28. Eventually chemotherapy got to be routine and I was
always trying to keep busy during my two hour treatment.
With my cellular phone and my in basket, I could stay in
touch with my staff, and there weren't’t as many
interruptions in Oncology as there were at work. On the
other hand, no one was sticking needles into me at
29. Fortunately for me I had no phobia about
needles, because I was constantly being stuck
with them. During a three day stretch in which I
had a blood test, a bone scan, chemo, and a
paper cut, I began to wonder if I should review my
investment portfolio and buy shares in Band aids
since I was giving them so much business
30. My friend Gerry, a chemist, sent me my own copy of
the Physician's Desk Reference, so that I could read up
on all the drugs I was getting during treatment. The book
weighed 7 pounds, so when I wasn't’t reading it, I used it
for weight lifting, to build up the strength in my left arm.
31. Better living through chemistry! I had plenty of drugs to
look up in the PDR. None of these medications was for the
cancer itself, but rather for the side effects of the cancer
treatment, everything from sleeplessness to antibiotics to
cream for skin singed from radiation.
32. My oncologist gave me three different prescription for anti
nausea medication, with a retail value of about $120. A friend
gave me a couple of joints, with a retail value of approximately
$2. The expensive stuff worked well enough so that I never
used the $2 stuff, but I kept it handy, just in case.
33. At Mt. Auburn Hospital, patients in radiation therapy
get a special parking spot in the garage, near the
entrance to the hospital. It was also near the spot where
the smokers hung out, so I would occasionally get a
lungful of second hand smoke as I went for my daily
dose of radiation, which made me feel even more
special. (However, after the Boston Globe printed this
picture with its caption, hospital officials relocated the
smoking area outside, to a glass enclosed booth that
kept the smoke away from the patients. Many thanks for
this good move!!)
34. I model the latest fashion in radiation attire, the print
hospital gown underneath, and the pink gown over it.
Sometimes there would be 5 of us in the waiting room, all
wearing matching pink gowns and looking like quintuplets.
35. Radiation was also a relatively painless experience,
made even easier by the staff who always made everyone
feel comfortable and relaxed, no matter how busy or behind
schedule they were.
36. People seemed to think radiation was administered
by some huge machine that sucked you inside and
zapped the radiation over your entire body. They were
surprised to hear that you just lay on the table and the
linear accelerator was positioned above you, or to the
side, and then a precisely targeted beam was directed at
a specific field of treatment, outlined by tiny blue dots
tattooed into my skin.
37. While the doctors were treating me with
surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, other
practitioners were treating me with alternative,
complementary forms of healing. Shiatsu, based
on traditional Chinese medicine, is like acupuncture
without needles, and uses gentle hand pressure to
balance the flow of energy in the body.
38. I could do shiatsu on myself, and regularly
worked my immune points with a tiger warmer,
which applied heat to the points to stimulate them
35. Jin shin jyutsu is a physio-philosophy that balances energy to help the
body heal itself. By holding various energy locks along energy pathways, you
can bring physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance where needed.