Inside and Out

Mantra The wind’s still up, combing the firs and pines, stripping away weak or dead limbs. This morning there was frost on the threshold, and the weather report says something about snow or “winter precipitation.” Given how everyone around here drives at the sight of a white flake or two, it’s probably best to stay off the roads entirely.

I have a few minutes now to go sit and breathe, and let everything inside me wind down and (hopefully) come to a rest. I got up early, and spent the majority of the day as a chemo squire. That’s the person who drives the patient there, steps and fetches stuff, talks quietly, is supportive, sometimes asks pertinent questions the patient might not think of, adjusts the pillows, holds the space, and finally drives yon exhausted patient home. It’s pretty fascinating to see the drips and the various safety measures–for example, two people verbally checking with the patient, each other, and the paperwork to make sure they have the right dose, the right person, and the right timing. The means for taking vitals have come a long way–a wrist thingummy to take blood pressure and pulse, temporal thermometer, a fingertip thingummy to measure oxygenation in the peripherals. The chemicals themselves send a shiver down my back.

C was peppier today afterwards than she generally is, but the process is beginning to wear on her. It is, after all, poison being fed in, slow drip by slow drip, to kill off the malignant bits while the rest of her survives.

Some people have a veneer, and when that gets worn away you get glimpses of what they really are underneath. With C, though, you can scratch and scratch, and she’s the same clear through. People who are the same inside and out are rare and precious.

I’m hoping she makes it.

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4 Replies to “Inside and Out”

  1. I like that phrase Chemo Squire. Its brutal at times, but, having great support makes a world of difference… friends are worth fighting for.

  2. With friends like you her chances improve exponentially. It’s proven science, never argue with proven science. 🙂 Oh, by the way, you rock!

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