Fear. Anticipation. Getting back on the merry-go-round that is chemotherapy infusion day. I wrote last night about my hesitancy to go back again today, to get pumped full of poison drugs, to sit there while the vile mixture that will kill my cells is funneled into my veins. The Individual Voice’s words haunt me, asking, what chemo patients DO look forward to it? And where are my curse words?
I have no curse words. I have no rage, even. I have only … disappointment. And weariness. I know I’ve only just begun this cancer journey (and I’m sorry, so sorry, for this self-centeredness in the face of what friends like Jodi and Zachary’s mama have to go through), but I am already so tired of anteing up what cancer asks of me. I hate being tired all the time. I hate being weak, and having to ask my son to “jump into mom’s arms” only on the left side, and to hug mom carefully, and to choose a lighter book that mommy can hold without straining her injured chest.
I hate to leave my little boy, even for a day that will prolong my life by weeks, months, or years (and I know that sounds selfish, particularly when so many mamas have to leave their little boys and girls every day, but this cancer has made me sensitive to our separations. I do not want to leave him. Period.). I hate to say goodbye, and walk away as he screams, “Mom-ee! Mom-ee! No go way! Me come ‘wif you!” I hate to feel that emptiness and that selfishness as we drive away, spending the day without him. Spending the day in the cancer ward. Surrounded by sickness.
It’s hard to focus on the hope, and the love, on days like that. Days like this. Days like the one that I will start again in just a few hours.
And so, the night before chemo, I am often up late, alone, writing furiously before the chemo takes my words again, recording thoughts and vivid emotions while I can think, and feel, and express them in language that satisfies. Because tomorrow, or, later today, I will be numb for a while. Drugged by the medication. Exhausted from the poisions and the stress of the day. Artificial.
Frustrated by the day that I have spent – no, invested – so that I will have even more days, and months, and years to spend with my little boys. Because I have two little boys, and I want to live to hear the youngest one cry for mama, and squeal in delight when the car drives up at the end of the day — “Mom’s home!”
My goal for today is to take my medicine and to be pleasant about it, and to look forward to the time when our minivan pulls back into the driveway and we can all cheer with delight, “Mom’s home!”