In the midst of this madness...I lost myself.
Just at the time in my life
When I almost knew myself.
Cancer survivor? I am not sure. Will I ever be?
Doubts of the permanence of cancer's final demise.
Questions saturate my mind day and night.
Did the doctor get it all? Will it grow back? Was the treatment aggressive enough? Was the treatment too aggressive? Will there be consequences to the poisons they've injected into my veins? Who the hell thought of chemo in the first place?
Why aren't I grateful for my prognosis? They caught it so early. Will I ever be grateful? Have I learned to treasure every moment of life? Was that the reason that I had my entire life flipped over in a second? All it took was a single phone call to forever change my life! Now I can't remember NOT having cancer.
Chemo - I smell chemo, I taste chemo, I feel chemo, and I see chemo.
The smell of chemo is musty and old, dead and rotten. It's everywhere I go. I manufacture the smell through my menopausal body, through the bald and castrated vagina that I do not recognize as my own. Chemo glistens from my hairless head and shines with menopausal perspiration as if to draw attention for all to see.
I taste the chemo when I drink from metal cans and eat from metal silverware.
I'm reminded of chemo every time I drink water - the water that I force myself to drink to flush my body of the toxins that I just spent four hours letting them administer.
I feel the chemo permeate my body with a warm flush that turns my skin red. I feel the dry skin on my body flake off as if I'm shedding my skin. As if my skin knows that my body is filled with poison and is rejecting it as a form of survival.
I see chemo in the orange anti-bacterial soap the one that is supposed to kill the germs. Or orange flavored Jell-O or Kool-Aid. Everything orange now turns into chemo.
Cancer is the jagged dotted-line scar that opened up my belly. The long curved scar that will forever be. The surgery of which they melon-balled all of my youth, which threw me into middle age at age 37 with such force that my body is screaming for hormones - none of which I can take.