I lie and wait, rain dripping from the window ledge of my seventeenth floor penthouse room, saline solution drip-dripping into my body. Overnight the clouds have set in; the shadows of the city's tall buildings soft in the grey vista surrounding the hospital this morning, the distant condos and office towers invisible in the mist.
I lie and wait; I ponder my fate; I'm late, I'm late.
I want to go home.
They are friendly, efficient, and very thorough here at Princess Margaret Hospital. They admitted me yesterday for the night; they grilled me about all my functions and reactions; they did another small biopsy; they had me pose for nude photos of my whole body, and then studied my rash endlessly to eliminate the one very evil and very dangerous type that could herald death.
Later that evening, my son came over to visit just before sunset, and we had a real photo-shoot in this, my private dorm in the sky, silhouetted against the city backdrop, and with specular highlights to boot. One shot of me, - hand on heart - praying perhaps, for a good outcome to this hurdle.
My rash is probably benign, - as much as an arrabbiata (anger is more forceful when it's Italian) and flaming mass of red spots can be benign - and I'm hoping, now that it's morning, and everyone has seen me and decided there's no imminent danger, that they will give me a cortisone cream and discharge me. Perhaps this erupting skin is a late reaction to the chemo, or just myself all awash in nerves, anticipating my upcoming show on Sunday.
Or it could be me dreading the next round of chemo, and subconsciously creating a delay: "We'll head 'em off at the pass, Red; you cover me while I get away." Didn't work, though. Chemical infusion Tuesday, as scheduled. No rash changes. It's enough to curl your hair, if I have any left in the next few weeks.