Yes, three weeks have gone by already since our last chemobearapy session. During that time, I came up with an idea to control my little sidekick who thinks the Monter Center is an arena designed for his personal entertainment, particularly when that entertainment involves flirting with the nurses.
I decided to enlist my oncologist’s help. As I’ve mentioned before, Dr. Carleton is not just a well-respected doctor, she is the best oncologist in the Universe, so how could Stretch not listen to someone of her stature telling him to behave?
I kept my plan quiet so as not to arouse Stretch’s suspicions that I might be up to something. I said nothing when I was changing into my gown in the examining room and noticed him playing on the scale.
“Wow! I think I gained 3 grams since our last visit.”
But then something on Dr. C’s desk caught my eye, and I realized the little bear had surmised what I was thinking and decided, as usual, to get the upper hand.
“Flowers? What flowers? I don’t see any flowers.”
You can probably guess where this is going:
“Dr. Carleton thinks I’m adorable and she says I should go on spreading my own special joy and goodwill in the center.”
Well, even if my plan didn’t work, at least I had the consolation of a good check-up before I moved on to the chemotherapy session. And things unfolded as usual from that point on.
First, we were greeted in the treatment area and led to our cubicle by Ryan, who apparently has been designated as Stretch’s personal escort at the Monter Center.
Next a new nurse appeared and Stretch wasted no time in making friends with her. He pulled a tiny pink rose out of somewhere and proceeded to charm her in his usual manner of reciting Shakespeare.
“If happiness were like the flowers of June then I would take the best of them, roses and columbine, the lilies, and bind them in your hair. That’s from Shakespeare. By the way, you have the perfect name—Joy. I feel so happy around you.”
He next sat down for a snack to celebrate National Donut Day. His friend Sandra was supposed to join him, but he found out she was called away for an emergency.
“I brought some extra donuts for you Sandra, but I’m sure you won’t mind if I eat your share today. They’d just get stale if I saved them for our next visit.”
After fortifying himself, he said he needed to walk off the calories and ambled away dragging a little bag after him. When my chemo session was completed a short time later, I discovered Stretch canoodling with his true love, Jane.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. The great poet Charles Schulz wrote that. So glad you’re back, it wasn’t the same without you the last time I came. No, I wasn’t flirting with the other nurses, who told you that? I don’t know where those rumors get started.”
I hated to break up the romantic pair, but it was getting past my lunch time, so I told Stretch to make another date with Jane for June 27th and then we left. I often wonder if when we leave the staff imagines they hear a parody of the ending to that old tv series “The Outer Limits: “We now return The Monter Center to your control.”
When you dig another out of their troubles, you find a place to bury your own.