Can you get me medical tape?

At dinner one night at camp last week I noticed our kiddo looking a bit overwhelmed. I asked what was going on and she shared that she had hurt herself playing “capture the flag” -she’d fallen on the gravel and had some scrapes.

I asked “can I get you anything?” Her response surprised me. She said medical tape. So, I replied “what?” And she explained the following:

The sores on her hands were the problem. Band-aids kept coming off because of the location (and likely the amount she was sweating) so the nurse covered the band-aids with coban to keep them in place. It was fine at first, but in this moment, the coban being there was brining up some BIG emotions.

Totally out of the blue, 3 years 8 months post-treatment and we’re back in the thick of dealing with having had cancer. Prior to her diagnosis and treatment she’d never needed coban. But, having an MRI to figure out what was in her cheek required contrast, so that needed an IV, and when that came out coban was used over gauze to protect the hole in her arm. And it just kept going from there…weekly blood draws, quarterly (and sometimes more frequent) scans. Lots and lots of pokes that all ended with coban wrapped around her arm or hand.

And, once she had a port and we were introduced to emla cream, she went into scans with coban. We numbed the areas likely to be used for the poke to put in the catheter to get the contrast. Once the emla was on, then there was press n seal, then coban to hold that in place.

So, all experiences she’d had prior to this night at camp with coban were related to the cancer. When you put all that together it’s not a big surprise that she found herself reacting to having it on her hands. But, man, what a shock. I’m not sure we’ll ever stop being surprised by these moments, these “triggers”.

I shared what was happening with Morgan and asked him to find out if the camp nurse had any options for her. (I knew I’d have a hard time getting through explaining what was going on, and he’s better at keeping the tears in than me). While she didn’t have medical tape, she did have plenty of band-aids. So, she gave Joanna a stash to keep with her so that she could replace them as they fell off. Caring camp nurse for the win!

Joanna wrote about this herself. You can read her version over at the lump.

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