I've noticed a distinct chemo "culture" in the short time I've been receiving treatment. In each chair in the long, expansive room I spoke of last time, there is a story. Each person sitting in that chair is receiving treatment for some form of cancer, or possibly for a condition related to cancer. Many people brave the treatment by themselves; others bring friends and family members along for support. The room is like a giant Starbucks, with the nurses in the role of baristas, administering poisonous cocktails of medications to resigned patients. It's too bad a caramel macchiato or a soy vanilla latte can't cure what ails you; it would be a hell of a lot more enjoyable if coffee cured cancer, rather than the vile substances that make you feel like a half-dead slug. And that's on a good day.
Today, there is a woman sitting across from me who brought two friends with her. They are knitting, discussing literature, cooking, and a variety of other topics. Their conversation has been innocuous, and not in the least disruptive. I, on the other hand, brought my trusty laptop, but the hospital's WiFi service leaves much to be desired. I am managing to get a few words down, but streaming U.S. Open tennis matches is out of the question. Wireless Internet is a courtesy; the treatment I am getting will supposedly save my life. I keep repeating that to myself as I try to keep my brain functioning through all this.
Speaking of my brain, the case protecting it, otherwise known as my head, will soon be devoid of hair. As if on cue, clumps of it began falling out yesterday. Pretty soon, I will be bald, like so many other people I have seen. No wigs for me; many hats are in my future.