First things first... do ya'll remember Hot Nurse Brian from the Banner Gateway Oncology Floor? Because Judy sure did.
I had just gotten settled into my little outpatient chemo station, with my nurse to the left of me, Judy to the right, and Christian Cook about six feet in front of me, when Judy exclaimed, "Look, it's Hot Nurse Brian!" (It is important to note here that Judy doesn't usually call people "hot", it's just that Kimmie Curry is so influential. Also, it's a great nickname, so it stuck.)
Once Judy told me he was there, I sat up taller in my chair, and yelled out, "HOT NURSE BRIAN, is that really you?!", and he came running. It was, in fact, (obviously) him. And he remembered me. It took him a minute to place me, he said, because last time he had seen me, I had been as bald as a cucumber ("balder even", I told him), but since I was the only patient who had called him by that name, he knew it was me.
And then we had a photo shoot and made each other our facebook friends and decided that instead of outpatient chemo, we were going to call this a community college class we were taking together, titled Save Laurie's Life 101. Class meets every Monday, and we're both intent on passing. Even if we have to cheat, we're gonna ace that final and make sure I don't die.
Done and done. Best idea/heaviest weight class I've ever had. But with Brian (and all of the other totally awesome nurses and medical staff), I'm sure it'll be fine. ... And if at first we don't succeed, we'll just move on to 202 next semester. No big deal.
About 30 minutes after the photoshoot with HNB, I had a new dude (turns out it was the part time acupuncturist) walk up to my cube and ask if I was Lauralee. Turns out my friend Cassidy, the full time acupuncturist, had seen my name on the schedule and had told Mark to look for on the 3rd floor to see if I'd be interested in having a mini-acupuncture session during chemo. Uhm, yes. Yes, I would. For several reasons:
1) Acupuncture is freaking awesome. It's hard to explain, but it has totally mellowed me out and made a lot of the stuff that's hard easier. It helps with the pain from the broken rib, it has helped A TON with anxiety, it has helped my digestive system. It's, basically, the best thing that's happened to me in the last six months. I'm in love with it.
2) Acupuncture delivered during chemo is free. (Acupuncture delivered not during chemo is the opposite of free. ... I mean $45 a treatment is fine. I will totally pay that, because it seriously helps a girl out. But free = better.)
3) I had Judy and Christian there to be able to ask questions. Oh, right, and take a pic.
The needles in the tops of my hands and forearms are part of basically every treatment I've ever had, as are the ones in the tops of my feet and inside of my ankles. They help with balancing my energy and releasing anxiety. There are some real special (and bright orange) needles in my ears to help with the pain in my lower back caused by the box full of Superman that I had no business lifting.
They didn't make the pain totally disappear, but I was about 300% more mobile after acupuncture (read: no one had to help me get out of the chair and make it to the bathroom after treatment) than I was before. And I'm feeling WAY better today than I usually do after I've totally thrown my back out like that. Also, they did provide this awesome picture for your ocular enjoyment. (Sorry about my swollen steroid face. Oh, and my crazy hair that's hiding the bulk of the needles. But hey, it's still a funny shot, so there ya go.)
All in all, day one was a success. I mean, I got a dose of poison. But I also got to see HNB and get a pic with my body full of needles. Winning, all day long. (In a totally different way than Charlie Sheen, obviously.)