I plan to spend an upcoming Wednesday getting my IVIG (or army as my daughter calls it). Every time I go – every. single. time. I’m touched by the biggest reminder of what matters most in life. It would cause you to pause as well and think about your life in a new and different way.
Earlier this year, I switched locations for my IVIG and now receive it at a Cancer Center’s site in my area. I’m there with women and men who are at various points in their treatment. They come in, sit down, poked and prodded, have their ports accessed, and patiently wait for their treatments from the pharmacy that sometimes needs to be given by nurses in gowns and gloves and more PPE than normal. They arrive with coolers for their ice packs for their neuropathy and fuzzy blankets to keep warm.
Connected through disease, but beyond our disease state
I look around the room in awe. Awe of their strength and in awe of their smiles. In awe of the stories they share with the nurses. And most importantly, their kindness — All during such a scary time. And you know what else? I’m in awe of their peace as everyone I have met exudes an aura that makes you want to be in their presence and warmly smile. The strength bubbling through the room is both inspiring and humbling. Think of that – you’re sitting there with people going through what are some of the hardest moments in their lives and their presence makes you want to smile. Makes you want to be better, slow down, and embrace all things good that truly matter.
Infusion Days – The New “Normal”
After two years I guess you can say I’ve become used to my routine on infusion days. Finding the best vein and getting my IV started, taking my pre-meds, waiting for the IVIG from the pharmacy, fatigue, many trips to the bathroom with my IV pole in hand… It’s what I’ve been doing and will continue to do every 28 days for the rest of my life. But now you see, I’ve been given this strange opportunity to grow in a way I never predicted before.
With this being the month of November (and Thanksgiving for us folks in the U.S.) it becomes a tangible reminder of gratitude. I will forever be grateful for every patient and “chair buddy,” every nurse and patient tech, and every volunteer, whom together help me grow on my own journey. They probably do not realize they are all my heroes, but they are. For every smile through pain and kind chatter with new chair buddies, I will forever strive to repay my gratitude and give back.