Monday, September 15, 2008

Why it's tough to be a 30-something cancer patient: Reason #234

OK, I know there are a lot of reasons why it's tough to be a cancer patient and a) I haven't had to face very many of them and b) the following complaint is probably the least of any cancer patient's worries, but I'm going to complain anyway.

When you're a cancer patient in your 30s and you have to take your kid with you to your checkup, there are no toys to play with in the oncologist's office.

This is understandable. When I look around the waiting room, I estimate the average age of the other patients to be about 80-ish. Once in a while, you'll see a baby who is there to wait for Grandma (or, from the looks of it, Great-Grandma), but most of the time you hardly ever see any kids.

I took WCK with me to my appointment today. Don't get me wrong; she was very well behaved, I don't think she's too scarred for life from watching them draw my blood, and everyone seemed just tickled to see her. Dr. GPO even brought her a granola bar and a bottled water from the vending machine. That's probably the most kid-friendly snack at the Cancer Center; it's not like they give out lollipops to their patients. Now that I think about it, though, maybe they should.

Still, it's tough to sit in a completely toy-free environment for two hours when you are three, so I brought along an enormous tote bag filled with books, toys, and snacks. The nurse thought my bag was hilarious. WCK did play with all of the stuff I brought, and then we ended up looking at pictures of animals in a National Geographic. WCK saw a photo of a chimpanzee throwing a rock and declared, "THROWING ROCKS IS NOT NICE!" I guess she has been listening after all.

Anyway, my CBC looked OK, except for low white cells. Dr. GPO was positively giddy over last month's results, and he said I have the lowest Beta-2 Microglobulin he has EVER SEEN. Cool.


Abigail said...

I think I see a service project in the making...

Kat said...

It sucks being a cancer patient with young kids (or just being a cancer patient!). I could never take Grace (my almost 3 year old) with me to Sloan for my appointments, especially for the 2 hour pamidronate infusion. It did, however, give me some one on one time with my oldest this summer, 11 years old, and we got to have the "sex" talk while I was getting the pamidronate infusion. Ah, good times! Having a sense of humor, however macabre, comes in handy!

Anonymous said...

There are legos @ the onc's office here. But our little one usually watches a movie on Dad's laptop. We've been taking 2 cars though, as our 3 year old has yest to last the 4 hour infusion.

--Jen T

Brooke said...

Why didn't you call us to watch WCK for you?!? You'd better call next time!