Every day in every way I’m getting better and better. Every day in every way I’m getting better and better. Every day in every way I’m getting better and better. Every day in every way I’m getting … oh, the hell with it.
Okay, first of all, the Monday x-ray is simply to make sure I am situated correctly in the Cyclops and to make any adjustments needed to the radiation beams. Perhaps the tumor has shrunk a little, perhaps not. Dr. Wilcox won’t admit to anything. Perhaps the next chemo cycle will be easier, perhaps not. What he is sure about is a diet of Ensure (gak gak gak gak gak), and maybe, okay, I got some blisters in the Antarctic region. But I do feel better today than I felt yesterday, for which thank god. There is a Mexican saying that translates as “there is no ill that lasts a hundred years, because there is no body that can withstand it.” That constitutes yer cheerful thought for today.
Wilcox, who is a jolly sort, also allowed as how the plan is to kill me and then bring me back, so if I don’t make it through, you know who to send the sheriff after. And just to make the point crystal clear, when they delivered the first chemo dose a week ago, they sent me home with a commodious shoe-box labeled Chemotherapy Spill Kit, emergency response pack.” The directions on the back read:
Contents: 2 pr ChemoPlus gloves (Malaysia): 1 ChemoPlus Gown (China): 1 pr safety glasses, 1 respirator mask, 3 spill towels, 2 Chemo Waste Bags, 1 pr shoe coverings, 1 sign, 2 ChemoSorb pads, 1 scoop with detachable scraper, 1 tie wrap (USA).
This, essentially, is a HazMat suit.
KEEP EVERYONE AWAY FROM SPILL SITE.
1. Take out all contents of this kit. Display sign near spill area.
I was curious to know what the sign says, but it’s neatly packaged up with the rest of the stuff so I let it be. I suspect it says “Chemical Waste Dump! Run for your lives!”
2. Put on ChemoPlus Gown, shoe coverings, respirator mask, safety glasses and both pairs of gloves (large gloves first). Important: Read enclosed instruction for respirator mask to ensure proper fit.
3. Lay ChemoSorb Pads over the spill. The pads will absorb the liquid and transform it into a gel to assist in disposal. Caution: ChemoSorb gel us extremely slippery when wet. Avoid skin and eye and do not inhale.
Presumably steps 3 and 4 are to be managed while turning blue.
4. Detach scoop from scraper and use both to pick up the ChemSorb gel. Place contaminated gel in one of the waste bags. If there is any broken glass, use scoop to place it in a Sharps Container.
And if you are allergic to natural rubber latex, you are fucked.
This is the stuff they are putting inside of me. Kevin Wilcox, M.D. Pleasant sort, early 40s maybe, a little tubby. Mondays at Kona Community Hospital. Dr. Keona Beale and, currently, Dr. Dipak Ghelani, M.D., Kaiser Kona. Remember those names.
Also, I ‘fessed up to my supervising attorney today about the cancer and the chemo, and put the entire employment question in his hands. Nothing like living on the edge.