Cancer Days

...any day that starts at six-something
in the morning is not a good day.

for me, anyway, but up we are and needs must be,
if we are to have time for a coffee, pit rinse, deodorant update and a couple of darts before the volunteer pulls up in his mini-van downstairs for the run to the hospital in the city.

we are five in the van today. you're never sure who your fellow patients might be - could be someone with the nose-flutes and an oxygen tank or maybe just bald like you. might be a leafs fan, might not.
it's all good.


gord's riding shotgun this morning. the driver remembers him from earlier days in the treatment cycle, and they're talking mileage.

it seems the volunteer drivers are adjusting to a recent decrease in their mileage rate, from 35 cents to 25 cents
a klick, just as speculators leverage the Libya situation to drive gas prices into a brave new profit horizon.

a staff person drove out to Mississauga from cancer central to explain exactly why. they want to emphasize funding for research.

one of the volunteer drivers asked what his rate mileage was to come to the meeting. it turns out staff still get the 35 cent rate.

 the new volunteer mileage almost covers the gas, but getting in and out of the city with 4 or 5 passengers also costs you brake pads, tire treads, air filters and other wear and tear.

they've lost a lot of volunteer drivers since then. that's what i call MBA thinking.


best day/light traffic, the ride in and out is 50 bucks each way. going in every week, these rides mean a lot to us. we'd happily throw a fiver in a jar if we knew it was going to to buy him new brake pads, or get his interior detailed or whatever... if there was a way to do and be sure the money went straight to our driver.

i think a lot of people appreciate this service, and would give what they could to... maybe that's community thinking, i don't know...


this week, we knew where to report for the blood work... not that it speeds the process up by even a micro-second. this week. our 9:15 appointment starts promptly at 9:55.

the technical term is short-staffed.

it is Anda, the Russian woman who did the blood work last week, but there is no time for her sharp insights and sexy accent this week.

it's nice to see a familiar face anyway, as her sani-gloved hands whir and blur, blue hummingbirds over my brother's PICC line. three inches of dark red blood appear in a glass tube.

rinse, button-up and we are outta there, with 15 minutes to complete the journey to the Doc zone, to arrive in time for our scheduled appointment.

this is about 14 and a half minutes more than we need to get to where we need to be and check in. and then we wait.


that was an hour ago. my brother's ass is beginning to reject the seat in the wheelchair. it's a single flap of some vinyly/leatherette material, no padding and he doesn't have much there either. bad combination.

he does a controlled fall into a regular chair
and i take the wheel chair seat for a while.


11:45, and we are in like Flint for our 10:15.

there's even a Doc sighting as he ducks into a nearby cubicle. his nurse does the BP and intro questions, we pass along the notes from the home-care nurse and again, we wait.

when the Doc comes, he goes over the vitals with us, stethoscopes a few spots and then "hmmmms" at some sensitivity in Gord's lower east side.
we don't like these moments.

he says it's probably lower intestine inflammation - gas or something related to the lack of solids lately. noted. all the key blood counts are good, no fever, pain under control...

the result? new anti-nausea script and a note to Mom to get some Milk of Magnesia too.


we're home. we update Mom, do the paperwork and there seems to be consensus
that a group nap is in order.


one way of looking at this might see 6 hours for 15 minutes of treatment and face time as a bad deal.

but we've seen one of the outstanding stem cell therapy specialists in the country, he had the test results he needed and we got from the burbs downtown and back again.

the only money we've spent was for apple juice,
a coffee, 2 donuts and a paper.

context. it's important.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: