Party in the Chemo Suite

I’m coming to you live from the chemo suite, people. So inspired am I.

Today there are a lot of drawn curtains (lame — I like to spy on my fellow sufferers and make faces at them) and someone is hacking up a lung (makes you want to run out and get a big juicy steak, doesn’t it, and eat it off the floor). Unacceptable. What this place needs is a couppla disco balls. Maybe a conga line. The choreography might get a little complicated with all of us on a drip, which hangs from this metal coat rack thingy on wheels, but it’s nothing me and Paula Abdul couldn’t work around.

My blood work came back and I am — naturally — good to go.  White blood cells up from my immune booster that I jab into my stomach the day after every treatment. Actually I kind of enjoy that. I should have been a nurse (well I do share a birthday with Florence Nightingale and that’s about all we have in common) or maybe a torturer.

Now they are pumping me full of steroids and then antihistamine (like Benadryl) and anti tummy upset and lots of sodium chloride mixed in to flush the line, all to ward off any unpleasant reaction to the Taxol. A lot of people are allergic to Taxol, which is derived from the Pacific yew, by the way. Did you think that everything “natural” was good for you? Don’t be a dumbass. What about poisonous mushrooms? One bite and you’re dead.

I don’t care for the Benadryl. Although it doesn’t put me to sleep (this is because I am defective and cannot nap during the day no matter what they do to me), it makes me a little sluggish, so I am chugging a flat white (I described this in What I Wore To Chemo Today so you had better catch UP), which my awesome friend Paige brought me from Gail’s, my fave coffee shop and bakery. I am also chugging tea. It’s England so everyone drinks tea constantly — it’s really true. And water. This makes for a lot of trips to the loo wheeling my coat rack to and fro. But it’s good to take in fluids. Flush the system. Stretch the legs. Sashay around in my absurd outfit.

Ooh goody. My machine is beeping. That means the bag of sodium chloride is empty and it will soon be time for the poison. Linda, Uma, Katniss? Get ready, girls. Get your gold cuffs and your Hattori Hanzo and your bow and arrows because we’re gonna fire it up, beeyotches.  (Read Chicks I Dig Vol. 1 if this makes no sense to you).

Speaking of artillery, does anyone know where I can get me one of those long leather (nylon would do as well) belts with bullets in it so that I could incorporate that into my outfit? Can you get that shit on Amazon?

So the stuff is going in now, slowly over three hours. I thought I just had a tinge of metal mouth, which I did not experience two weeks ago. It is one of my least favourite side effects so I am plenty pissed off about it. These things can be cumulative. But I ate my lunch and that tasted fine, so maybe I am imagining it. Grr.

My bum is falling asleep. I need to do some gluteal clenches while I’m sitting here. One… two… three…….. Might as well multitask. And this really is the ideal environment for that. I mean, what else can you do? Sit here and think about cancer? Bo-ring. So I write and I talk incessantly when there is someone to listen, and I visualise the chicks I dig doing violence to any remaining cancer cell.

I imagine one trying to flee from Uma’s sword. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, MF. You have met your maker and she happens to be hot. Hot and lethal, that’s a great combination. Oh, sorry, she just eradicated your ass, as lickety-split as she plucked that eyeball out of Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah’s character in Kill Bill), the other eye having been plucked out by Pai Mei, who trained both Driver and Kiddo in martial arts the likes of which I could really get into. It was kind of mean when Kiddo then stepped on the eye-ball and squished it. But I respect that decision.

This is Elle Driver when she is about to try to inject a comatose Beatrix Kiddo with some red shit to kill her for good. I would pluck someone’s eyeball out too if they were standing over me with red shit. That looks just like chemo medicine numero uno, which was that same colour and some really naaaaaaaasty stuff.

