Cycles. Twice every four weeks, milling about the hospital for three hours to receive a single shot. Then once, spending those three hours strapped to a chair with an IV stand instead. And finally yesterday, the blurry seven-hour spinal skewer of an ordeal. I don’t talk about it on the Internet much… always been unsure if this is necessary, but it’s always easier to reveal a secret than to take it back, and I still don’t feel like it’s a part of me, just something that happened to happen. For one year, two months, and going strong.
There I was lying down for the required six hours after doctors messed around after my central nervous system a.k.a. spine. Mixed emotions; as taxing and nauseous as the experience is, it’s the last occurrence in the chemotherapy plan. One monster of a box ticked off, one step closer to the “normal” life of more than one year ago… or, to me right now, very unfamiliarly unrestricted. I can’t recall in full what it feels like to practice a chair freeze on the dancing room’s sweat-laced wooden floor… to gulp down a wasabi-smothered piece of sushi and then have to perform jumping jacks in response to the flavor… just to stroll through a park or a nature path like a normal guy, without having to worry about a mask.
Then the day after, now, I had an extra day’s stay for a CT scan. Even in the mere hour I ended up needing to wait for the installation of the killer-thickness needle — which I’m actually getting right now as I’m typing this sentence, and it is hideously, hideously, nasty to endure — I feel inklings of the oppressive dullness of hospital life again. To imagine, according to the doctor, I wasn’t supposed to be back in school until this point in the schedule!
I had hoped or maybe expected that I would have become desensitized to the pain, the interminable poking and prodding that I’ve been designated to suffer, by now; but still, every one of these experiences is just as difficult to get through as the last. But now the worst parts will be behind me forever, if my luck holds up. I don’t know if I dare hope for any more good fortune, though.
Whatever happens, life goes on. Before I know it (in four days, to be precise), I’ll be sucked into the next challenge, fighting for something different, something I understand why I’m battling for. Until then, there’s not much more to do than grit my teeth and resign myself to the perfectly typical homework load.
‘Cause there has always been heartache and pain
And when it’s over you’ll breathe again
You’ll breathe again…