Today was popcorn day at the Cancer Center. This most definitely helped reduce Nina's anger by at least 30 seconds :) As soon as she got a whiff of the warm, melted butter and salt flowing through the hallway she started demanding a private portion. Luckily, the procedure went flawlessly and she woke up within 15 minutes.This was the shortest period of recovery thus far and we were so encouraged by it all!!
Once we were done with recovery, Eileen went off to run some errands while Nina and I went to the radiology department to have an x-ray study of her port. Since the port was not drawing well, the entire team wanted to find out what the culprit was and how to solve it. Cindy escorted us to the radiology department and we waited our turn. A darling staff (he couldn't have been more than 25 years old) came out and called out "Nina Fredeen". I motioned at him and he walked up, coordinating his eye gaze between me and Nina. He greeted me and the proceeded to say that it was going to be a problem to take her into the room with us. He asked if I had anyone who could stay with her. I actually laughed! Poor guy! Poor anyone having to deal with me. I'm really like a psycho these days; you never know which side of Rosy you're gonna get!
I hushed my laughter, pulled down the blanket covering Nina and pointed to the port on her chest. His mouth actually dropped. He apologized and I said I was sorry too that it was her and not me. He was actually super sweet and further elucidated his sadness for our situation. I tried to graciously accept his generous remarks and explained why we needed the x-ray study. He took us into a huge, dimly lit room, with a ginormous machine. Nina started to whimper. Then she started to cry! I dropped to the floor so that I was eye level. I asked her if she wanted to go home and wait for her cousins to come. She nodded yes through her tears. Then I pulled out a nasty mommy-card. I told her that she needed to stop crying, lay down on the table very still so we could take a picture of her tummy. I explained that if she could that for me, then her cousins would come. She actually wiped the tears running down her cheeks and let me place her on the cold, steal table without a single complaint.
As soon as she was on the the table, I turned to the cute tech boy and explained that I needed to be able to hold her hand through the entire procedure. By this time, the radiologist had also entered the room and introduced himself to me. He was about to say something to Nina but I cut him off before he could generate the phonemes necessary to produce the word "Hi!" He kind of looked at me with a bewildered face. If I had a buck for every time a doctor or nurse has given me that look I would be close to having enough to pay off my second mortgage! I'm really not a jerk! Generally I'm the epitomy of manners and niceties but Nina is over new people. I think I should make a card that says:
So...I did what I said I was going to do. I squatted down next to the x-ray table and held Nina's hand. The cute tech boy gave me a lead apron to cover myself with. I don't care what I get exposed to. If Nina has to be exposed to x-rays and radiation, then I can too! If Nina has to be TPA and not eat breakfast after midnight and until she has recovered from sedation, then I will too! If Nina ends up losing any hair, then I will too! I will help my daughter carry every ounce of discomfort and/or pain that she is dragged through. I don't care how it makes others feels or if it is safe for me. My life has been decimated and some toxicity from radiation or xrays is really a minor thing in the grand scheme of things.
Both Addie and Sosie are keenly aware of the situation. Addie had called on a couple of occasions with specific questions about radiation and pain. I answered each question completely honestly. Addie is 11 and Sosie is 15. Their understanding mirrors our adult emotions and understanding. As such, we have all agreed to respond to them accordingly. Despite sadness in their eyes, both girls were their normal cheerful selves. They were just a lot more glued to Nina and smothered her with way more kisses than usual; but Nina didn't mind! Not one bit!