10.24.2013

Pump It Up

For those previous 25 rounds of treatment, I was sent home with my beloved pump.

The beast was slipped into what I referred to as my European Man Purse and slung over my shoulder like a foreign tourist until I could crawl into bed and bury it under a pillow. I was aware of it every time I rolled from side to side, or got up briefly in a daze to use the bathroom. It was more a nuisance than a hindrance, and I was never sad to see it go.

Things like being seen in public or taking showers were not of my concern. I just tried not to pinch the tubing or otherwise piss it off to the point of sounding alarms and disturbing my sleep.

So when this whole maintenance chemo started back in September, I was well aware that sickness wouldn't keep me in bed, and I would have to accept my public fate while toting this box around. Kids, cleaning, driving, Target shopping. It all had to be done while trying to keep stuff from snagging on the tube that connected directly to my port or the pump swinging around and knocking one of my kids in the head.

As if my first infusion day here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes wasn't full of so many pleasant surprises, one of the best happened to be a little change in delivery method.

Gone is the awkward box, the battery pack, the excess weight of machinery, the beeping and buzzing every 2 minutes when it sounded its mating call.

In its place is an infuser no bigger than a 4 ounce bottle. And inside that bottle is a fluid-filled ball. And inside that fluid-filled ball is a vial of 5-FU (5-fluorourcil), the only chemo drug I'm currently on (Avastin not technically being chemotherapy). And over 46 hours, that tiny vial is slowly infused into my port through a tube I hide so lovingly under my shirt. Same process, different tool. It reminds me of the round balls I came home with after my colon resection, full of pain meds that slowly defused into my belly, shrinking the balls like withering balloons.

This little bottle makes no noise, weighs mere ounces and clips on my belt in the most non-obnoxious of ways. It gives me the appearance of being a dog trainer with a pouch of snacks. Or as Merrick envisioned, a Disney tourist with a water bottle carrier on my hip.

It's a far cry from my battery-powered burden, and I'm almost welcoming of it into my life given my choices.

Water bottle holder. Dog treat pouch. Chemo carrier.
And in this bottle there is a bubble, and in this bubble there is a vial, and in this vial there is some chemo, that wiggled and jiggled and...nevermind.
Empties.

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