This is an experiment. I had my infusion today and I still have Gwen, the chemo pump, attached for another two days. I’m going to try and describe what it feels like. For me. Which is to say, it’s not the same for everyone. Because I was terrified of treatment before I started treatment and I’ll start by saying that it’s not as bad as I imagined. Not even close.

But you know that feeling when you woke up hungover and you weren’t sure if trying to eat was a good idea but you gave it a go? As uncomfortable as nursing that (*insert preferred go-to hangover solution) bacon and egg roll was, you knew that if you could get through it, you’d be in a better place? But then you eat the bacon and egg roll and you know immediately you were wrong. Am I going to vomit? Probably not. Do I feel that any sudden movement could change things either way, yes.

Luckily I am well-equipped with drugs to take for the nausea. It’s just a matter of titrating their various forms and doses so as to not render myself unconscious for days. Not to mention slowing my bowel down to a pre-christmas covid testing queue crawl. A fart lets me know the engine is still running.

Chemo is a disgusting, beautiful, toxic, punishing, tumour-killing monster. At the hospital clinic, we are asked to close the lid after we use the toilet. Just having the stuff coming out of our bodies is risky to others. I’m supposed to use different towels, different hand towels, different everything to the people I live with. I heard a nurse tell a newbie patient she should wipe down the vanity after she brushes her teeth.

Right now I feel so disgusting. I just want to crawl into a corner (very dramatically) and sleep the deep sleep of the dead for the next two days.

And here’s the kicker. Tomorrow I may wake up full of energy and ready to start the day. And if you ask me how my treatment is going, I’ll tell you it’s going pretty well.

But today is basically a loose poo in a packed commuter train bathroom. Unavoidable. Ugly. And because I’ve shared the details with you…stinking up the whole carriage.

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2 thoughts on “What’s chemo like?

  1. If only we could all take one of those crappy days for you – we would! Thinking of you and hope that the good days are around the corner. XX

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