Saturday, January 16, 2010

How Many Kells Girls Does It Take to Put Gas in a Jeep?

You’ll find the answer to this question at the end of this update.  I figure that some of you (family & friends) are reading this to find out what’s going on with my illness.  Others are reading this to laugh their collective hineys off.  And then, there’re those of you who’re reading this for both reasons.  As with many of my exploits, this one involves my daughter, Elyse – the Ethel to my Lucy.

Wednesday wasn’t as bad as I’d envisioned.  I went to the oncologist to get the infusion, & or course, used my chemo port for the first time.  I was SO nervous!  Fortunately for me, I had the BEST nurse, Nancy.  She talked to me & then she told me that she was going to “hook me up”.  Like Dr. Morrissey, she had me take deep breaths, & then when I exhaled, she stuck me.  But it didn’t hurt!  It felt weird, though, but I just can’t explain it.  You can clearly see the outlines of the port, as it protrudes about an inch from under my skin.  It’s an odd feeling to walk around with that thing, & even weirder to be hooked up to an IV with it. 

The next day, Thursday, I went again.  This time, Elyse took me & I wasn’t so nervous since I knew what to expect.  She stayed with me & we had a nice time.  We talked, I was knitting her a new funky scarf, & she was trying to take a math final.  While there, Elyse took these pictures:

And now here’s a BIG bummer!  The experimental drug that I’d signed up to take doesn’t want me – sob.  Apparently, the infection that tore through me (& ended up with me having to have an additional surgery) knocked me out of the running.  Pat went to the head muckey mucks not once, but twice; to no avail.  She left it to me to wait another week or so, while the appeal was being taken to another level.  She didn’t recommend it, though, & I knew for a fact that Matt would have a MAJOR fit if we held off on chemo for yet another week.  I’d feel better getting this show on the road as well.  The cancer is very aggressive, so I want to be kicking its butt with the chemo ASAP.

You want to know a really weird thing?  These infusions are supposed to boost my red blood cell count, thus making me less tired.  As usual, though, it’s done the EXACT OPPOSITE!  I’ve slept just about nonstop since Thursday.  In fact, Michele & I had our first conversation that lasted any length of time last night.  This is unusual when you know that the two of us spend at least an hour on the phone at one time & most times twice a day for a total of two hours.  One day, we were on the phone for about 15 minutes, but she had to go.  When Matt walked through the kitchen, noted the time, he pretended to have a heart attack.  Men seem to have this shared trait – they think they’re funny.  Apparently, Michele’s Alex does the same thing. 

This Tuesday, I begin chemo.  I’m nervous about it, but at the same time, I’ve got my Ninja costume that I must don.  Kung Foo Lucy!  Of course, I’ll let you know how I react.  However, since my body never responds in the correct manner, I’ll probably have tons of energy.  I’ll be writing about every little thing that happens to me – you lucky minions, you!

OK, now to my Lucy & Ethel adventure.


It was the morning we were to report for my first infusion, & Elyse was driving me in the Jeep.  We knew we needed gas, but we figured we could wait until after my appointment.  However, when on an incline, it looked as if we were going to run out before we even got out of town.  We made the decision to get gas – something we should have known would end in disaster.

You see, even though Kells girls are very self sufficient, we are also spoiled by the Kells men.  I can’t remember the last time I put gas in my car.  Truth be told, I don’t know what half the stuff in my car does (see “I’m Too Stupid for my Car”).  I just figured that since the girls got their licenses, Matt taught them how to pump their own.  Instead, their brother, Dakota, has been doing it for them all this time.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that between the two of us, I was the one with the most gas pumping experience – from 25 years ago before I married Matt.

Elyse pulled into the gas station, and then quickly realized that she had no idea which side of the car the gas tank was on.  Looking out the door, we saw that it was on the driver’s side.  Now, Elyse is very good at driving, however, after trying to figure out which side of the car we needed to pull up to, was a bit distracted.  She narrowly missed hitting the tanks.  Backing up, she managed to get it in place; but it was a very, very tight fit.

She got out, & I handed her the gas card.  I was sitting in the warmth of the Jeep, when I noticed that she was standing there staring at the pump with my card in her hand.   I knew help was necessary – MY help, though, not so much.  I’m the mom, darn it, so it was up to me.  Together we stood there & read the instructions on using the credit card.  She finally ventured putting it in, & we were happy to see that instructions began to scroll across the screen.  Elyse got the nozzle out, & we turned to open the little gas door.  She pulled, nothing happened.  I pulled, nothing happened.  Back & forth, dumb & dumber stood there pulling at the little door.  THEN, Elyse remembered – there’s a lever in the car that we needed to push that would automatically open the stubborn tank door.  She made quick work of unscrewing the doohickey, & put the nozzle in.  Sadly, no gas was coming out.  She squeezed, I squeezed, she squeezed again, & so did I.  I looked at her & asked if we didn’t just do this dance.  We stood there with our mouths agape, staring at the nozzle.

Finally, a Good Samaritan, who’d apparently been quite amused watching this little display, came over.  Here, we’d forgotten to turn the little lever thing down on the gas pump.  He smiled, showed us what we were doing wrong, and then thought better of it.  He pumped it for us, showed us how to get the card out of the machine & sent us on our way.  We couldn’t help but notice as we looked in the rear view mirrors that both he & several other patrons at the gas station were laughing their butts off.

We didn’t care, though!  We had gas in the Jeep, & we were on our way.  Late; but on our way.  And if we ever need to put gas in the Jeep again, we know just what to do.  Ask for help & forget about trying to do it ourselves.  Saves time.

Hey, we may be dumb, but we learn fast.

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