Untitled Cancer Story (Revised)

Part 2

by Zera
11/26/01

"Just the chemo, ahhh!" Erika looked into the mirror as she pulled out another bunch of hair from her head. It had been 4 months since she was placed in the hospital; the pill form of chemo wasnít working with her so she had been set up with an IV to stop her cancer from spreading.

"You're still beautiful," Dwayne whispered as he ran his hand along her face. "And I still love you."

"How could you love me??" Erika turned around to face Dwayne.

"You're more beautiful every day." Dwayne told her as he cupped her face. Erika's face, hands and body had begun to swell due to the IVís, but because of the chemo she'd managed to lose about 20 pounds,.

"No, you're the one with the looks now." She smiled as she walked out of the room's bathroom. "Do me a favour; get rid of that mirror."

"Later. You need your rest." Dwayne walked Erika back to the bed, helping her get comfortable.

Erika smiled as she looked at Dwayne tiredly. "Can you stay with me?" she whispered.

Dwayne looked at Erika in amazement, then at the time; he was due on the Dark Horse in 3 hours.

"All right, just for a short nap," he told her as he crawled into the bed beside her. "I love you, Erika," he told her as she wrapped his arms around her.

"Love you more, Dwayne," Erika whispered as she fell asleep.

Erika woke up in a cold sweat, but knew that she had to be very hot. Dwayne was still holding her and they had been covered by a blanket.

"Dwayne?" Erika whispered as she slowly turned over to wake him up. It killed her to do so. She had no energy, and he was so cute in his sleep.

"Dwayne, I am not feeling good," she whispered as Dwayne woke up.

"You want the nurse?" Dwayne asked as he got off the bed and went over to the emergency button, pressing it.

A nurse walked in, one strange to Erika.

"What's the matter, dear?" the nurse asked as she took Erika's temperature. Before Erika could answer, the nurse was done checking her temp. "I'll get the doctor. You have a fever."

As the doctors rushed in to help Erika, Dwayne was pushed out of the room; he decided to wait in the waiting room father a while he called up the Pit Crew. Jo was the one to answer and come as soon as she could.

"Dwayne, what happened?" Jo walked into the waiting room and sat beside Dwayne.

"Erika woke up from her nap not feeling so well. The doctors said she caught a flu or something." Dwayne lifted his head from his hands.

"She'll be fine." Jo smiled as she took Dwayne's arm. "She's a fighter."

"She's very sick and weak." Dwayne shook his head.

"It's not your fault," Jo told him.

"I shouldn't have gotten so close. She wouldn't have gotten sick if I hadn't slept with her. It's my fault." Dwayne shook his head. "I know you're right, I really do -- I am just so worried about her."

"Have you asked her yet?" Jo asked, changing the subject.

"About bout our talk last week?" Dwayne asked. "No...."

"You're not getting any younger," Jo pointed out. The week before Dwayne had asked Jo about marriage, and how he should approach the Doctor in asking for her hand.

"I love her so much -- I don't want to lose her," Dwayne told Jo.

"When she gets better, I'll take her somewhere special and ask her to marry me," Dwayne swore to himself as the doctor walked towards him and Jo.

* * *

ĎDear Log,

I have been in the hospital for about a monthís time now. Iíve
lost all of my hair now and receive the painful chemo three
times a week

Dwayne visits me all the time now, everyday. I love to have him
in my room with me. I feel as if I have hope when heís around;
too bad he canít stay with me while I am having my chemo done.
I know I would be more positive about my chemo treatments,
And I know he would be better company then the nurses are.
I hate the new nurse on night work. She keeps waking me up
when Iím trying to sleep -- not like the day workers, or my last
night nurse. They would take my temperature while I was asleep
and do my blood work from my IV vein, which doesnít hurt,
But the way the new nurse wakes me up and doses everything....
Well, I am trying to walk up.

I get a bone marrow biopsy, every other week. Very painful.
You want to know what happened? Iíll tell you; however, it is
very graphic:

First of all, the doctor swabs the back of the hip bone with
alcohol, and then he inserts a needle that contains the local
anaesthetic to deaden the pain.

She waits for about 2 minutes and starts to tap on the part with
the anaesthetic to see if the patient can feel it. If I canít,
she goes on and makes a small incision with a scalpel to make an
opening for the marrow-extracting needle to go into. This is
still painless, thank God.

Then comes the needle!

The marrow extracting needle is about 6 inches long with a hard,
plastic, unscrew able T handle on the end of it. The doctor
lines this up in the hole and starts to push it into the bone.
Now this is all fine on the outside of the bone, but when he
gets inside, that's when it starts to hurt, since the bone is
covered on the outside and the inside with a very thin membrane
that is full of nerves.

The anaesthetic can only work on the outside part of the bone;
but there is no way to anaesthetize the inside. The feeling is
something like going to the dentist without anaesthetic. Once he
has pushed the needle in, he unscrews the T handle and screws on
a plunger so as to suck out the marrow. Marrow is very thick and
it takes a little time to get enough of it. This procedure lasts
for approximately 20 hellish minutes.

HOWEVER ...there is a wonderful drug called Medazzalam.
This does not put you to sleep but arrests your short term
memory totally for about 3 hours. What this means is that
the patient feels everything but the mind is not really there.
Once it wears off, you begin to wonder if the doctor has even
started. But this is not a sleep agent. You are conscious
throughout the entire procedure, but you have no memory of it
when the drug wears off -- which is a good thing. I donít
remember who I've sworn at during the hellish 20 minutes, but
because of the drugs you lose conscious control of what you say.

Well, I am tired of writing. I am going to walk around now,

Erika.

 

Dr. Slate was getting bored of her hospital room. She needed to get out and see what else was there. She got her housecoat on and slowly walked out of her room. The hallway led to a living room, which had a TV, VCR, and DVD player among other things, to keep the people happy.

What Erika liked about it the most was everyone didnít care about what each other looked like.

"Hey!" A young voice smiled as she waved towards Erika.

Erika looked toward young women, looking about age twenty, her hair had almost completely fallen out.

"Join me!" she laughed as she waved toward the young girl.

"I am Jess." She waved her hand toward a spot on the couch; an IV was in her hand.

"Hey. I'm Erika." Erika smiled, joining the girl.

"Cancer?" Jess asked.

"You too?" Erika asked, as she smiled softly, looking around, looking at Jess's IV. "Dinner?"

"Not as good as pizza, but hey, I am not throwing it up." The young girl laughed.

"I know the feeling."

The two went quiet, as they started to think of something to say to each other.

"You got a husband or kids?" Jess asked, changing the subject.

"I have a boyfriend, Dwayne Hunter." Erika smiled, softly blushing.

"Isn't he the military man that comes in here, like, every day?"

"That's him," Erika smiled as she laughed.

"He's sooo hot!" Jess smiled weakly, "I hate to do this to you but I am going to be sick -- I'll see you later?" Jess got up.

"I'll walk you back." Erika helped Jess find her room and helped her to get in bed, and also got her a bucket. "Better?"

"Yes, mother," Jess laughed as she fell asleep.

Before Erika left she made sure Jess was comfortable and then went back to her own room. She soon had to face the wrath of her own chemo treatments.

TO BE CONTINUED

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