Cheerleaders and Angels

Did I mention to you that the first day of chemo was joyful? No kidding! I promise I’m not lying! The first day of chemo really was a blast. Now, I know that I may have mentioned the fact that I found peace – and joy – on the morning of my first chemo. Believe me, while my daughter accuses me of always blowing bubbles and sunshine out my butt each day, I really have had some less than happy moments, especially at the beginning of this journey. That early morning attitude adjustment was pretty timely – I needed joy to come. But, my inner revelation had nothing to do with the party that was to come.

Leon_MaryNow, before I fill you in on the details of the P-A-R-T-Y, perhaps I should mention that one of my good friends, Kimble, told me that when her father had chemo, the entire infusion lab was decorated with angels – very beautiful, visually appealing, and a wonderful environment. Frankly, it sounded lovely compared to the sterile white walls and floors, stiff (and uncomfortable) upright chairs for family, and light brown patient recliners (which are comfortable). All in all, it’s functional but (and no offense meant to the lab as I LOVE my doctors and nurses) it’s certainly less than visually appealing. The musician and artist in me really doesn’t do drab well and it’s kind of depressing to a soul that craves color and light. After listening to me whine for a bit and have a cyber-pity party (we were instant chatting at work), she tells me, “Well, I’m just going to pray that God sends you angels and that there are angles somewhere in that room tomorrow.” (Remember this little detail, it is important!!)

The Good Luck Elephant

The Good Luck Elephant

The morning progresses pretty much as predicted – I get an attitude adjustment (ha ha!), they access my port and draw 15 pints of blood (that God I used enough Lidocaine!), and finally take upstairs (you know, the inner sanctum where the doctors live), and we have the usual weight (still too much), height (nope, didn’t grow from last week), and blood pressure (and yes, it was a TINY little bit on the high side!). Finally, we’re alone in the room just waiting for the doctor when a nurse comes in with an extremely funny expression on her face – “Mary,” she says, “You have a visitor.” If you thought the look on her face was funny – you should have seen my expression. A visitor? At the oncologist’s office? Now, who has “visitors” at their oncologist office? Tee hee! Me! That’s who!
The door opens and there stands my sister-in-law, Jeanna! Now, Jeanna was a cheerleader in high school and I must say, she still has what it takes to make a cheer happen! Cotton and I, along with the nurses, were treated to our very own kick-cancer-in-the-butt cheer! Talk about putting a smile on your face! She also came bearing gifts – a beautiful scarf and earrings from my mother-in-law, a good luck elephant (with the truck up) that belonged to my husband’s grandmother (It’s been to every chemo with me!), and…. Are you ready for this…. a very beautiful porcelain ANGEL doll! My mother-in-law remembered that I collect angels and found it at an antique show and thought I would like it for my first day of chemo. Outstanding!

The Angel Doll

The Angel Doll

Just as Cotton and I thought the first day of chemo could get no better (after all, how do you top your very own personal cheerleader?), our good friends Joan and Leon walk into the infusion lab. Joan is a breast cancer survivor and it was her day for her Herceptin infusion. Since they know the staff well, I believe that called ahead and bribed the nurses to save the chair next to me for her. Never empty handed, they came bearing cards, books, emergency CHOCOLATE (that’s what I’m talking about!), and love, smiles and friendship. We spent the morning laughing, talking, and cracking jokes. I’m certain there must be a “rule” somewhere that chemo is supposed to be a solemn affair but since when do I care about rules?

So, yes, there were indeed ANGELS in the infusion lab that morning – angels that came performing cheers, angels bearing chocolate, and angel dolls reminding us that whether we see them or not, they’re always there, especially when good friends ask. Yes, Kimble, there were indeed angels.

Just to add a quick update…. I posted this article on a Wednesday night. When I went to chemo the next day, it was as if God were sharing a funny little joke with me…. there were angels EVERYWHERE, including a beautiful stained glass one hanging from my IV pole. I loved it!
© Mary Kyle. 2013. All rights reserved.

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