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Day Nine…I just want to get out of town

It’s been a long week for a short week. The heat, the scheduling changes, the crowded waiting room, because of the scheduling changes, the traffic coming up to Boston, all the people that are in Boston for some genuine Independence Day fun,…I just feel worn out, and I’m ready to go home.

Jamie and I get to Proton Center at 8:30A, my scheduled time, but do you think they’re on time? Nope, that’s right, they’re behind…but this is relative…they take me at 9:00A. Not so bad…I guess. The mask goes on with ease, I count down four Classic Rock songs (Proton Center plays a Classic Rock station on the radio during treatments), I’ve figured out how to pace myself according to how many songs have played. Four is the number…this is quite helpful. I’m done. Jamie and I head back to the apartment. I take about 45 minutes to rest before we have to begin to hump our stuff down the stairs and go pick up the car at the garage, which is three blocks away. This rest time is so not enough…but I just want to get out of town.

I go to the garage with one knapsack, and leave Jamie with the key and the rest of the bags (about 4). The plan is that while I am walking over to validate parking and get the car, she will bring the bags downstairs and wait in the ground floor vestibule.

I arrive at the garage, believing that like the couple of times preceding this one, that it will go like “one, two, three pick up sticks”. Not today though, today they tell me they can’t validate because I’m not in the system, I’m not a patient, and that instead of the $24 I’m prepared to paid, I must pay $120 or I can’t get my car out of the lot. “This is absurd” I tell the overly officious parking validator. I’ve parked here before, I’ve presented you with the Proton Therapy card that I always present to your co-validators, I’ve given you my Patient Number…”I’m a patient”, I rant. She continues to tell me that I’m not…like I’m pretending to be, so that I can rip the hospital off to the tune of 100 bucks. She becomes exasperated and calls a Customer Service Person, who will take ten minutes to show up…I proceed to melt…I’ve just been radiated, and it’s something like 100 degrees at the parking garage. Finally, the Customer Service God shows up, calls Proton Center, and deigns to validate my parking…but not before he tells me “that from now on, I will need to present a note from my doctor”. I just want to get out of town.

Jamie called almost exactly after this parking fiasco had been settled…she was starting to wonder if on the way over to the garage I had passed out on the street. I like the concern, it had been about 40 minutes…in my mind I’m thinking if I had actually passed out, 40 minutes would have been a lot of time to have passed before she called…but enough thought. I just want to get out town. I tell her I’m on my way and will be at the apartment in about five minutes…she’s been doing some melting of her own in the hot apartment vestibule. She just wants to get out of town.

We hit the road about 11:30A, on the way we stop at a Ben & Jerry’s at one of the highway rest stops, and discovery a flavor we’ve never before experienced…Chocolate Therapy…just what we both needed. The chocolatiest of chocolate ice creams either of us has ever had…and that’s saying a lot. We do hit traffic, but it was not as bad as anticipated. We got home around 4P. So glad week two is over. I look forward to having three days off.

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