If you read my most recent post, The Power of Symbols, you got a glimpse of some pretty awesome socks. And they have a story to go with their colorful awesomeness.
My sister Karla started sending me a little something in the mail every week once I was diagnosed with cancer. If it wasn’t every week, it was darn close! Anyway, I’d get a card and a little something in the mail – two of the bracelets in the previous post, for example. Or maybe a Halloween necklace or a ring that lights up for Valentine’s Day, or a sample-size lotion … or socks.
On Oct 18, 2013 I wrote the following on my Caring Bridge page:
Chemo # 3 Recap Part 1 – getting dressed
It took me a while to get ready yesterday morning as I stood in my closet trying to figure out what to wear. Trying to fit all of my criteria was a little daunting. Who knew I would be spending time debating my attire? Not at the top of the list when you think about cancer treatment, huh?
Things to consider:
* The nurses want you to wear a shirt with buttons so that they can access your port.
* You want to be comfortable. I would be sitting in the chemo chair for 3 hours and prior to that, I’d be there for labs and to see the doctor. A little over 5 hours total. Yes! I want to be comfortable.
My additional vanity considerations:
* I have a limited number of scarves and hats. Of the comfortable shirts with buttons, very few look good with my available headwear.
* I wanted to wear my “Filibuster Lymphoma” shoes (yes – they match Wendy’s). They are so colorful that matching shirt, headwear, and shoes became an additional burden.
* Karla sent me some socks to wear on chemo day to keep my feet warm. This was the 1st day for long pants and thus the 1st day I could wear these special socks that miraculously match my shoes. They must be worn.
In the end, I was satisfied with my outfit. White shirt, black jeans, white scarf with orangey/red print – far enough away from shoes that they could go together, Fillibuster shoes, Karla socks. To accessorize, I added the wristbands of encouragement that family have sent.
I didn’t know until I received the little green bracelet that green is the “color” for lymphatic cancers, so I was pleased that my shoes and socks both matched my cancer as well.
Now for stories about my clothes as the day played out …
When I was having my vitals taken before seeing the doc, I told the nurse I had had a hard time getting dressed – finding a shirt with buttons and headwear to match. She said the funniest thing she had seen was a man who always wears pocket t-shirts. His solution was to cut a hole in his t-shirt so he could keep wearing what he always wears.
The 2nd thing about my clothes: I hadn’t been hooked up long, when the nurse in the adjoining “station” came over to me and said “I couldn’t help noticing how well your socks match your shoes.” Her good friend has the same shoes and she wanted to get her the socks. Social media to the rescue. I had posted the picture included here on Facebook and tagged Karla, so I asked her where she got the socks (she is in Louisiana). She got them at a Hallmark store. Don’t know if the nurse will be able to find them here, but I got an answer for her.
It is better to feel good than to look good, but it’s even better to do both! (With apologies to Billy Crystal)
And now for the rest of the story…
We are going to call the nurse who liked my socks Karen, because it could be her name but maybe it isn’t. Karen was never my nurse, so between that fact and chemo brain I am going to excuse myself from not remembering.
Karla sent another pair of socks and said they were for the nurse who liked mine because I always said how wonderful the nurses are. Now these socks were not just like mine because the store was out of those, but they were still pretty awesome socks. So the next time I had an appointment, even though it wasn’t a chemo day, I went to the infusion room and found Karen and gave her the socks. She was thrilled and gave me a big hug and told me to thank my sister. Karen said she might just have to keep those socks for herself.
I wore my filibuster shoes and my awesome socks every time I went for chemo. And every time Karen saw my bright orangey-raspberryish shoes and matching socks resting up high as I leaned back in the recliner, she would pat my feet and say “Hi” when she walked by. I asked if she kept the socks or gave them to her friend and she smiled sheepishly and said that she kept them.
Karla spent a week with me when I was released from the hospital after my stem cell transplant. I needed a bag of fluids one day, so we had to go to the infusion room. Once again, Karen was not my nurse – and I wasn’t wearing my filibuster shoes so I was afraid Karen wouldn’t see me. I asked my nurse to get her for me and I got to introduce Karen to the awesome sock giver – Karla, who also got a big hug.
And that’s the story of the awesome socks.