I have a love/hate relationship with Sloan-Kettering. Well, obviously I hate them because they have a tendency to stick needles in random places on my body and generally frighten the bejeezus out of me. The thing is, they’re all just so damn NICE about it – hence the love.
Yesterday was another dreaded visit to see Dr. Doom and all his needle wielding lackeys. It never ceases to amaze me that they all remember me. I can’t be the only patient that regularly showed up to chemo in daiquiri ice and hot pink wigs.
After checking in with the receptionist, I cruised to the blood drawing suite. I climbed into the special chair they have for the blood lettings. “Hey girl!” a cheerful voice called. “You’re hair looks great, but I have to admit I miss the wigs.”
“Don’t tell, but I miss them a tiny bit, too. I’ve been trolling the hair color isle at my CVS. Lady Clairol doesn’t seem to carry my shade.”
She giggled good naturedly as she tied the rubber tourniquet onto my upper arm. I squirmed in anticipation.
Blood Letter turned to her co-worker – an older, heavy set, white gentleman with an incredibly bald head. “This one used to show up in the craziest wigs,” she said as she waved the needle in my direction.
As I swallowed back the vomit of dread, Mr. Clean leaned towards me. “Looks like you’ve got a pretty good head of hair there to me.”
“A few months ago, people might have thought you and I were twins,” I replied.
The gory stuff transpired while Blood Letter and Mr. Clean giggled a bit more.
As she wrapped the gauze around my cotton ball filled elbow, Blood Letter leaned in closer. “You know, I told my daughter about you and she asks after you all the time. I’d tell her all about your wigs and she’d say, ‘Mama I sure do wish I could meet her. I’d ask her for her autograph!'”
Well shit. Now how can I be mad at her for stabbing me? See? Back to the love/hate.
…and then there’s Aloysius. I don’t think anyone has ever put me through more heinous shit than this man. Then again, there’s that whole saved-my-life thing he’s got going for him. I dread going to see him, but I also look forward to it.
“Rock and Roll!” he shouts as he walks into the room. “How are things?!”
Dude, my oncologist is my homey.
He listens to all my concerns, no matter how little or douchey they might be. When we first met, he warned me that odds were pretty high I’d spend a fair amount of time in his waiting room. He admits he often falls behind schedule. But he also promised that once I was in his examining room, he’d give me as much time as I needed and answer each question in my never ending barrage of concerns. That seems like a more than fair trade off to me!
When the Elly Inquisition started to loose steam and I had covered all the issues on my checklist, I suddenly noticed Aloysius’ voice was a little off.
“Did you go to a big rock show last night or are you fighting off a cold?” I asked.
“Actually a little of both,” he shyly smirked, then laughed. “I declared this my year of concerts.”
“Seriously, I’m trying to find some balance in life and I haven’t been able to do it. So I said ‘Screw it – I’m just going to go to rock concerts all year. Unlike my usual declarations, I’m actually sticking with it.”
“Your favorite show thus far?”
“We went to All Points West – total mud fest. We had a good time. The Killers were great. We’ve got Snow Patrol coming up.” Pretty hip for a science guy, eh?
“Actually, there’s something coming up you’d be into. There’s a two-day music festival in my town in a few weeks. It’s free! Apparently this is where all my tax dollars go. There are some great bands playing: They Might Be Giants, Gin Blossoms, The Alarm, Tonic, and a mess of other good 80’s bands.”
“Better get that voice back in shape if you’re going to do me proud and scream like a hormonally imbalanced twelve-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.”
Sigh. Not only does he cure cancer, he’s amusing, too. Yay for Sloan-Kettering. Yay for remission. Yay!