I woke up, in bed with my Mom, because on nights before a big change we all become children again.
It was the day I had been dreading ever since cancer had crossed my doctor’s lips. The first day of chemotherapy.
I rubbed my freshly cut teeny weeny afro, my mini control freak out moment from the night before. I was swimming in unfamiliar waters but at least I could cut my own hair. I stood went to the bathroom to check my ostomy bag. I was still unsure of how to feel about part of my intestine being outside of my body. The mergency surgery lto remove the tumors from my abdomen left ugly scars and the bag seemed like a never ending reminder that things were not the same.
We were told the sessions took a few hours so in an effort to make it fun we rented some movies and headed to the hospital. I tried to smile between the deep breaths I took to calm my nerves. I felt her strength as she held my arm and supported me as we walked slowly into the building.
The nurses are kind and talk me through the process. “This is going to hurt the first time” they say. I saw the mam bear rise up in my mom’s eyes but she can’t stop the pain. We sit the hours needed and then set up for my 46 hour pump that hangs in a fanny pack from my waist. “You may have some of the following side effects: insomnia, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting…..” All that and more waited for me in the hours afterwards but I felt brave.
One down, eleven to go.