I get up kinda grumpy because I’m worried about Ernie’s appointment at the Cancer Center
I also worry that they won’t let me go in with him.
As I’m putting on my socks I give myself a hell of a paper cut on the tip of my finger. Hurts. Bleeds. I put a bandaid on it and glare at the sewer bill envelope that attacked me.
We get in the car and Ernie brushes off the snow. I get impatient because we’re running late and do we REALLY need to get every snowflake off the car?
We drive to Urbana. Not as much snow on the ground as I’d like.
Parking garage seems pretty empty.
As always, we drive to the top floor.
Got a spot near the elevator.
We go in and approach the person wielding the thermometer who asks us if we have appointments. We both nod yes.
He checks my temp and tells Ernie the machine standing in front of him will check his. Ernie can’t figure out if he’s supposed to do something to the machine as this is the first time we’ve seen this. He tries kind of bending towards it like he’s going to talk to it. The guy tells him he just has to stand there but then takes pity on him, takes his temp and waves us in. This amuses me greatly and I giggle all the way into the Cancer Center lobby.
I sit and wait for Ernie to check in. It takes a long time as they’re making him dig through his wallet for some card.
We move to a different place to wait for them to draw his blood from his port.
I realize that I have cat hair INSIDE my mask. This does not feel good.
He gets called in.
I try to fish some of the cat hair out from behind my mask.
I peruse a bit of some crime book I’m reading halfheartedly.
He comes back. We have to wait for his blood results. We decide to go to the Starbuck’s in the other lobby before his appointment.
We trudge off. He gets in line and I go get a table. There is a laminated sign on the table saying that only one person is allowed at a table. There are two chairs. I put Ernie’s crossword puzzle over the sign.
He sips his coffee. I sip my bottled iced tea. That’s right. They don’t have fresh iced tea.
I look out the window at St. Matthew’s and think about all the times I took my father there for church.
I get antsy so we head back to the Cancer Center.
We sit in the waiting room. Someone is in our regular spot.
We get called in.
Every time someone asks me if I’ve gotten the vaccine I tell them, “NO,” I’m much YOUNGER than Ernie. This amuses me too.
We finally see Dr. Vasireddy. He can’t see me smiling so I try to blink lovingly over my mask as we utterly adore him.
Ernie’s numbers are all good. We talk about his symptoms and I point out that Ernie is painting a much rosier pictures of things than they really are. Ernie looks a bit askance at me and I say I just want the doctor to know how he’s really feeling. Ernie shrugs. Vasireddy understands.
His immune system numbers are good as is everything else. His PSA, which isn’t the best marker for him because even at dire times it never gets real high as some do, is down from last time. Iffy marker or not, I’ll take it.
Vasireddy examines Ernie and we all chat about whether we’ve been doing any wandering and he says he looked up Beaver Island online and asks us about the lighthouses. Man, I love him.
We leave. Vasireddy always walks us to the check out area. We say goodbye to him. Ernie sits down to schedule his next appointment. I mask-kiss the top of his head and tell him I’ll be in the waiting room.
I sit in the place I sit when I’m waiting for Ernie to get his injections. Note: this is different from where we sit when we’re waiting for his appointment.
I look across the atrium, out the windows, and give a big sigh of relief. I focus on my breathing, in and out, as I let myself relax. I realize I’m holding Ernie’s crossword puzzle.
I listen to a couple of people chatting.
Ernie darts out and grabs his crossword puzzle before going back to the infusion suite.
I read a little and watch people get called in one by one.
Ernie pops out. He always comes out energetically, happy to be done. It was pretty quick today. I smile at him under my mask.
We desperately want to do our post-Cancer Center ritual, which is head to Fries and Peanuts, sit at our favorite corner of the bar, have a drink, eat a few peanuts and talk about his appointment.
Instead, we stop at Schnuck’s, get wine, peanuts and cat litter.
We get home, get comfortable, and settle in and watch a Master Chef Australia.
It feels so good to relax.
Watch the news, chat with Leo, chat with Owen and Trinity.
We order from the Esquire to celebrate.