I wanted to write about something other than chemotherapy because I felt that I’d written enough about it. Whole books could be written on the subject, but without proper style, the reader might benefit more from popping downers.
I wanted to write about something else, but my third five-day cycle of chemotherapy began yesterday and it has been pressing upon my mind for days. I couldn’t entirely escape the impending onslaught. The drugs would be administered, poison me, and consume much of my mind and body.
But I decided that chemo could not have this week. I would manage the chemo by disassociating myself from the nausea and maintaining my psyche through the fatigue. Prior to the third cycle I would run three miles without stopping to walk. I would answer the phone every time a friend called and speak openly without fear. I would not sit and wait for the chemo to come. I have done these things. I am doing them.
You can’t have this week, chemo. I ran three miles without stopping to walk, for me, not you. You cannot take these three miles, my spirit, or me. You cannot take this week. These things are mine, chemotherapy. You may drop my blood counts and kill my tumor, but this week belongs to me. I will continue to play with my daughter, go for walks, and win this battle. This week belongs to me, and you will have to find strength elsewhere if you expect to take it from me.
I am winning, and I know the side effects will worsen. They should worsen. But I will retain some of this newfound control. Nausea is creeping in but I won’t let it catch me. My family sees me fighting and they fight with me.
You are strong, chemotherapy, but I am stronger, and this week will be mine.
P.S. Thank you for saving my life.