The alarm went off at 5:15 am yesterday. While I know that’s not that early for many, it is for me. To top it off I had stayed up way too late the night before, unable to get my mind to stop whirring. I hit the snooze button a few times. Ernie got up but I kept hitting snooze until I really HAD to force my self out of bed. It turned out that the dress I was going to wear had a tear in it. No time to figure something else so it was back to the black skirt I’m not supposed to wear out of the house. Birkenstocks even though my pedicure-less toes really haven’t been cleared for public viewing. Oh well. You work with what you’ve got.

We got to the Cancer Center about 6:30. We were too early for valet parking so Ernie dropped me off and came trudging back slowly. He got his blood drawn from his port. We were both incredibly sleepy and tired. He has better reasons for that than I do, but I was right there with him. Normally we walk down to the Starbucks in the South Clinic but we were both too tired. He got some free coffee in the waiting area and then we just headed upstairs to wait for our Vasireddy appointment. No pepperoni and cheese cups for us.

This is the first day of his second round of his bladder cancer chemo. Vasireddy reduced the Cisplatin by 20%. We shall see how it goes. We trundled off to the Infusion Suite. They assign you spots now but I really should have pressed to see if we could get one of the rooms instead of a chair in the main room. I’m a wimp. It was extremely crowded and LOUD. Oh, so loud. I find, and the whole family will agree, that when I am tired I get much more sensitive to noise and volume.

Just so you can feel like you’re part of this…here’s what it sounded like. You have to turn up the volume a good bit to really get a sense of it.

Since our pod, Pod 2, was pretty full he couldn’t get a chair facing the bank of windows. I pulled up a chair from the crossword puzzle table and sat next to him. I seemed to be in a dead spot for wifi and finally just gave up. I was so miserable sitting there because I forgot to bring anything for my back so I would have probably been useless trying to work anyway. I sat there with thoughts swirling around in my head. I thought about Eileen. Her birthday would have been the day before. I never could remember it and then years ago Ernie told me just to think of Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night. For some reason that worked. A lot of misty regret and sorrow in my head. So many memories.

Ernie was incredibly tired. He had dozed in the waiting room which he’s never done before, and then slept through much of his chemo after newspapering and crosswording for a bit. Every time he’d wake up and sort of apologize for dozing, I encouraged him to go back to sleep as it wasn’t all that exciting being awake. If I’d been in a more comfortable spot I would have happily dozed.

Because of his bloodwork, Vasireddy added fluid and magnesium orders so the whole thing took longer than we had originally expected. While we got to the Cancer Center at 6:30 am, we didn’t leave until 4:30 pm. The nurses were great, as always, but toward the end, despite knowing the whole ‘a watched pot never boils’ thing, I couldn’t help just staring at the damn IV and wondering if anybody has ever stood up and yelled, “WON’T THIS FUCKING THING EVER STOP DRIPPING?”

We came outside into the heat and I almost cried with pleasure when I got in the car. Anything other than that crossword puzzle chair would have felt heavenly to me. We got home and put on the A/C and sat and stared at each other. We ate some potato chips (Ernie’s comfort food) and then some leftovers. I had some wine and he had some water. He needs to drink lots of water with this chemo to help flush the toxins out of his body. He’s been doing about 8 pint glasses a day but probably should up it.

I felt like it was time to go to bed but it was only 7:00 pm. I lasted for mmm….maybe another half hour, if that, and finally said, “I gotta go go to bed.” My body needed to be flat and I couldn’t take any more noise. I left him watching the new Better Call Saul and I dragged myself upstairs. It was still hot so I dug out a fan and put it on my bedside table so it would hopefully just hit me. Ernie is cold all the time.

I pulled out my phone to read and next thing I knew I was jolted awake, finding myself sleep-drooling on my pillow. It was still light outside. I tried again to read a bit but there was no hope. Sleep took over. Later Ernie came up and said he’d started watching the show but fell asleep and woke up when it was 8:00. He thought it was 8 am and that he’d slept through the night there but finally figured it out. I think he made a few more attempts at watching tv but I’d bet money he slept the whole time.

Today we have no outside appointments. Just one telephone appointment. I need to write Barnes, do a couple of odds and ends and then catch up on the work I’d hoped to get done yesterday.

Tiredly onward, but onward nonetheless.

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