Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tattoo Wednesday

Today is a busy day. I start with getting ready for daycare. We are going to paint pictures of butterflies. I cut out squares of tissue paper that can be stuck on the wings to make them look interesting.

Sara has a dentist appointment at eight o'clock, and Allie is coming over at nine thirty so I can go to my nurse training session at the Miriam Hospital. Steve helps me out until Sara arrives, then Allie comes and we are ready to go.

We walk over to the hospital, which takes less than ten minutes.

The nurse training is very interesting. We meet with an oncology clinical social worker and a teaching nurse. They ask questions about everything, family, finances, interests, even sex life.

They educate both Steven and I about the treatment I am about to undergo, and make sure I understand what the side effects will be and who to call if I have any trouble. It is a lot of information, and at the end of the session, I am presented with a thick binder reviewing everything that is discussed and more.

We are told to go home, let all of this settle in our brains and later look at the binder. If we have any questions, or feel like we need support in some way, there are phone numbers of people to call. I am amazed at all of the information they have given me, at how organized this all is, and wonder how long it took to get all of this together in this way. I wonder how many people before me went without this kind of support, how many still do, and am grateful that I am able to benefit from the knowledge of so many people who have made it possible for this to be so understandable. I am not going into this in the dark, I have been told what will most likely happen and how to handle it. This is such a valuable gift I have been given.

While I am still at the hospital, they start my blood work and schedule me for a PET scan at Rhode Island Hospital for Friday morning.

A positron mission tomography scan, or PET scan, will allow the doctor to see exactly where the cancer is in my body. They will do the entire trunk of my body, because they are also concerned about something they could see in the CT scan in my lower left lung lobe. I will be injected with a radioactivepharmaceutical which will make it possible to photograph the cancer. After the PET scan, I will be radioactive, so no contact with children for me afterwards.

When I get home from the hospital I check to see if Allie can work for me on Friday. She can. Beautiful!

Steve makes us each a tuna fish sandwich and we eat together before I go to take a nap. Today I sleep only one hour again. This makes me happy. I need to go back to help Sara so Allie can go to her dentist appointment.

Ayla arrives, just as the last child is being picked up early. We are going to get our tattoos this evening. Chauncey and Julie come along for moral support.

Just as we are about to leave, my friend Brett appears at the door with a quiche and a salad for dinner and some flowers for my table. She is excited about my tattoo also, and wishes me good luck.

I have no tattoos, and have never been able to decide on where or what kind of a tattoo I might like. In my younger days, I never would have even entertained the thought of getting a tattoo. Today, I am completely confident in my choice. We decide it should go on my right arm, just above my wrist. This way I can see it when I am getting my treatments. It will remind me that I am strong, and that I will get though this obstacle that life has thrown my way.

The artist, Derek will copy the work that Kaileigh designed, and add a little shading to give it depth. We decide to keep it close to the color of the original, which Derek calls ochre. I love that the color has such an ancient name.

Derek chats as he works, he's a very friendly and good humored person. Julie and I grill him about how he came to be a tattoo artist. I think it is very funny that Julie and I are sitting here in a tattoo parlor. It is not a place you would picture the two of us together. I joke about being able to check this off of our bucket list because I don't think you would have found it on either of our lists.
While I am getting my arm done, Ayla is sitting and watching very quietly. I can tell she is a little nervous about this. She snaps a few photos while she waits. 
When it is done, it looks beautiful. I am so pleased with Derek's work.
Julie is in town for a convention that starts today, so I drive her back to Providence while Ayla's tattoo gets under way.

Ayla has decided to get the same tattoo in the same spot. I think this is so thoughtful and sweet. She says it is because deciding on which one and where to put it is too stressful. I still think it is sweet. We will be tattoo sisters.
I didn't think the process was too bad, Ayla disagrees. It hurts her. I feel bad. In less than an hour though, she is done. The shading and coloring is identical as possible. They look good.

It is late now, almost eight thirty. We have closed the tattoo parlor down. I am happy to get home and have a piece of the quiche that Brett brought over. It really hits the spot. That and a few Oreos!


  1. I love the idea of you and Julie at the tatoo parlor. I would have taken the day out of work to be there. I hope Derek realized how lucky he was to spend time with you lovely ladies. : )

  2. Such a beautiful tattoo. And I love that the fox is with you and your girls, Kathy. Kaleigh too?

  3. same tattoos and same freckles!