There is so much to Heather’s cancer journey that try as I might I cannot relate as to how she felt. This week leading up to my fluoroscope intra-articular injection has been an eye opener for me as to some of the feelings Heather might have had. This was not a normal injection as it had to be done in radiology to make sure the meds got into the physical joint.
The days leading up to this appointment was constantly in the back of my mind, wondering what it feels like, how much it would hurt and would it really work the way it should. The day of the injection I have many emotions and feelings as to how Heather felt knowing she was going in for a spinal chemo. Now, I was the one being taken in to have a procedure done. I was on the other side; instead of being the driver I was the patient. The hours ticked by and all too soon it was time to leave. How many times did I take Heather back to the hospital for chemo, spinal chemo and blood products? The memories of that came rushing back.
The waiting in the lobby of the center was torture. Of course the 30-minute check in early means you get to wait longer. The wait time was longer than expected and I ended up waiting an extra 15 minutes. While sitting in the waiting room I was transported back to waiting at Dr. Fastenberg for that first appointment to know what the diagnosis was. The countless hours waiting were horrible for me but now I had a small taste of what waiting meant for Heather.
My name was called and I got up and walked back into the radiology room. How many time I been in a room just like this with Heather for her spinal chemos. It was all to familiar. I began to understand how much comfort it must have brought to Heather to have Dr Chris and nurse Jan there each time she did a spinal chemo. The knowing that the same people were with her each time and they knew her had to be so soothing to her to endure such a horrible procedure.The ladies who did my procedure were very understanding and patient with my PTSD and me. They explained everything and kept asking me if I was okay. It gave me a huge sense of relief that they were patient and understanding towards me. Bill was able to be in the room with me up till they began and then he had to go behind the lead wall. This was comforting to me as well. It had to have been the same for Heather as she knew mom was right behind the wall each time she had a spinal chemo. While I was not receiving some horrible chemo it was a huge deal to me. Not the injection itself but the memories it brought up.
I am to take it easy for several days but so far the pain seems to be subsiding. I was able to sleep with very little pain last night for the first time in months. Today the actual injection site aches but the pain in my hip seems to be going away.What seems ordinary to most; to a grieving mother who helped her daughter thru cancer nothing is that simple. Bill told me on the way to the center that no mother ever did as much for her child as I did for Heather. I would never have been anywhere else. I fought tooth and nail and I would do it again. Simple things to the world bring up memories and PTSD and thoughts of my beautiful baby girl fighting for her life.
Here is to pain free walking so I can complete the Princess Half marathon to mark the 10th anniversary of cancer. I am okay with being swept as I have done everything in my power to make this happen. I did not expect the hip and the diagnosis I got last week. For me the journey has been getting to the race and the cherry will be to cross the finish line.
IMAGE: Dr Fastenberg and nurse Jan getting Heather prepped for her spinal chemo in radiology