Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cubs, Cars, Chemo, and a Few Eventful Days

On Saturday I made my long anticipated trip to Wrigley Field with Donna and the Bush Boys to watch the Cubs play. We expected lots of road construction and delays all along the way, and we were not disappointed. The exit from 90/94 to Lake Shore Drive was a special treat, but the weather was picture perfect all day long, making the slowed traffic much less frustrating. When we arrived at our hotel, we took an hour to chill before we headed to the game.

While my cancer-schmantzer world has been rife with frustration, it has also been filled with unexpected kindnesses. One of those was from a friend who emailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I would like for him to acquire a handicap parking space near Wrigley. Of course, I accepted. Awaiting us when we got to the parking lot was a golf cart, and even better, our driver--who was absolutely hilarious and who kept us laughing all of the way to the ballpark.

The Cubs lost, but as die-hard Cubs’ fans, we have experienced a lifetime of disappointment and despair. Cubs’ fans are a resilient and patient lot...and there is something about being at Wrigley Field that always makes me happy. If worse comes to worse and the season hurtles into too much frustration, I can bust out the video of Game 7 and relive the excitement and cry for joy again.

On Sunday morning, we left the hotel early to avoid the traffic, and we got out of Chicago in record time. Feeling smug and slightly cocky, we stopped for breakfast in Schererville, and when we got back to the car, the tire air pressure light was on. So we drove over to a nearby auto store to see if they could take a look at the tire, but they didn’t have the equipment to do anything and suggested that we use an air pump at one of the nearby gas stations.

IRONY ALERT: Concerned about having a nail in the tire and not wanting to have a flat on the highway, we called AAA, and after about an hour, the tow truck arrived and the driver worked on checking the tires while we were sitting in an auto store parking lot. Even after this delay, we were safely back on the road again by 10:30 and home by early afternoon.

On Monday morning we said goodbye to the Bush Boys and headed to the hospital where I had all of my lab tests, talked with my doctor, and then headed to the infusion (which sounds like something straight out of the Twilight Zone) room. Like everything else that has happened with this cancer-schmantzer thing, there was more “hurry up and wait” until my magical chemo potions were prepared and ready. Fortunately, there were gazillions of checks and balances to make sure that everything was going well and that I was not having any reaction to any of the meds. Because this was my first treatment, the whole episode took nearly seven hours. My super kind and extremely thorough nurse in charge of my chemo told me that I sailed through the whole treatment and didn’t need any extra drugs to control any reactions. So that is a good thing. Shortly after we got home from the hospital, a home health care nurse came over to make sure everything was working right with my pump and to finish all of the administrative paper work.

At this time, I am happy to report that I haven’t had any unusual side effects so far that would give me a shot at making it into the Guinness Book of World Records. The bottom line is that I am pretty exhausted—both from the day and from our busy weekend with the grandkids.

Throughout this whole odyssey, I know that there are life lessons to be learned. While I am working on learning patience, I am still deficient in that area. However, there are lessons that keep being repeated on a daily basis. The doctors and nurses on my oncological team have been remarkably thoughtful, kind, and concerned about my well being, and my family and the friends in my life have been surrounding me with healing energy, kindness, support, and most of all, with love....and it doesn’t get much better than that.


  1. I am so delighted you got to experience the game with the younger Bushes! How fantastic. And so glad you're not having St. Louis weather - 100 yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And it's only July 11 - who's to say there won't be a second game this summer?

  2. Your words and attitude inspire me. So do those of a niece who is not only doing chemo but also coping with MS.

  3. Phyllis, all of us at Pastors for Texas Children are praying for you. God knows, we need the practice! It is clear our prayers are being answered, for your spirit of humor and inspiration continues unabated. God bless you!

  4. I love reading your comments. You need to publish your story in a book. You are such an inspiration.