Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Voodoo Child

Today is dose one of our fourth and final round with Samuel L. Chemo. It's a good thing there's just one more date with the drip, because there seems to be only one delicate element of my husband's constitution: his veins. Those little buggers like to roll around, hide, and sometimes just flat-out shut down. This is nothing new, but it has gotten progressively worse with the past few months' frequent vein tapping. Sweet Tess tried twice. No luck. She called for backup and dear Wendy tried twice more before she finally struck gold. I watched as they worked,wondering what it was they spied among the many spots and bruises on Jamie's forearms and hands. As they massaged and thumped his skin, looking for the elusive vessels, I marveled at how different his limbs look from mine. Where I have bright blue patterns that look like the Mississippi Delta, he has vast expanses of skin as barren as a desert. Where I only have to clench my fist to see my O+ rushing like rapids, his A+ sits still and stagnant. Jamie never complains about the multiple sticks required to start an IV on him. In fact, it always -- always -- bothers the sticker more than it does him. No matter how many times he says, "Dig around in there. You're not gonna hurt me," the needleholder is always full of apologies. I'm certain it's because very few people are ambivalent about venipuncture, much less blithely tolerant of multiple pricks. I've become accustomed to seeing the trial and error prodding and poking of my husband's arms. I, like him, find myself feeling sorry for the pair of gloved hands trying valiantly to get the job done. Today, for the first time, I worried about him. I wondered if, after completing three quarters of this journey, he'd have to have a port installed so he could reach the finish line. I wished, not for the first time, that I could share more than the emotional burden of this process. Stick me and have the potion flow through him. Slice open my veins and plump his with whatever pumps out. Transfer my muscle twitches to his and give him strength. Cast your spell, voodoo, and do with me what you will. I will gladly be his black magic woman.


  1. I'm surprized they didn't do a port.
    I am not so forgiving about the needle stick... I don't fuss but if they don't get it the first time I politely ask for someone else, b/c they ARE going to hurt me. I'm pretty much a right handed elbow shot with no problems for an experienced phlebotomist (big word, huh). I know they have to train... but I'd prefer it's not on me. sorry.
    Hope all goes well.

  2. I came over for a "Good Morning" from SITS.
    Then I see the "C" word and wonder, "Who has cancer in her life? That's some heavy blogging."
    I figured it out. I'm smart that way.
    This is a well-written post of an awesome sentiment.
    I hope you and your Mr will kick cancer's a**.


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