You’re probably wondering what these three things have in common; thinking there is some random degree of separation that connects all of them. Maybe Abe Lincoln wore a horse head mask while riding a cow during the Civil War? The only thing these three items have in common is that they were gifts my sister sent me during round 2, 3, and 4 of chemo in the hospital.
Round 2 was just after I had lost all of my, already short, hair. I was in my hospital room watching TV when one of my nurses walked in with a small box. I had no idea what was inside or what to expect. It was during this round that I met the doctor I would eventually call the bowtie doctor. He wears the best bowties whenever I see him. Apparently one of my levels for some random element was low so I had to get yet another IV spot for this element I was lacking. I was already pissed that I not only had the IV spider web coming out of the port in my chest but now also had a lovely one in my left forearm. I opened the box to reveal a latex horse head mask.
My mom quickly put it on before putting it on the extra IV located at the back of my hospital bed. Later that night when I was fast asleep the bow tie doctor came to check on me. When he saw I was sleeping he said he would come back when I was awake. As he was walking out the door he quickly looked at the horse head above my bed and asked my mom, “Are you trying to send me a message?” On the day I left while we were packing up and we decided to put the horse head on my bed under a blanket. When the doctor walked in the room he started laughing. He currently has one in his office. I anonymously sent it to him a couple months ago so he could have one of his own.
Abe Lincoln waltzed into my room as a cardboard cut out during round 3 of chemo. He stood next to my bed and usually scared anyone who walked in my room. Another doctor who was on call that week and shared my love of horses thought he was hysterical. I guess Abe Lincoln isn’t usually in a chemo patient’s room. I still have no idea why Abe Lincoln appeared in my room. Looking back we should have hid him behind a curtain right near where you walk into my room. I decided against this, fearing that my nurses while carrying chemo would scream and then spill my chemo everywhere. You have to wear specific things to handle that stuff.
Last and not least was the cardboard cut out of the cow that was delivered during my 4th round. We strategically placed it in my room so anyone who walked by could see it. I was staying in a room at the end of a hallway and we could constantly hear people doing a two-step to walk through the doorway at the end of the hallway. When I stay two-step I mean they stepped one forward then one back to look then went on their way. We also got a lot of double takes from people passing by. When my orthopedic surgeon came to visit he did a double take of the cow and just shrugged. At this point he understood my humor.