There's a lot going on this week.
On Monday some kind friends I hadn't seen in quite awhile took me to lunch and to The Wigs, a strip mall shop with hundreds of heads all looking at me with their shiny, fake hair. The sales associate asked me if I needed something for a special occasion. Well I suppose needing a wig because you are losing your hair to chemo could be considered special. My friends and I chose a few pieces and I tried them on. We took pictures of the best ones, the ones that looked similar to my dark brown, shoulder-length hair right now, but I wasn't ready to make any decisions. A decent-looking wig is not cheap, and I still don't know how I feel about wearing one. Will I wear it often? Should I have one on hand for special occasions? Part of me wanted to go a little crazy and try on a long blond or red one, but another part of me just wanted to get out of there. I might go back this weekend and try again.
Yesterday morning I had an appointment at the Riverside County Workforce Development Center in order to meet the requirements for receiving unemployment benefits. I used to help people find jobs years ago when I worked for the county's welfare-to-work program, so it was weird being on the other side. In fact, I ran into two women I used to partner with who both asked me what I was doing there. Good question, on several levels. Since they didn't know about the cancer, maybe they meant "why does someone who used to help people find jobs need help finding a job?" It was kind of weird to be called out by the facilitator in front of the whole group. "Sandra and I used to work together back in the day." She wanted me to get a job coach (which is what I used to be) but they ended up giving me the forms for disability instead. Will my doctor sign the forms? If not, what kind of part-time job could I get?
After my appointment, I had a legal paperwork errand to do (is this the last one?), and then ended up at a place that provides cancer supportive services. I already felt odd about going there, and perhaps they need more funding, or volunteers, but I didn't get a very good first impression. It was an old house, and there was no reception desk and no one around to greet people who entered. An entire family was waiting in the "living room" and I walked into another room that had wigs and brochures that I looked at while waiting for someone to help me. A woman rushed through the room, quickly asking me what I needed and then telling me that she had several appontments and I could wait if I wanted to. I didn't want to wait. What if someone really needed help at that moment?
After that I went to Kaiser to take care of a few things. I had to get more blood drawn on my oncologist's orders, and when I checked in I was given seven stickers (meaning they'd take seven vials of blood). I was told to go right into the lab, bypassing the 30 people in the waiting room. Really? Ok. All the chairs were full and I was next. A woman came up next to me and asked me what my number was. She most likely thought I was cutting in line. I told her I didn't have a number, that I was told to go right in. She said, "Oh, you're STAT." "I guess so," I replied. I looked down at my stickers and there was a red stamp on the top one that actually said "STAT". Is a perk of preparing for chemo getting to go to the front of the line for "immediate, urgent and instant" service?
I then went to the pharmacy to pick up the medications my oncologist ordered for me. There were three, and all three were anti-nausea meds. One of them I'm supposed to take starting when I get home from my treatment, and the other two I am to take on the second and third days after chemo. Hmmm, is that a hint?
I went home from Kaiser to wait for my BFF to come pick me up to go back to Kaiser for my "What to Expect from Chemo" class. Talk about more questions than answers! I'll be writing another blog post for that one.
I may not have all the answers to my many questions, and that has been causing some anxiety and nights of interrupted sleep, so I have to remember this: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal rock." (Isaiah 26:3-4)