You Know You’re a Cancer Parent Pro When …
By Suzanne Leigh
Published on the Huffington Post
- You recognize there’s no such thing as too many vomit buckets in your home.
- Words like “neutropenia,” “pentamidine” and “cyclophosphamide” just trip off your tongue (and you can spell them, too!).
- You’re irritated that someone’s taken your usual spot in the hospital parking lot.
- You pack coordinating outfits and your hairdryer (and possibly even your anti-aging cream?) to use during your child’s hospital stay … it’s become your second home, why look like a hot mess.
- You breeze past hospital security. They should know who you are by now, for God’s sake.
- You’re mistaken for a social worker as you walk to the hospital elevator.
- You realize you are getting too attached to your nurse practitioner.
- The hospital cafeteria cashier asks you for your staff discount card.
- Your first thought of the day as you wake up beside your inpatient child is not getting your caffeine fix, but asking your RN for the latest ANC.
- A rising ANC makes you blink back tears of joy.
- You marvel at discovering the only truly waterproof mascara that doesn’t leave rivulets of black running down both cheeks when you cry.
- A doctor’s request to talk in private triggers a reflex of primal terror.
- You question the phlebotomist when the lab requisition isn’t marked STAT.
- You get used to the resident saying they’ll have to get the attending to answer your questions.
- You wish the residents would stop wasting your time and only the attending would attend.
- The attending’s face falls when she sees you at your child’s bedside –- she knows she’s stuck with you for a while.
- You wonder when you’ll get your paycheck — wait a minute, you don’t work at the hospital, or anywhere anymore (who’d want to hire you, anyway?).
- You are constantly on the lookout for attractive hats for your child.
- You’ve perfected the stink eye for anyone who dares to stare at your child’s bald head or steroid-swollen face.
- You restrain yourself from saying “WTF” when you hear your daughter’s friend complain about her new haircut.
- You snoop through your child’s e-mail inbox and intercept those messages that you decide are insensitive.
- You are never without tissues and Tylenol in your purse. You know that you’ll probably have a thumping headache and/or shed a torrent of tears at least once a day.