I can’t do this.
I don’t want to do this anymore.
Those were the first words that came to my head in the morning.
Remember what you’re doing this for.
The pit in my stomach was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. After this one, I’ll have one more left, I convinced myself.
Just get through this. My body was weak, skinny and frail – how much more could I take? I felt like I was dying even though chemotherapy is supposed to be saving me. The hot day made me feel worse, we were going through a heatwave, and there is nothing worse when you keep having hot flashes on an already boiling day, this day won’t last forever.
The tears dropped down my face, and I quickly pulled myself together..
My boyfriend texted me, saying he was outside, ready to face this chemotherapy together. Deeps breathes. The car journey was short, leaving me no time to think about it in my head.
We entered the chemotherapy suite, first one here, as always. The nurses were setting up for their long day and sorting out the chairs, making sure they are adequate. The aroma in the air smelled strongly of saline, something I’m used to by now.
“Choose your seat, Nicole. We’ll get started with your pre-meds in just a moment,” the nurse smiles. You have to wait for your chemotherapy to be ordered when you get in, so it can take a while, but pre-meds can get started straight away. I choose the seat closest to the open door, and air con – this should help with the hot flashes. Perks of being the first one here!
Once again, she talks me through the side-effects I have been experiencing. I inform her about the tingly fingertips and toes. She starts up the pre-meds, absolute joy. Usually, I take my steroids at the same time as the pre-meds, so then I have to force myself to eat. By this point, my tastebuds had completely gone and everything tasted like cardboard and felt like mush in my mouth. The anti-histamine kicked in soon enough, and I felt really tired but too aware of my surroundings to sleep like some of the older ladies around me. It was weird, being always the youngest by miles, I felt really out of place.
Two nurses came to make sure the chemotherapy drugs were the right ones for me. Here we go again… She was a really nice nurse, she told me that I was one of the youngest people they’ve had at the center. We chatted and it took my mind off what was really happening. I get a feeling the nurses liked talking to me, a fresh and younger face to keep them on their toes.
The haem doctor came round to see me today, he told me that they would reduce one of the drugs in my chemotherapy concoction so the tingling in my toes and fingertips would heal quicker after the chemotherapy has stopped. The tingling felt really weird, like sharp pins and needles mixed in with a hard numb feeling.
After another long day… I wasn’t feeling too bad afterward as I was stocked up on anti-sickness. For some odd reason, I was craving a KFC (i don’t like KFC usually) and so me and my boyfriend got a KFC and took it back home.
But of course, the sickness creeped up again afterwards. Chemotherapy is such a horrible, awful, weird feeling, it really makes you appreciate the healthy times. I curled up in a ball later that day, with my cardboard sick bucket and the cool fan on full blast.
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21 years old. Recent remission to now a girl on a mission.