Thirty-six hours from now I’ll be getting my first chemotherapy treatment and my life will change forever.
That’s nothing new, I guess. Life changes forever with every moment. This time is different. This is going to be a drastic change. Seismic.
I have so many thoughts. Fears. Hopes? Mostly fears. Of the unknown. Of the how bad will it actually be? Nobody has said chemo will be easy. It’s all varying degrees of hard.
My body is strong. I know that. She’s also a rat bastard. A cunning rat bastard, deciding to go nuts on me during a pandemic when I’m not gallivanting and can pay attention to her, but a rat bastard nonetheless.
So here I am. Nearly midnight on a Tuesday night. Taco meat and Mexican chickpeas simmering. Another dinner of tomorrow instead of today like normal people. My chemo bag is nearly packed. Chemo bag. Who knew that was a thing? Chemo patients. Of which I’m one. Or will be in thirty-six hours.
I wanted to make dinner earlier. But then I started putting together a bookshelf, and then I called my mom, and the nurse navigator called me back, and I called my mom back, and one of my best friends called me, and then my brother did, and three and a half hours later the bookshelf was still in pieces on the floor, and the happy little IKEA man was grinning at me as I decided whether to finish it or trip over it tomorrow.
I finished it. It’s one less thing for me to do tomorrow, because tomorrow is my one last day before chemo.
Time is running out, it feels. I don’t know what to expect except to expect it will be bad. It’s all a degree of badness. I’m told I’ll be fine for a day or two and then I’ll feel like crap. Or I’ll feel like crap for a few days and then I’ll be fine. Nausea won’t set in right away, so eat as much as I can on the way home. Nausea will be there period, so bring a bucket.
I have a chemo bag. A chemo bag. Who knew there was such a thing? Previous chemo patients, obviously. Some of them told me I would need one.
What’s in a chemo bag? Comfort. That’s it. Comfort. If you’re going through chemo, I think you should be able to define that comfort any way you choose. For me, it’s filled with gifts I’ve received over the past few weeks from generous souls who know that my life is irrevocably changed and they want me to know they’re there for me.
That’s how my life has changed. I see these souls. I see their love and kindness.