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Round 8: Speedy Goes to Chemo.
Yesterday: October 8, 2014

R

“Road trip! Woohoo. We are going to UofC to see my “fefol” (other guinea pigs) and get treatment. Number 5 is in the house, fefol. “

It is the first time for Speedy to be taken out since arriving in his new home.  He was thankful to be rescued and join the other toys like Moo, the cow (more on Moo in coming post).  Speedy arrives at the hospital and takes a peek from the backpack and surveys the waiting room area.

“Psst….hey lady. What’s up with the crochet? Who is it for?”
“Hey, mister. Do I need a mask too?  That is a cool chair with electric wheel?”  It is totally new environment for Speedy and just takes it all in.

It is early and the waiting room is slowly filling up again with patients coming for their treatment. Just another normal day for us cancer patients.  I brought along my new toy, Speedy courtesy of Mary Ann, for some selfies.

I like an early start because I get to finish early too, hopefully.  I was called already for my vital sign, they have accessed my port, and I gave them a urine sample (don’t ask why this is included..).  I need to be screened to check if I am healthy for another round of chemo.  They are normally concern about my platelet count which was a problem before.

This my world once a week: The world of clinical trials.  The world of cancer.  The rest of the week is spent coping and making the most of what life has to offer.

While my blood was being drawn, I overheard a patient next to me saying that her anniversary date is coming up this October. 15 years, she says. Wow. I am on my 6th year fighting cancer and she has more than double the years of my diagnosis.  She wears a hat to hide her balding head but is so cheery in greeting all the nurses  who has been taking care of her.  She knows all of them.  She has an admiring personality and perspective all brought or enhanced by cancer.

This is one thing I noticed in others as well as myself.  Cancer transforms you.  How deep is the transformation would depend how cancer is accepted.

“In the meantime, inside the infusion room Speedy notices many things.

Hmmm…. fefol here are treated better.  They give you reclining chairs or bed in isolated rooms while us guinea pigs are kept in cages, carpeted by a bed of wood shaving to pee and take a crap, or sometimes croak on.  They even have individual TVs.  If lucky, we have spinning wheels to entertain us.  What’s up with that!  Talk about the have’s and the have-not’s.

Hello!  Class warfare.  Where is Reverend Al Sharpton?  I say we do a march for the oppressed guinea pigs.  Occupy UofC: We kick the ass of the human class!”

I bring out Speedy for a selfie and talk to him.  Listen Speedy: I am here receiving this trial drug because of your sacrifice.  You proved that this drug is safe enough to be tested on me, Number 5.  You have done your job and I will take it from here.  Thank you.

Speedy melts.  “Reverend who?”

Hello, fefol!  Speedy in the house.

Hello, fefol! Speedy in the house.

Cheers.

P.S.
This weekend is the Chicago marathon.  I found a bib to enter but had to pass.  Over the weekend I sprained my right ankle.   Depressed.  It would have been my test run for next month’s NYC marathon.  I am sure the Kenyans are rejoicing my absence.

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Round 7: A Guinea Pig Called Speedy
October 2, 2014

YYesterday I had chemo after a one week break.  Today I am sluggish, recovering, but still standing.  I thought I pass posting something this week but couldn’t.  Somebody came through for me.

Arriving from the hospital yesterday tired, I was welcomed by a “care package” sent by MaryAnnG, a work colleague of mine.  I just had to smile.  Inside was a Beanie Ballz guinea pig with an inscription of number 5 at the front, like a bib number, and a card.  I have known Mary Ann for several years now and she is the only who can throw an inside joke on me like this on me.  It made me forget the days event at the hospital.

Wait there’s more.  She mentions in the card to read the tag inscription hanging on the guinea pig appropriately named Speedy, it reads:

Speedy:  You’ll only see a blur as I race on by.  No one can catch me, so don’t even try!

The silent metaphor blew me and today I am still smiling.  Thanks, Mary Ann.

Hi, my name is Speedy.  I am a guinea pig and a runner.

Hi, my name is Speedy. I am a guinea pig and a runner.

Cheers.

P.S.  Yesterday, I joke my clinical trial doctor when he check to see me; I said I think I need an Ebola test since I went to Dallas, TX (Note: First US case of Ebola was identified in Dallas over the weekend).  He saw my fit condition and said no with a smile.

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