This morning I remembered what it was like to undergo treatment for lymphoma with chemotherapy.
I sat in a comfortable reclining chair. The nurse pushed aside my sweater to gain access to the port that is still in my body a few inches away from my heart. There is a tube of some kind that extends to my neck and some vein I don't remember there. A big one. Sometimes after all this time, the nurses that flush this port can't get any blood from it, which makes me wonder if it has sealed up. I'd like it out, but that would require surgery and I do not want to go under anesthesia again.
The poison dripped through me. Sometimes I could feel it burning. Sometimes, like the very first time, I could feel it tingling in my pubic region. It was unpleasant, but I stuck it out.
After that very first time, I got terribly sick and vomited into the toilet at home. Herb wouldn't let me stay in the hospital after undergoing a poison drip for 13 hours because he was afraid I'd catch some OTHER disease. So I came home and puked my brains out.
The next day, I got some medicine that relieved the nausea and vomiting. I got it every month because we had good insurance coverage. I doubt I could get it again as it cost about $900 a dose.
I met some nice people every 15 days when I got my treatments. I would just start regaining my sense of taste when I'd lose it all over again. Some nice people came to visit me and brought me flowers and chocolates which I could not eat.
I lost 70 lbs. I have since found most of it again.
People, family, friends, acquaintances, the ladies at the pharmacy...my doctors and nurses...all were wonderful to me. I can never thank them enough for all the kindnesses they bestowed on me.
But I cried this morning as I remembered the pain. Your bones ache. Your insides ache. You have little normal senses...things stink or they taste like straw or your body stinks or heats up and burns or freezes, sometimes all at once. You fight. You cry more. You lose your hair, your flesh hangs from your body, you get a tan, you can barely move some days.
And nobody, nobody who has not undergone chemotherapy the exact same way you have--nobody bloody understands what you are going through.
So I cried at memories.
I didn't want to cry, nor did I want to remember.
I do know what I would not wish this on my worst enemy. Ever.