Chemo with a Side of Ice, Part 2

Chemo with a Side of Ice, Part 2
A Lump in the Road column *Editor's note: This column is a continuation of last week's column, Chemo with a Side of Ice, Part 1 The night before my first chemo session, my husband layered dry ice with rented gel caps into four coolers. He’d read about a way for cancer patients to save their hair. “You put frozen caps on your head during chemo,” he told me. “Since your scalp is frozen, meds can’t circulate there, and you won’t lose your hair.” It sounded brutal, but I agreed to try it. He loaded the coolers into our car and tumbled into bed well after midnight. In the morning, both of us anxious, I got ready to leave, and Gary retrieved our car. What we didn’t know was that while we slept, those coolers filled our car with deadly fumes. Dry ice is essentially a block of frozen carbon dioxide with a surface temperature of minus 109 Fahrenheit, and it emits gas as it melts, creating a lack of oxygen in confined spaces. It can be deadly. People from wine country might be more aware of this phenomenon than others. Tragic stories sometimes emerge. A vintner in British Columbia fell into a 500-gallon vat and quickly lost consciousness because of high levels of carbon dioxide. When his friend tried to pull him out, he exposed himself to the same oxygen-starved environment, and both men died. Fast. But we weren’t thinking of that. We wer
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