The hospital where Goo receives her treatment – I LOVE EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO WORKS THERE. Except for this one transport guy that I almost had to go Jackie Chan on in the hallway. I’ll chalk it up to him having a bad day. But besides him, I’ve literally never been at any school/business/office/etc. where everyone you encounter, from custodial staff to department heads, is so unbelievably kind.
Every week we go to chemotherapy clinic, and the kids are assigned a nurse who will work with them throughout the course of their treatment. This allows them to build a relationship, which in turn builds trust and comfort. I’ve nicknamed our nurse Little Debbie, because she’s so sweet she practically gives you a toothache.
In the beginning I felt bad for Little Debbie. She is extremely kind, and gentle, and generally sweet. Goo is not. At least not when something is happening that she doesn’t like. She has an iron-clad will, a temper that could make the Hulk shudder in fear, and no qualms whatsoever about ruining your day if that’s what it takes. This is the exact fight in her that’s letting her destroy cancer, but it doesn’t make dealing with her very easy. Poor Little Debbie had some adjusting to do, because all of her usual tricks didn’t work: How about if you do the bandage all by yourself? What if we look at the pretty pictures on the wall? I know, what if we get a popsicle when we’re all done? After the first few weeks I finally had to tell poor Debbie that with my little firecracker, you have to just rip off the band-aid. Literally.
Goo recently finished her radiation therapy. You can feel free to applaud and yell and do a dance right at your computer. I’ll wait.
Thanks for celebrating with us! Anyway, after a patient’s last radiation treatment, they come out into the waiting room and ring a gong to symbolize their victory. This happened many times during the course of our treatment, and there was always an instant comradery formed when the waiting room erupted in applause. I loved those moments.
Last week, when we saw Little Debbie in clinic, the following conversation ensued:
LD: Hi, Goo! I heard that you finished your radiation!
Goo: Yeah. (She’s super conversational).
LD: You know how I knew that?
LD: My uncle was downstairs a couple of weeks ago, and he said that he saw the most adorable little girl wearing a sparkly flower hat. And I told him, “That’s my patient!”
LD: And do you know what he said? He said you got to hit the bong!
Me: *deer in headlights*
Umm, I know that medicinal marijuana is a thing, but I can assure you, we’ve had no need for that. She most certainly did not hit the bong. She did, however, hit the GONG. Two completely different things, Little Debbie. Completely different.
Goo obviously just nodded in agreement, not realizing that Little Debbie had made a single-letter submission and totally changed the meaning of the word. I had to try really, really hard to stifle my laughter. Because apparently I still have the maturity of a high school freshman.
But hey, it’s a children’s cancer unit. We take the humor whenever we can.