You earned that little party for one last night, my dear sweet Jeff, more than earned it.
As expected, it was an all-day affair in the Cross’s chemo room, culminating in that last hour of intensity. “This is the pivotal one,” my amazing nurse told us late in the day, the one who had just told me she loved me, and to my response that I loved her too, replied with a smile and an “I love you more.”
“This is the one we have to watch every second of,” she said. “Since I’ve now added another 100 mg Benadryl to the Lorazepam and Benadryl she got earlier, she may not be alert enough to hit the call button if the need arises. So it’s your job, sir, to watch. Watch for flushing, watch for itching, watch for rash, watch for headache, watch for her throwing the blanket off, watch for anything unusual at all. Just watch. This is the drug she actually reached a lifetime allowance of four years ago, the drug her oncologist loves best. She waits the required four years to reuse it, but I have some patients here who have used it many, many times again past that point, one elderly woman here 20 times now.”
So after being at my beck and call all day, you did just that: watched me sleep through that last hour-long infusion. I’d crack my eyes open, and there you were, your eyes on me. I’m still aglow with feeling loved.
At home a few hours later, in the loveliest deep sleep on our giant boat-sized couch, feeling nothing but joy and light around me, hearing a happy party in progress, literally, a party complete with all our favourite music playing at party volume, I open my eyes for a while, and see you there in my little red mini chair, a hand full of snacks in one hand, an empty glass of Scotch or something next you, laughter on your face.
I’m full to the brim with joy: you’ve more than earned this little party. I go back to sleep.