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Chemo. Washer. Bottle.

Posted by on June 24, 2020 at 6:25 PM

We drive to Salmon Arm for chemo, unsure if it is still happening. I drop him off and go to buy the washing machine (we finally picked one!) As I'm loading up I get the text, 'Chemo is on. See you in 4 hours.' 

I drive home and get the washer out of my car. Inch by painful inch, I wiggle the heavy appliance box from my car to my front door. That's all I can muster. I see a neighbour outside and beckon him over. He helps me get it into the house and I slide it into the corner. Part 1 is done. The new washer is home. 

I tidy the laundry corner and start connecting the dots for hook up and take away. We have friends who can hook up, set in our new washer and take away the old. I'm texting and coordinating like crazy to get this done. In no time at all, Ben has text me to pick him up. 

THIS chemo round is different. Besides his 4 hour IV at the hospital, he now has a continual drip in a bottle. It's on a strap like a bicycle-shoulder-bag and it is permanently inserted into his PICC line. The bottle runs it's course in 2 days (so, permanent for 2 days... but the point is, it doesn't unhook in this time). Then we return to the hospital for removal and port clean. 

For the first time ever on a chemo day, Ben seems to have energy when we get home. He is determined to complete the washing maching task himself. (ah, with my help, of course). We struggle and strain to remove the old one. I clean the floors and scrub the grout- hopefully we don't need to move our laundry for another four years! 

It's a long, slow task. Package removal is a beast. The cardboard is thick and sturdy with corner supports. We struggle even with box-cutters. We stop for pain meds in the middle of it. It takes a lot of baby steps for the hook up. We inch the maching forward, painfully, slowly, little by little. We hook up taps, drains, power. A job that would have taken Ben less now an hour has now taken both of us about three.

The chemo bottle is in the way, the pain hurts, the wife is only partially effective in her role as helper. But we do it. It knocks us both out, but we sit in contentment as the first load of towels is started in our new washing machine. 

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