The Real Story Behind Week Number 1 of Chemo…the True and Unedited Version

Several people have mentioned that “gap” in the start of the blog and the first post (chemo #2)… asking where is the information about the first chemo treatment?  What happened during that one? Why was it not mentioned?

Well honestly, I’m not sure where to start…

Looking back, it seems like the “plan” was quite straight forward, but when the whole litter of Kittens (aka the MacDonald’s ) are involved… nothing is predictable… I should have known something significant was going to happen, something we shouldn’t “blog” about… but who can predict the unpredictable?  Not me.  Not Cancer Kitty.  Not Itty Bitty Kitty.  Not Big Titty Kitty.  Not Panther Dan.  Not P. Kitty.  And certainly not Little Pissy Kitty.

The Kittens were scheduled to come into town on a Wednesday.

It was a cold, dark night…. literally it was 8 freaking degrees Fahrenheit (for people in St. Louis, that is COLD) and it was dark, because it was damn near midnight when their twice delayed flight finally landed in St. Louis.

Catfish, or sometimes referred to later as Miss Kitty, (The Creator Of The Blog) and I were on the case. We killed time touring Ferguson and the areas surrounding the airport.  We picked up the two youngest kittens, who resembled the old guys on the muppets, telling their tales from their exciting day of travel… bobbing around in the back seats of the car, their silhouettes resembling those of Terrance and Phillip.

I remember some story about an unsuspecting gentleman by the name of “DeJarlo” and how deliriously they seemed to think everyone was hitting on them along the way from Canada to the US.  They were crazed… barely coming up for air.

Anywho, let’s speed up. We got them, we went back to the city, we got to my apartment. Catfish left, they made fluffy beds fit for a litter of kittens on my big couch.  We had a plan for the morning. Coffee, port placement at the hospital near my house (pretty simple surgical procedure), then off to the county to meet my liver specialist for the first time. It seemed like a great plan, we went to sleep.


This was the big day. Catfish picked us up early, around 8am.  We stopped for coffee (Park Avenue Coffee-FYI-good stuff), headed to the hospital (Barnes in the Central West End).  Everything seemed to be going so smoothly. Too smooth (like the good parts of my colon).

I went into surgery. I was supposed to fall asleep. I was talking and talking (very much like the kittens in the back seat), for what seemed like a really long time. Next thing I know, the procedure is over. The anesthetist claimed she had given me the same amount of drugs as the “last guy”! That’s always encouraging. Especially after telling the surgeon earlier that I had colon cancer, “the old man’s cancer”, when he was trying to confirm I had ovarian cancer… I guess it was written down wrong. I immediately joked with him that it was stereotypical of him to suggest that just because I was a girl I had ovarian cancer… he was a little startled… until I laughed.

Anyhow, let’s get moving again. They had chopped my chest wall open and inserted a little device to make administering poisons into my veins easier… my port (please say “port” in a really high pitched voice).  We packed up from there. Took some photos in the wheelchair. Maybe went to lunch. I don’t really remember, I think the anesthesia finally kicked in by this point!

Next stop, Dr. Hawkins office, the legendary liver specialist I had heard about (the Ron Burgandy of livers-he is a pretty big deal). We got signed in, everything seemed great. I was called back to the exam room.  Once we realized there was room for all of us in the exam area, Catfish went out to gather the two little kittens in the waiting area.   All the way back giving them to pep talk about “holding their shit together in the room” and “there’s no crying in cancer appointments!”  Megan (Pissy Kitty) was feeling especially strong as she confidently said, “We got this!”

Meg and Marni

The kittens even looked the part…little did we know they had us all fooled.

Catfish was manning the voice recorder during the appointment, so we didn’t miss anything and could review things later if necessary. The physicians assistant came in to ask some preliminary questions. She had me change into a gown. I of course forgot to wear underwear… a common mistake, at least I had pants on.

She asked some very general and simple questions… you know the ones… “Have I ever had surgery?”,  “Have I ever had a heart attack?”, “Have I ever broken a bone?” This went on for 9 minutes and 52 seconds (the benefit of having a voice recorder you know the exact time). Suddenly, Little Pissy Kitty stood up, claiming she needed to get some air. Of course she was sitting in the corner and basically had to climb between and over Catfish and then Itty Bitty Kitty. I realized she was not looking so good, as she used the wall to stabilize her wobbly, little legs while attempting to open the door out into the hallway.  I told Itty Bitty to go with her… just as Pissy swung the door open. Itty Bitty reached for her coat and purse (which was alien to me, as I do not carry a purse-ever).

Then it happened, Little Pissy Kitty raised both paws up now to the jam of the door and I knew she was going down… timber!  I yelled for Itty Bitty to get her, as I bounded off of the exam table, butt cheeks exposed as my cat-like reflexes caused my gown to flow gracefully behind. Itty Bitty was able to grab the sleeve of Little Pissy’s coat to help with the inevitable crash landing she was about to have onto the hallway floor.  She fell in slow motion, like a tall, thin, white oak (she was pale, I say)… do Oak trees where skinny jeans?

