test. I was well aware of their lying tongues. It came as a stark warning when the doctor told me that it would hurt. No sweet lying words like discomfort or pinch. He said the word hurt. Fun. They can freeze skin and flesh but not bone. You can feel that corkscrew device they use to extract bone marrow going into your hip. Every damn turn.

Had seven or eight months of chemo every two weeks with several drugs on my regimen. Took about three to four hours to pump them all in. One could kill you dead if put in wrong. One made my pee red. One hurt like a bitch. You could take it slow so it just burned for an hour or turn up the drip so your whole arm felt like it was falling off for a half hour. I usually turned it up unless I was near breaking.

They blew my veins and poked me so many times a week I was no better than a pincushion. My hair fell out, all of it. You really have no idea how much one needs eyelashes until you lose them. Getting dust all up in eye holes isn't pleasant.

The thing that really pissed me off was a few months later I learned they had this shit that numbs your skin. Was in emergency due to some issue or another. They had just finished sticking me half a dozen times to no avail and I heard a kid crying about getting an IV put in. He wasn't much younger than me. The nurse offered to numb his hand. I almost got off the damn bed and stuck my head through the sheet they used to separate us so I could ask how long that had been an option. I just quietly fumed.

Ran into this one guy who asked me why I shaved my head. I’d known him in passing. He had been friends with that guy I dated, the one that was way too old for me. We had actually met before I met that old guy. Met when I was like thirteen and he was like sixteen. He knew my friend, we flirted a bit. Well, I had and he had laughed. Still, no idea how he looked at the dark circles under my eyes and my entirely hairless form then asked me that. I looked like fucking death.

Anyway, as I said they blew nearly all the veins in my arms. As in they tried and failed to properly tap into a blood vessel when they pushed saline in it burst the thing. I was left with worse track marks than a smacky and no entry points. They put a PICC line in. A peripherally inserted central catheter, essentially an intravenous line that stays there. A line from the crook of my elbow that snaked up inside my vein and sat in the top of my heart. Still, have the scar from that one.

Along with the white blood cell boost I had to inject into my stomach I had a PICC to care for. Had to push saline through it periodically. Felt cold. Better than the stomach injection which just flat out hurt.

By the end of my treatment, I had to spend the last two weeks in the hospital. They had killed my immune system so they stuck me in an isolation room. Boring as fuck. Met a cool nurse. He kept me sane. Told me stories of the outside world and about his girlfriend. I snuck out occasionally and got lightly scolded when they found me in the nurse's kitchen.

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