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Chapter 63: Another Treatment

One thing the doctors had forgotten to tell Kim was just how boring chemotherapy could be. For the next four hours, she had to sit in the chemo room of the clinic while poison pumped through her veins.

Some of the other people in the room were watching television -- some judge yelling at people who were arguing about who owed what to whom.  It might be better than the soap operas they were watching during her last session, but she still tried to tune it out.

She had brought a couple of books with her, but did not feel like reading.  One was a self-help book for which she was supposed to provide a foreword and the other was some cheesy potboiler about the end of the world that Andrew had picked up at the drug store.  Neither really interested her.

There also was a National Enquirer on the seat next to her, probably left by an earlier patient, but Kim no longer found tabloids amusing, not after she had been the focus of their stories.  She could remember the mocking articles when Phillip left.  They had clearly reveled in the story of the advice guru whose own life could benefit from advice on how to hold onto a man.  How could she give marriage advice on the radio when she could not even hold onto her man, they had asked.  And they had extra fun with the girl Philip had started screwing.  She was barely legal.  Phillip had not just traded Kim for a younger model; he had traded her for an infant.

Sometimes she wondered why she had ever hooked up with Phillip.  Marlena had described Kim's "love" for Phillip as rooted in the stability he provided.  Maybe that was part of it, but, deep down, Kim knew the truth.  She had latched onto Phillip for two reasons.  First, he wanted her, and she desperately needed to be wanted after Shane had rejected her in favor of her younger sister.  Second, other than her, Phillip and Shane had nothing in common.  In many ways, Phillip was the anti-Shane.  His world was limited to the shallow pool of the entertainment industry; he cared more about who was sleeping with who than about politics or the world around them.  Shane was educated; Phillip took pride in having made himself a fortune in the industry after dropping out of high school.  Shane was a gentleman; Phillip enjoyed being crude, sometimes to the point of embarrassing her in front of their friends.  No, she corrected herself -- in front of his friends.  Their world had been his world, not hers.

At some level, she had been relieved when Phillip dumped her.  Their marriage had not been happy in a long time, if ever.  No, that was not fair.  They had been happy -- or at least she thought she was happy -- for the first couple of years.  Maybe she had been deluding herself. Maybe she had been so afraid of reliving the pain she had endured with Shane that she had settled for the superficial life that Phillip offered.  In a way, her marriage to Phillip mirrored her relationship with Cal; with both, she had latched onto the first warm body who paid her attention after losing Shane.  But, at least, Phillip was not a homicidal sociopath.  Obnoxious and a drunk, but not a sociopath.

Kim laughed at that thought.  Somehow the tabloids had never gotten the details of her life before Phillip.  If they wanted tabloid fodder to fill their pages, her life in Salem and in Europe was a goldmine.  They probably would not even know where to begin.  Her life as a prostitute?  Her lover and then-husband the spy?  Her own work for the ISA?  The paternity of her children, with both spending a year under the mistaken belief that Shane was not their father?  All of her family members who died and then came back to life?  Oh they could have fun with that one.

Yet with all the craziness, she had to admit that she was never happier than when she was in Salem -- and with Shane.  In the midst of all the pain and chaos, there had been wonderful times.  When she went to England; the night Shane proposed in Vermont; the day Andrew was born.  She could compile a long list, but maybe she just needed to concede that she had enjoyed the roller coaster.

Maybe she even wanted to get back on.

Kim sighed.  She was being silly now.  Shane was gone, and she did not even know if he was alive.  No, that wasn't true.  If Shane were dead, she would have known it.  She had always had a sixth sense where he was concerned.  When he had "died" in the fight with Jericho, she had known deep down he was still alive.  It was the same when he nearly died in Stockholm.  She had felt something -- a chill -- and later found out it was when his heart had stopped.  And even after their marriage had ended, she knew.  She had had a terrible nightmare the night the Salem Museum had been bombed, the night Shane had been paralyzed.  And a few years later, she had received a call from Eve, Shane's next-of-kin, to let her know that she should prepare herself to tell Andrew and Jeannie that their father was dead, because Shane had been shot on a mission and was not expected to survive.  Kim had not been surprised at all.  She had expected a call, after spending the entire day filled with dread.  With that history, Kim she just knew that, even with the years apart, she would know if Shane was dead.

She looked around the room.  The judge was still yelling, or maybe it was a different judge that was yelling now.  She could hardly tell.  Checking her watch, she realized she still had more than three hours of treatment to go.

Oh wait, she was supposed to call Bo.  Marlena had mentioned that before Kim left the house and it had slipped her mind.  She could probably kill a few minutes talking with her baby brother.  She picked up her phone, dialed, and waited for him to answer.

"Brady here," he said.

"Should I ask which one?"  Kim loved teasing Bo.

"Kimber?  That you?"

"Hope I'm not catching you at a bad time."  She was mindful of keeping her voice down to avoid disturbing her neighbors and the screaming judge.  "Marlena told me to call you.  Everything's okay there, isn't it?"

"Abso-freaking-lutely, Sis."  Kim had to laugh a little at her baby brother's exuberance.  "We saw Sydney and she looks great."  His tone suddenly grew serious.  "I've also got a little news for you.  Are you sitting down?"

"I guess you could say that."  Kim looked at the intravenous tube hooked up to her arm.  "I'm getting a treatment."

"Ewww," Bo muttered, and Kim could almost picture the sour expression on his face.

"Come on, Bo, what is it?"  There was a lengthy pause and Kim steeled herself, figuring if he was that hesitant, it wasn't good news.  Over the phone, she heard Bo take a deep breath.

"Well, Kimber," he said somberly.  "Carly got the results of the blood tests back.  You know for the bone marrow transplant.  And well. . . ."  He paused.  "I'm a match."

Expecting bad news, it took Kim a moment for that to register.  Then, in a loud voice, she cried, "Bo Brady, how could you do that to me?  I thought you were going to tell me someone died or something."  She suddenly became aware that all eyes in the room were on her and several other patients were giving her angry looks.  She lowered her voice, as she ignored Bo's laughter on the other end.  "I can't believe you would scare me like that," she hissed.

Bo stopped laughing.  "I'm sorry, Sis, but, come on,  it's good news all around."

It did finally register.  Bo was a bone marrow match.  She would be able to have the transplant.  "You really mean it?"

"Of course, I do.  I'd never joke about something like that.  Carly came over to the station as soon as she got the results and started talking about antigens and leukocytes.  You probably know what that means more than me, but she definitely told me that I match.  So you just tell me the date and I'll be on a plane to La-La-Land."

She actually didn't know the date.  "Well, I'll have to talk to the doctors and figure out when they need you."

"No prob," Bo said.  "Whenever you want me, I'll be there -- even if you just want my blood."

"Yeah, that's me.  I'm a regular Count Dracula, aren't I?"

"Hey," Bo said, and she could tell he had detected her rueful tone.  "You hang in there, Sis.  I know you're going to beat this.  That's because you're a Brady and the Bradys are fighters, and I don't know anyone who fights as hard as you."

Kim smiled.  "You always know exactly what to say, little brother."

"Of course, I do.  Now you just focus on getting better and it'll happen.  And remember, you're going to have super-duper Bo Brady blood running through your veins in a few weeks."  There was a pause on his end of the phone.  "Hey, Kimber, I've got to go.  Duty calls.  Just remember what I said."

As she hung up the phone, Kim sat back in her seat and smiled.  She no longer felt bored.  After all, what was three more hours?  It was like Bo said.  She was a Brady and she would do whatever it took to beat the cancer.  This was one war that she was going to win.