I sit in the second floor waiting room at Dana Farber Cancer Institute while Bruce is taken to a room to pee in a cup and have some blood drawn. He’d already peed in a jug for 24 hours and dropped that off to be analyzed for funky monoclonal plasma cells. They take his "vital signs"--height, weight, blood pressure.
He’s back soon and we get coffee and ride the crowded elevator to meet our nurse practitioner Mary, who will tell us what to expect of this journey into cancer land. Whenever anyone gets off the elevator, I check the floor chart to see what his or her cancer might be. Awful names! We get off at “hematological carcinomas.” Seventh floor.
The end result of today’s visit is Bruce’s first shot of Velcade and his first two oral chemo pills: Revlimid and Dexamethasone--the RVD chemo treatment that makes Multiple Myeloma quake—we hope.
“One pill makes you happy and one pill makes you small. One pill…something, something…” I can’t help singing this. I’m hoping B’s pills provide the 1,2,3 punch we’ve been told they will to knock down this cancer.
And at 1:15 B is seated in the infusion chair and his treatment begins—the first four-week cycle of a total of 15 cycles.
I never wear much jewelry, some days none at all. But today while preparing for the first chemo visit to Dana Farber—Day 1-Cycle 1—I put on earrings that were my mother’s--the ones my daughter wore on her wedding day for “something borrowed”; an opal ring that was my grandmother’s; a birthstone ring that Bruce gave me, and a necklace that my son Dave gave me for Mother’s Day. I wouldn’t be alone. WE wouldn’t be alone.
And I brought this journal. Not sure whose it was. My father’s?
It was empty. Now it’s not.