Itty Bitty had a death grip on the giant timber’s jacket which could not be stopped once in motion. The momentum of this tree was barely interrupted as the sleeve tightened, and Little Pissy’s head snapped sideways just as it caught banging and bouncing on the cement floor. The sound was sickening. I think we all gasped… but only one of us peed.

The Fainting Goat

By this time, I was at Pissy’s side. She had landed on her right side, banging just above her eyebrow, next to her temple. She stiffened, rolling onto her back involuntarily. Her back was almost arching. Her eyes and tongue flipping back and forth… she was seizing… like a scene from the Excorcist.

The physicians assistant barked the obvious (that she was having a seizure) and ordered her to be rolled back onto her side.  I supported Pissy’s head rolling her back onto her right side, exposing my backside for all of the office to see. Thank God I had this fancy gown on… oh wait… I shouldn’t have been lifting anything over five pounds for a week, since I had just had SURGERY!!! Have you seen Pissy Kitty’s head? It’s huge, way more than 5 pounds anyway! I had to hold and lift and roll this giant head. Her body almost followed on its own, like an obedient puppy.

Pissy Kitty came back to reality within a matter of seconds. She was alert and awake and extremely apologetic, as she chewed the gum that had only moments earlier been stuck in her hair. As she chewed the hairy gum she looked at each nurse and assistant telling them all she was sorry. Then she saw me, clearing her hair from her face. You could see the remorse and then embarrassment coming over her. She apologized to me… then she announced loudly to the whole office that she thought she had peed in her pants.

Sure as shit, there was a puddle beneath her dark denim, tight ankle jeans. Itty Bitty Kitty (Marni) had just pulled her jacket back from this area, realizing that in the excitement she tried to stuff her coat under Pissy’s legs.  Her jacket was soiled with urine… as soiled as Pissy Kitty’s pride.

A nurse interrupted our shock and laughter at the sight of the puddle, “How old are you?”

Little Pissy replied, ” I’m 33… but I’m potty trained.”

Well, that was the end of our adult behavior. We were laughing like hyenas, the three of us. The nurses all looked at us in horror. I turn to see Catfish who had instinctively already whipped out her cellphone… she had been videotaping us for awhile now.  With a cat like grin she said, “This is going to be great” (the video).  Keep in mind the voice recorder was also in play and recording the whole incident. I was in disbelief of it all… and kept making this face.


Is this real life?!

The nurses began to scramble around Pissy Kitty getting a blood pressure cuff, explaining to us how serious this was, while we all continued to laugh hysterically off and on. They were advising us to get Pissy Kitty into an ambulance, as they had called 911. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!!”  I mean, it was only a little “bump!”


Of course, we idiotically declined despite the massive hematoma on Little Pissy Kitty’s temple.

Pissy and Itty Bitty were ushered off to another room and later moved out to be examined by paramedics who arrived in an ambulance. Once again they declined the ride to the other side of the hospital to Emergency.


Meanwhile Catfish, the physicians assistant and I went back to business. We met with Dr. Hawkins, who had a great sense of humor about it all… thank God. He went on to explain his plan of attack. We parted ways and met up with the little kittens in the waiting room.

They were both still laughing of course. Pissy seemed embarrassed, but humored by herself. We returned her wheelchair, stole a blanket for her to sit on, so she didn’t get her pissy pants all over Catfish’s car.


We had to make a new plan of attack. We headed back to the city. We would get Pissy cleaned up and changed, Catfish would let one of her 3,000 animals out to pee, Itty Bitty would get a new jacket and I would rest… after getting the pissy pants and jacket into the wash. Catfish came back and took the kittens AWAY, I mean to Urgent Care down the road from my place.  Unfortunately, as it turns out, if you have a seizure you have to go to a real emergency room. Off to St. Mary’s Hospital they went… there she was given a full exam and determined not to be pregnant.

Megan Bed

Because of all the excitement, my friend Compton had to pick up the third, and final kitten at the airport… Big Titty Kitty was about to come to town… what could be next?!

Lot’s of things… like coming back to my chemo room from the bathroom and finding Miss Kitty sprawled out on the floor, pretending to have fainted like Pissy Kitty, only with a medical mask!

Fainting Goat

Or the Kittens totally ignoring anything that might be happening with me during chemo and taking selfies of themselves!


Or Lovett, falling for yet another one of Miss Kitty’s pranks and thinking she had to wear this attire to visit me in the chemo room… yes, that is a HOT blanket.  She was ready to pass out when we broke her the news that we were just kidding!  Luckily the nursing staff played along with everything.


Well, until next time… Cancer Kitty out… I’ll be back after Chemo Friday this week. Cheers!

Jill Cheers

Check out the video link for the full story!