On a separate note, Hannah is killing the ole one-eye look, dontcha think? Let’s hope that’s a look I don’t have to rock, but given my retina’s tendency to misbehave I have had to wear the occasional eye patch after a procedure. If it ever happens again I’m going to commission a Louis Vuitton eye patch with my initials on it. Not really, but it would be hilarious to see the salesperson’s reaction. All horrified yet awkwardly trying to be polite, as I stand there looking earnest amidst a sea of shoppers who just want the latest Neverfull. But I digress… blame it on the Benadryl or the chemo or whatever. Though Florence Nightingale did say “I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took any excuse.” So just blame ME. I don’t care.

Three hours after the Taxol drip started I’m outta there. Now I’m back home.

So do you want to see today’s outfit? Come on, do ya? I’m afraid it was not possible to top the last one but I made a valiant effort.

I know, the pic isn’t great quality but I was pretty far away from the computer so deal with it. I like to think of this look as Coco Chanel meets sixties biker chick (the boots have buckles and zip up the back). Badass from the neck down but sort of classy from the neck up. Classy badass. It’s the new thing. My fabulous new French buddy lent me the cute black hat. It has that je ne sais quoi, non? The flower is one of my recent acquisitions from H&M. You don’t have to pay Chanel prices, dear.

Well, now that I have killed it for the sixth time I have to make my meds chart so I don’t do the wrong thing. I have so many pills and fluids in me you could shake me and I’d rattle and slosh. But I am doing fine.

Because today I am one step closer to putting this puppy to bed.

I’ll leave you with one more quote from Florence Nightingale: “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” A lot, however, can be done under the spirit of KILLING IT.

So take that, MF.


14 thoughts on “Party in the Chemo Suite

  1. You continue to amaze me. If I didn’t know what was going on, I’d think you were just a cosmopolitan fashionista. You look as strong as you sound. Love the hat with the flower.

  2. I’m sending my love. I’m also sending my prayers for you and your family. So, #6 is over and that’s a big accomplishment. Congratulations!! Now Florence Nightingale says to lay off the flat whites, tea and steroids and motor down. Some lovely sleep and a rose-scented bath. 🙂

  3. Em – Mark just sent me the link to your blog. You are amazing. I so admired you in law school for both your spirit and your fashion sense. Good to see that after all these years, you still have both strongly intact. I am really inspired by your blog, and I am so thankful that you are sharing your experience. You go girl. I am reading Hunger Games right now, and Katniss got nothin’ on you lady. Keep the blog posts coming. I will be there reading them and cheering you on from Seattle my friend. Love and hugs and kisses to you, Bill, and your beautiful girls!

  4. Hey there — long time no chat. You look amazing and fierce. Just a little shout and a little love from NYC. Drop a note when you get a mo!

      • Cleaner and more suburban than ever….. Love the blog – I am now a follower and have protected you from the Firm’s spamware, so I will get updates! You look amazing, BTW – as always.

        • Is that first part in response to how you are doing? Ah spamware. I am sure that I fill a lot of spam inboxes. 🙂 Thanks, Doreen. Feel free to pass it on to those who might enjoy it.

  5. i excitedly scrolled down to see what you wore, and at first thought you had dressed up as darryl hannah for your chemo! my friends are doing a cabaret in london should you need any further costume help. i reckon they would not have a problem with a bullet belt.

  6. Keep killing it, Emily. You are an inspiration & if I could reach out and hug you across the “internet”, I would. In fact, I AM. xoxoxo.

  7. For bullet belts, army/ navy stores may carry them. It’s amazing how fantastic you look and the incredible spirit you’re embracing. You are dressed to kill! Bravo!! xoxo

  8. Em: I look forward to your blogs each day and admire your humor and guts. This is much better than the “Grey” trilogy. You should have gone to Medill School of Journalism rather than Cambridge Law School. Use your considerable journalistic skills to convince Carol and Bill to jump on AA to London to build up their AAdvantage miles as with one round trip to London and they will have enough miles to fly to Providence or Albany. Love , Peter

  9. I know that I keep telling you what a great writer you are, but I’m going to do it again- you are a great writer. You rock this look as well, I find it a little naughtier than last time. Can’t wait to see what you wear to the next one….each great outfit bringing you closer to the end of chemo.

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