Knowing

Normally, we don’t know we’re going to be sick. We might get there slowly, feeling a cold coming on and knowing if we don’t stop pushing we’ll be in bed for a few days. Sometimes you can feel something coming on, but if you can feel it, the hope is you can drink enough Emergencee to ward it off. Not so with cancer and chemo. I think that’s what is so unnerving.

Tomorrow is my last day of AC-chemo. I know, without a doubt, I’ll be sick- I just don’t know how sick. I’ve spent the last couple days refusing to think about the orange sherbert colored curtains and the volunteers pushing carts of ginger-ale and the nurse who has to robe up in order to administer the first drug because its so toxic she doesn’t want to risk spilling it on herself. But now I have to think about it. I am running around like crazy, finishing edits on this doc and that, doing the laundry, going shopping for the few foods I can stomach right after chemo.

It’s a mad-dash to get somewhere I absolutely totally don’t want to be.

Knowing I’m about to step into five days of what feels like the-worst-hang-over ever has produced a sense of dread in the bottom of my belly. The cancer agency should be trimmed with black, and there should be dark and scary gargoyles with red eyes perched on either side of the door, and they should play haunting music in the elevator. The sixth floor, the chemo floor, should be dark, scary, eerily silent. That’s how it feels to go there, even though its jarringly cheery up on the sixth floor, with florescent lights and big green reclining patient chairs and a guest chair beside each poison-pumping station. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is very nice up there on the sixth floor. The nurses smile and joke, the volunteers bring sodas and snacks, Sam and I are going to play banana grams and edit our wedding pictures. It’s just that the chemo floor reeks of illness, and worse, it so reeks of illness-about-to-come that even the thought of it produces nausea.

There’s something very odd about knowing I’ll be sick for many days before it happens. Add it to the list of weirdness in Cancerland.

And send your good vibes to me tomorrow.

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