*In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dean and Val have asked me to share some stories from my book Laugh With Kathy, Finding humor in the journey through breast cancer. Each week day during October, I will post an excerpt from my book on Vinton Today. Our hope it that these articles will give you a glimpse into what it takes to beat breast cancer. Proceeds from books sold in October on Amazon and from my website will benefit the Survivors of Benton County.  Please note that I was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, had two years of treatment and I am now living cancer free.  www.laughwithkathy.com

Monday, February 4, 2013: I am several weeks into phase two of chemotherapy and have chemo scheduled each week for 12 weeks. Thursday was a long day at chemo. The day started with difficulty in getting my port to cooperate. My port is located in my chest, and that is where the nurses insert the IV medicines. Jody, my nurse extraordinaire, showed a lot of patience and persistence in trying to get my port to cooperate. After a couple of hours, we decided to start a standard IV and get the show on the road.

Chemotherapy can involve multiple medicines and IV bags as well as premedications to help prevent side effects. One of the premeds that I take is a hefty dose of IV Benadryl. Unfortunately, a small dose of Benadryl knocks me out on a normal day. And if you give me a large dose while I am seated in a chair with seat warmers and a vibrator, I sleep like the dead. Literally.

So on Thursday, the doctor comes in to speak with me and check my port. She sees that I am sleeping and calls my name. Nothing. I don’t move. She gently shakes my arm and calls my name again. Nope. I’m not waking up. The nurse shakes my arm and calls my name. I sleep on. Now everyone is looking a little concerned, and the doctor lifts her stethoscope. At this point, my sweet daughter, Danielle, grabs my arm and shouts, “Mom!” I sit straight up. Nothing like the sound of your child bellowing your name to get a mom up and running! I look around at the room full of people smiling at me and say, “Oh, hi.” I have no idea that I have just scared them to death.

I’m thinking I should leave instructions in my will that someone should check me twice to make sure I’m really dead.