So yeah, I'm back in the chemo ward for another dose to treat The Blood Thingie--a blood disorder that my doctors describe as "a major bummer, but it won't kill you."
They suggested another round of chemo in an attempt to halt the progression of nerve damage that has numbed my feet and is gradually creeping up my legs. They're even hoping for possible nerve regeneration as some patients with similar conditions have recently experienced through an ongoing, low-level chemo maintenance program.
Whatever it takes, folks. Whatever it takes.
After my first infusion Friday, I returned home not feeling all that great. Rituxan isn't the hair-loss-sick-as-a-dog type of chemo, but I did have to take a few drugs to prevent a possible reaction and the cumulative affect of everything left me a little queasy, lightheaded, and exhausted. Now would be a good time to take a nap.
I had just closed my eyes when Olivia came to the side of my bed and stared at me. She never joins me on the bed despite my encouragement that it's okay, girl, really. Jump! Jump! Instead, she prefers her oh, so deliciously smelly pillow on the floor.
This time though, to my surprise, Olivia jumped on the bed, towering over me and still just staring. She methodically sniffed my body up and down, up and down, sniff sniff sniff. Then she circled two or three times and spooned my side, resting her knobby little head across my chest. With my arms wrapped around my dog, smelling of oatmeal shampoo and froggy breath, we drifted off to sleep until a ringing phone woke us up three hours later.
Olivia's nose, that canine marvel equipped with more than 220 million olfactory receptors, told her that something was off. Something was coursing through her human's veins that didn't belong there. Something had to be done to comfort her human.
And that's just what my sweet girl did.