Thursday, October 27, 2011
Chemotherapy #5--The Experience
I can't say I've been looking forward to this chemo session. After my 12 day hospital stay and 4 week recovery combo, it was nice not to feel the effects of chemo on my body. Chemotherapy was put on hold until my fevers went back down to normal, and the abscess on my liver (which is what put me in the hospital) was all cleared up.
I began having anxiety and anticipatory nausea from last night. Just thinking about chemo made me want to wretch. But thanks to a great partner, and so much love and care between us, k was able to talk some sense into me, and make me see all the ways and benefits of my current state of health. I'm forever grateful to Kahlil for being such a solid force in my life. Never before had I felt so "taken care of".
The morning of chemo, I cooked a breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, an english muffin, apple cider and a tangerine. I figured if this was gonna be my only meal a day, I had may as well make it substantial. Post-chemo nausea oftentimes rids me of my appetite, and has me emptying my remaining stomach contents into the bowl in the bathroom. CANCER IS REAL.
My mom, recently up from a six month trip to Haiti and my sister Sandra accompanied me to chemo. Although I was anxious throughout some parts of it, it was pretty much uneventful and went on without a hitch. They brought me lot's of goodies, including a whole Junior's Cheesecake. I usually don;t have the appetite to stomach food while doing chemo, but that cake is sitting in my fridge ready for me to get a serious "munchie". :)
The amazing part of the entire day and experience for me was when I was on my way to chemo via the subway. A homeless, half-crazy looking, near- toothless man began to "read" me by telling me I had a "fullness of life" that he can see all over my face. He proceeded by saying, I "know" things and I "see" things. During the conversation (which went on in a volume which would probably have been more appropriate say at 12 noon in a crowded cafeteria), I learned that the homeless guy, who I recognized as some sort of angel, was born in Harlem Hospital and grew up in North Carolina. For a near-toothless man, he smiled ALOT. He said to me, " you know who you are...you're not like these other boys around here wantin' to become men, as he looked around and scanned the subway car to angry men's faces. The other passengers I observed seemed paralyzed by fear as they avoided eye contact with the angel, thinking maybe they would be "picked" next.
I laughed heartily when the angel told me to "keep all my teeth", but even if they go, "always smile that great smile of yours." As the train roared into my station stop, the Angel's final words to me were, "talk to everybody...talk to the ugliest most derelict person like they're your best friend, and they will always remember you.
I gave the Angel a pound and a grin, and told him "God bless you." He replied by saying "you're a good brother". I got off the train, FEELING the fullness of Life he spoke about. These encounters I believe, are not by random. I took it as a gift I received along the way. Since I was on my way to receive chemo, that made perfect sense.
My nurse told me something funny. This was a true candid moment. I was happy that despite my not wanting to do chemo, that i could still find the space to smile.