How I Wound Up Spending Friday Evening Happy Hour In Emerge

Well it all started with a little bird.  While visiting Shawn on the weekend, I discovered a nest right in one of the flower pots, surrounded by dahlias and petunias.

I was so honoured to have this feathery visitor to our garden, that I decided to roll up my sleeves and do a major garden makeover.  As I weeded, pruned and mulched, I felt myself getting more and more tired.  Not the normal tiredness that comes with a good honest day’s work, but the low energy, chills and sense of un-wellness which could only mean one thing: an infection.   At some point in my gardening endeavors I must have pricked my skin on my lymph-node deficient left side, allowing infection to set in.

My plans for Friday evening involved sitting on my friend Kathy’s patio, having “just the one” glass of wine and enjoying the sunny weather……not sitting in a hospital waiting room for hours on end.   On a brighter note however, as soon as I mentioned my history of cancer, I was fast tracked to the head of the long line!  I was so pleased by this preferential treatment that I briefly considered resurrecting my 100 Perks and adding Perk 101:  Fast tracked in the ER.  In no time, I found myself on a stretcher, hooked up to I.V antibiotics and dodging dirty looks from the many patients who had been biding their time waiting to be seen by a doctor.

Surrounded by the familiar hospital smells, the sound of the I.V pump and the feel of the needle in my arm, I found myself experiencing “chemo flashback”.  I was gripped with fear and a profound sadness, as I felt the hot tears bubble to the surface.  “It is just not fair”, I thought, “I am done with cancer, why can’t I just move on with my life?”  Followed by, “Cancer will always be there, I will never be free of it.”  And if that was not enough to really wind me up for a good cry, I added, “Shawn may as well go and find himself a healthy woman.”  I called my friend, Lil, intent on stepping the ole pity party up a notch, but to no avail.  Rather than wallowing along with me, Lil said, “Oh stop your boo-hooing.  Forget the chemo flashback and pretend you are shooting up heroin!”

So, I ended up spending the Canada Day weekend in the hospital, hooked up to i.v. antibiotics, pretending that I was shooting up heroin, so as to avoid another episode of the dreaded chemo flashback.  And all because of that effing little bird.

(Doesn’t she look smug sitting on that lamp post?)

 

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Facing Cancer (@cancer2gether)
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 16:24:37

    Oh my goodness – I did not expect that flip in circumstances when you first showed that sweet photograph of the bird’s nest. So sorry to hear your Canada Day weekend ended up in the hospital. Hopefully you are out now? Or getting out soon. Hey – there’s still Monday . . . maybe you can have your ‘one’ glass then?

    Catherine
    http://www.facingcancer.ca

    Reply

  2. kevin
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 19:58:21

    HI flo,
    I should say warrior, and that is what and who you are. You are human and intitled to a little self-pity…just don’t stay there to long. You know WE WOULD ALL FEEL THE FEAR IF IT WAS HAPPENING TO US. rEMEMBER Trust in the Lord and with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. This is lilly by the way. Kevin’s computer is Hi Tech and I am having difficultly working it. I got locked out of mine do to some hacker trying to hack into it. My new email is, lilster.1957@hotmail.ca
    Don’t you give up….you hear. We are all praying for you. This is just a little set back causing the infection…I believe it is not related to the cancer. Remember your counts take a long time to come back to normal. Love you and we are praying for you.

    Lilly

    Reply

  3. Jan Baird Hasak
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 22:28:20

    Oh, Flo! As one who has lymphedema in my left arm, I can completely relate to that. I haven’t yet had an infection, but my lymphedema developed when I had a garden poke. Same thing. Rolling up sleeves and getting in there. So sorry this happened to you. I pray you get well very soon. xxoo

    Reply

  4. Tranquil Moments Photography
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 11:41:17

    Oh dear, you certainly didn’t expect a hospital trip this past weekend. At least you acted fast and got to the hospital. Hope you are feeling better today Florence.

    Reply

  5. Pinkunderbelly
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 12:56:28

    Yikes! I know well that hospital-induced flashback, and the horror of being in the thick of cancer again can strike anytime. I agree that cancer will always be with us, and that it’s just not fair. I was hoping this post would be full of sweetness after seeing that darling bird’s nest and just hate it for you that it’s not. Hoping you’re home now and on the mend.

    Reply

  6. rachturner
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 17:52:12

    SO sorry about your trip to the ER. I had the exact same thought when I read you were fast-tracked in the ER – “there’s perk # 101!!” :) I get exactly what you are saying. After a grueling year, you just want to be “normal.” But normal is different now, right? It’s still good, though. That’s what we have to remember. Hope you are feeling much improved.

    Reply

  7. Donna MacNeil
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 21:55:56

    Hope you are on the mend and feeling better! Damn birds.. tee hee… I travel far and wide to see the little critters!
    I didn’t comment on your last two posts as I was away and reading them on my iPod and the little keys are such a pain to type on!
    Congratulations on the book deal… SO exciting! I got lost in your co-author’s blog for a few hours.. good stuff! I’ll be in line for the book! Let the record show I had quinoa burgers for supper!! :-)
    Your post on reaching #100 really resonated with me. I have always disliked the “lost her/his battle with cancer’ phrase. I also have always been scared to say that I am a “survivor” for fear of jinxing things, thinking that cancer is going to say “oh yeah, that’s what you think!”.. crazy, I know. But I like your take on it.. with spirit in tact, you have survived it no matter what is going on with your body.
    Hugs,
    Donna (still doing my Qi Gong learned at the retreat!!)

    Reply

  8. Florence Strang
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 13:33:55

    Thank you all for your kind remarks and well wishes.
    Nancy, I remember you talking on your blog about flashback caused by a plastic drinking straw, if I recall correctly.
    Donna, glad to hear you are still practicing your “skills for healing”.
    Lily and Kevin, thanks for being there for Ben!

    Reply

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