Aug 04




It was a great day in the oncology office, as usual.  I’m still being high-fived by the staff for my excellent June results: echocardiogram, tumor markers, cell search and blood panel all looking stellar is cause for big celebration and oncology folk celebrate whenever possible.  I love good results and I’m grateful that my summer medical complication is isolated to my toe.  I can handle that, people.  I can handle that.

There was happy chatter and banter in the Chemo Room again.  My nurse began teasing me when I got up for my second(?), third(?) warm blanket–telling me that only one blanket is allowed.  I shot back: “Nope, don’t forget: I’m VIP around here!”  Everyone laughed at the ridiculousness of the statement.  The room, the nurses, the patients, these are my people.  I call it my hallowed ground.  I’ll be bringing my girls in with me on Friday while I get my shots.  I love sharing my hallowed ground with my daughters, too.

Another newbie was in her chair, getting her first chemo treatment.  We gave her the spiel about helpful things: wigs–or lack thereof, head-shaving, nausea remedy, and general, “You’ve got this!” talk.  She blinked in surprise that she didn’t get much of her book read.  She probably won’t bother bringing a book by her third or fourth treatment.  We talk each other through treatment and never run out of things to say.  We laugh, we joke, we catch up.  It’s like real life book club: we are the characters.

As I drove away from my appointment, I mulled over what to do with the evening.  Once again I chucked the responsibilities list.  After I picked up cheerful girls from Phenom’s house, I said, “Who wants to go to the pool?”  Right there I created my own little fan club, two littles jumping and cheering like mad.  Just like that, I’m VIP for the second time in one day.

Whilst they changed into swimsuits and packed up pool toys, I made some pool dinners and packed a cooler.  We ended up staying for hours… right through sunset.  They were so cheerful and happy as they played with each other, with me, with their friends.  They invented games, they cheered for each other, they problem-solved together.  I stepped in to dole out food, to swat at a really persistent horsefly, to blow bubbles for them to splash-chase.  Mostly, I watched them, and listened to them, and sat feeling nostalgic as the sun set.

VIP, indeed.  We are blessed.





  1. Lisa Smith /

    Lovely Jen. xo

  2. Kim Rourke /

    Way to go VIP! Happiness all around!

  3. julie /

    Well personally I always knew you were VIP

  4. julie /

    Well personally I knew you were VIP way back when our paths crossed so no surprise there. 🙂 Glad you had an awesome day that included the kiddos!

  5. Michelle /

    This made my day!!!!

  6. peggy /

    I LOVE the “real life book club where you are the characters”! I do believe you could and should write a book about your experience. It’s about time the infusion room is portrayed as the warm, loving place where incredible friendships are often formed rather than just a line-up of recliners surrounded by IV drips. You have a VIP story to tell, Miss Jen. Think about doing it. ♥p

  7. Lori6NV /

    Such great news! Pool nights are the best nights.

  8. Sharon /

    Most excellent news! You are a VIP, and even going through everything you have, it is inspiring to know you feel blessed. You are one strong woman.