Today started out a little rough with a battle with the EMTs (this was a different crew) to let DeAngela ride on the ambulance with me. None of the other crews had any problem with it whatsoever, so I was very confused by this. My nurse Katya believed that they just did not want to take her with us. She defended me by saying that DeAngela is my support system, and that my family cannot be there because they are working. I even added in that I am terminally ill to see if they would change their minds, but all I got was “I do not want to get fired,” which I thought was insensitive. The EMTs made several calls and finally decided to allow DeAngela to ride in the front of the ambulance on my way to radiation.
At radiation I found out how much of my body is being radiated, and I was shown through dots marked on my skin to outline how far the radiation is going. Basically my whole left chest, about midway to my stomach, and then on the back of those markings too. So that is quite a bit of radiation some sensitive areas- some sensitive enough to get burnt already, after only seven rounds of radiation. I was surprised by this and asked if it was normal, but yes it is normal to get sunburnt from radiation (as I know first hand from my leg) but my left nipple? Yes, I will admit where I am sunburnt. As embarrassing as it is, it is the reality of some of the strange things that come with getting treated for cancer.
I also found out today from Rebecca, my ex-chemo buddy/ bridesmaid’s mother, that I will be having a videographer at my wedding. I am beyond stoked about that, so that this wedding can be shown to people and remembered forever and cherished by my family, as I did with my mom and dad’s wedding video.
Rebecca has so many connections that it never ceases to amaze me. She set me up with one of her friends (who is a hairdresser) who is going to be doing my hair and makeup for me the morning of the wedding. Rebecca also set me up with a salon called EllaBlue, and they offered to do any and all services that they provided for free! This amazed me, I am probably just going to go with a mani-pedi and get my eyebrows waxed (for the first time, and mind you, I have not plucked them while in the hospital so they are not up to par). Unless the salon owner insists that I get another treatment, that will be more than enough for me, it is so generous.
So I did have another major annoyance today. My afternoon nurse is extremely slow and hardly speaks English. It is frustrating trying to communicate my needs and medication. She is very nice but I am unsure of how educated she is in the field of nursing. I had incredibly bad heart burn and wanted to get some medication to help it feel better. She had suggested ambien, which just happens to be my sleeping medication, and I said, rather annoyed,” Uh, no that is for bedtime and it helps me sleep.” She also suggested miralax, which is a stool softener… Yeah not what I needed for my heart burn. Eventually my mom and I made her call the doctor and he prescribed me Tums, and I cannot stand Tums, I swear they make my stomach worse than anything else, it’s just the chalky taste of it and everything about it. Gross. Too bad my chemo buddy Andrew likes them, I have no clue how that is even possible, but whatever floats his boat I guess!
My mom arrived at around 6pm tonight with a gift of Taco Bell, just what I had ordered. I only ate one burrito due to my heartburn and refusal to take Tums, but I was happy nevertheless. She also surprised me with a gift from someone who I did not even know: a painting made by the famous David Garibaldi. Yeah, the guy who paints with music and was featured on America’s Got Talent. I also heard that he just got flown in a private jet to Jay-Z’s mansion in order to paint a picture for him. The picture I got is beautiful and has a message on the back for me that says, “Lauren: Live with passion and purpose. Hope stands for hold on. progress en route.” This was such an awesome gift that will be hanging on my wall as soon as possible. I cannot measure any gifts on a scale of what the best gifts are, because they all came from the hearts of ones who love me, and just having people think about me in such a positive way is fantastic enough for me. For people to go out of their way to make my life/wedding/day a little easier is such a blessing. I truly appreciate that in a way that no words (despite my pretty vast vocabulary, if you ask me) can ever explain.
My brother also came to visit me in the hospital! I was so thankful to see him, because I missed him a lot, despite being easily overly annoyed by him. He was on a cruise to Alaska and Canada for a week, so he hasn’t been able to see the progress with the wedding planning or with my medical problems either. I was hoping he would come see me before I got released from the hospital. He brought back a few souvenirs for me. He brought a decent sized moose stuffed animal, and on its back tag happened to say “wish” on it somewhere, so I was touched, although I am sure that he did not notice it at all, but I still thought it was cute. He brought me a kind of gag gift of an eagle hat that flaps its wings when you pull on a string. Perfect for me because I am quite the goofy person and do weird things like that all the time. If you have seen my goofy and weird moments, consider yourself lucky! It is kind of a thing I do more around my good friends or if I am in a fantastic mood- like I am now! I will Snapchat funny pictures to my friends and fiance. My fiance and I kind of get into a war of who can make the ugliest faces or just weird facial expressions in general. This proves how comfortable I am with him, so I truly am marrying my best friend, whether it is in a traditional way or not.
So I am done for the night, but today was overall a pretty good day if you asked me! And I am getting closer and closer to being released from the hospital and being able to take an actual shower! Woohoo!
Lauren, I’m going to be your photographer for your wedding… I am Carole’s niece and am really enjoying getting to know you through your blog. I couldn’t be more honored to capture these memories for you and your family. My aunt adores you – and I can’t wait to see you VERY soon!