I show up to my parent’s house about an hour and a half before her appointment. We chat about the most recent episode of housewives or another tv show we have in common and then we hit the road. We park on the same level every time because it has the bridge to the hospital and somehow we manage to always find a spot. We hit up the restroom and then we head to the office and she gets her bracelet and we sit and wait for them to call her name. She weighs in and we get her pod assignment and then we part ways.
Today it was a familiar face greeting us in the waiting room. It was my favorite nurse. While I’ve only taken her to 4 chemos I have a favorite nurse. She knows that once mom is seated I leave immediately to go get food because I can’t be there when they access her port for her blood draw. Because there’s a decent chance I would pass out and that may cause a bit of commotion. So I go down to the atrium and get her two bottles of water and look for a snack for myself.
By the time I get back they already have the results of her blood draw. She rattles off the numbers to me and we analyze them thoroughly. And then the nurse tolerates our questions. Why would this one go up? Why is this one down? How concerned should we be about germs? And then we look back at previous numbers to see if there are any trends. And eventually her benadryl kicks in and she takes a brief nap. I watch tv on my phone or play pyramid solitaire and then mom and I chat when she wakes up. It’s our routine. It’s our chemo routine and it’s a routine I’d never imagine us having but I’m glad we get to spend this time together.