The Port-o Rican

“When life is hard, you have to change.” – Shannon Hoon

Angie and I became first-time homeowners in May of this year.  It was an important step in our lives.  A big step.  We saved up and shopped for a home for an entire year before we found our current home.  We loved it when we saw it.  It wasn’t perfect, and we knew there would be a lot of changes we would make during renovation.  Making the house our home quickly became our focus.  We were excited and looking forward to the hard work we’d have to put into it.  Nothing good in life really comes easy, and this home was going to be our shining example of that fact.   I think we’re going to miss those days when our only worries revolved around laying down floors and mounting cabinets.

Angie is in surgery as I write this.  She is having a port installed for chemotherapy.  The port will be placed underneath the skin.  This will make it much easier for a needle to be inserted, and that is how the chemo medicine will be administered.  It would appear that she has really skinny veins, because it took three or four different nurses to get a needle inserted, so this port will save her some pain over the months.  My aunt (a breast cancer survivor) pointed out this fact earlier in the week by claiming, “Nurses are infamously bad at finding the viens.  They treated me like a pincushion.”

We had to be at the hospital by 6:15 this morning.  Due to that fact, we passed on a Birdcloud concert last night at The Basement East.  I bought tickets about a week before we knew this surgery would happen.  I woke Angie at 5AM before I started warming up the car.  Angie drove to the hospital because she is easily the superior Nashville driver between the two of us.  She scanned through a few stations on the radio before she settled on The Cranberries “Dreams”.  I derive great joy from hearing Angie sing Cranberries songs, but I suppose it was too early this morning to get a sing-along out of her.

While we waited in the lobby, Angie mentioned that Matisyahu, a jewish rapper, was coming to Nashville.  Like I said before, music is a huge part of lives.  As soon as we attend (or miss) one show, we’re usually looking for the next one to attend.  I couldn’t help but recall the last time she saw Matisyahu.  It was in Myrtle Beach, and we had been dating for a short time.  Anyone that knows Angie will attest to her bizarre fixation on the jewish culture.  So, needless to say, she was more than happy to dance in a venue full of jewish men while Matisyahu performed on stage.  If we buy tickets to that show in Nashville, she’ll have to be a bit more conservative with the men she dances with, she’s a married woman now.    

Angie was in a hospital bed by 7:30 AM, and many nurses had attempted to stick her.  She was getting fed up.  We were both hungry and thirsty (Angie couldn’t eat or drink past midnight), and I wasn’t going to let her starve alone.  After the nurses left the room, Angie pulled up a song on her phone.  “Come sit next to me and listen to this”, she said.  

The song started with a slow bass line, a snap on the snare, then a clean guitar solo rang in.  After a few minutes of instrumental calm, the lyrics finally arrive:

Oh, that city music.  Oh, that city sound.

I’ve never heard it before, but it was obvious that Angie had.  She knew what song she needed to hear to ease the angst she was feeling from being poked with needles.  A smile quickly replaced her sulk, and she slowly closed her eyes as if she were trying focus only with her ears.

When the nurses rolled Angie out for surgery, I took her phone (and music) away from her and headed down to the cafeteria to eat breakfast and plan out the weekend, which is preparing Angie for Monday morning.  I’ll need to clean the house, buy food that is chemo-friendly, and get the bills organized.  Basically, everything that doesn’t involve home renovations.  But, we’ll have a fun little shopping spree with her, finding items to help her stay comfortable and warm and occupied during those coming days, weeks, months after she begins losing her long, beautiful hair.  

Life is about to get hard.  Luckily, Shannon Hoon warned me years ago.

Enjoy the newest customized playlist here:  The Port-o Rican

3 thoughts on “The Port-o Rican”

  1. Holding you both close in my prayers. Your post brought me to tears, Cam. You’re a damn good writer – just saying. I hope the weekend brings you both some rest. xoxo


  2. Port-o-Rican
    That sense of humor is gonna be extremely helpful. Side note: you should print these entries out.. I believe there’s something amazing and maybe cathartic about going back and reading through experiences in a tangible form. I’m old school though. Haha


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