[My sister-in-law wanted me to barge into MSTI today and yell, “I’m here, bitches. Let’s do this!” So I ran 5 miles at the gym to get pumped up first. That’s for you @bamabelleish. I blame the 3 doses of steroids but it felt great. My white cell counts were off the charts high and I met this terrific nurse, Sara, who travels around doing amazing oncology work. She did a stint in Baltimore so we talked for hours. Good thing my last infusion is at the end of February because she leaves March 5th. The only downside to today was that I got stuck a lot because my veins aren’t happy. It may be time for Plan B.] December 23, 2015

Round 2 felt so good! Sure I had some digestive issues, but nothing compared to Round 1. I was only really down for a day where I didn’t want to leave the house. AMAZING. So after my sister left I got right back to my running. I was inside at the gym so I could run early in the morning, but I felt like my old self. YES. Time for some trash talk!

I was also rockin’ this new STRONG necklace that my friend, Janice, sent me. It arrived the day before and it felt like a shield. #fearthisturtle #terpsalwayssticktogether

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Sara was the third thing that kicked ass about Round 3. Apparently 3 was the magic number that day. I was happy to start off the day with Dana taking care of me after the stellar job she did on Round 2, but she stuck me a couple of times and we just couldn’t get a comfortable IV placement. The first one was killing me before the anti-nausea drugs were even done dripping. Dana called Sara in because you can only stick a patient a couple of times before you have to have someone else give it a shot. Well Sara warned me that she might make a mess but she’d get the IV in and she was right! Blood everywhere but the entire infusion felt great. Phew. I was having some seriously nasty phlebitis (hardening of the veins).

During the bloodbath (jk), Sara spotted Will wearing my Orioles baseball hat (which I proceeded to inform him I had worn on that 5-mile run just hours before) so she flashed us her Orioles watch. She had lived and worked in Baltimore for a while so she freaked when she found out I grew up there. We’re both straight talkin’ east coasters who shoot from the hip with a lot of sarcasm thrown in so we hit it off immediately. This is where my soft spoken husband and Dana slowly stepped away. Watch out for the two bulls in the chemo shop!

Since it was 2 days before Christmas, the infusion room emptied out early. Sara and I just talked and talked as we finished up my infusion. She is a traveling nurse with grandparents in Idaho City so she asked the company she works for to get her as close to Idaho City as possible. Lucky for me Boise was it.

Sara took care of me throughout my last 3 infusions and for that I am grateful. We spent time together both in and out of MSTI before she skipped town for her next gig. We talked about losing our parents to cancer (her mom, my dad), our deep dependence on our dogs, our childhoods on the east coast and coming to the northwest, and all of the things that have shaped who we are.

Hearing her call my name as I waited outside the infusion room always put me at ease. Then our quick sarcastic banter and easy laughter always made me feel at home.

#nursesaremyheroes #igrewupincharmcityfool #3down3togo

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