The gorgeous woman pictured above is my sister. She is coming to chemo with me today. This picture was taken at my head shaving party. I didn't plan for a head shaving party, once just kind of happened and it was wonderful. More on that in a later post, but I do highly recommend to others that shaving your head makes the inevitable hair loss much, much easier to take.
I have had someone different come to each chemo appointment with me. Each session lasts more than three hours, so this companionship has been incredibly important (In fact, I would also advise cancer patients to bring someone with them to most appointments. It is common to find that any info provided is forgotten as soon as it's heard unless you have someone to take notes. Just as important is having someone to help you find where you're going and to keep you company while you wait).
Each person who has come with me has been special to me.
My spouse came to my first appointment. It was great to have his wry humour and our shared sense of the bizarre as we took in this experience for the first time.
My friend J. drove me to the second chemo. We work together and have always really liked each other but chemo gave us the time to really get to know each other. I feel like our friendship has become richer and more intimate.
D., one of my oldest friends, came to chemo number three. We both lead very busy lives and don't see each other as much as we'd like, so it was lovely to have this uninterrupted time together. D. stood in for my sister at my wedding (my sister was working Japan at the time). D. has always been very important to me. I also have to stay on her good side; she has my power-of-attorney (I call it 'power to pull the plug') should something happen to both my spouse and me.
My friend H. came to my last appointment. We had really just found each other as friends when I found the lump, yet she was one of the very first people I told. She has been one of my most important sources of support throughout this experience and continues to exceed my expectations of friendship. She has also injured herself prior to each appointment that she has attended with me. Not sure what that's about.
B. will be coming to my final round of chemo. She is a true force to be reckoned with and a wonderful friend. B. puts the same energy into coordinating a political campaign as she did into coordinating friends to come to appointments, make food for my family and provide support in so many important ways. She also really knows how to have a good time and has helped me to remember how to have fun during these last few months.
I really am a very lucky person.