Struggling through chemotherapy

I can’t tell you how others are going through the treatments. I can’t even say at all how you should do it. The only thing I can do to help, on a strictly non-medical basis, is to tell you what it was like to be stuck in a life burning in flames of poison and pain. Maybe I bring a smile to your face when you need it most.

By that I mean the day you are going to get the brand-new treatment, because the rest is rather the afterparty phase. For me, the forerunner, the breeze of the next treatment was like a hurricane in my face, trying to make me aware – oh yeah – you’re going to Room 101, where you will be tortured by personalized and selected methods. It wasn’t a heart-warming feeling to think about the desire to get free from the room where the walls were decorated by expressionless faces of my suffering companions. When you know well before the action that you are going to hurt, that you will be afraid of hurt, and let’s not say, God damn, you’re going to vomit back the whole set of infusion, well, this is something an average person wouldn’t pay for. It is impossible to prepare for it because you can never be sure what will happen next time. I’d say it’s just like gambling, but here you really lose all the dazzling prizes, you can only choose from the many bad ones. But it doesn’t matter, you can do it.

I always woke up on time because if I didn’t hurry there was no bed and I didn’t want to sit in a chair for six or eight hours. Of course, later, the floor next to the toilet also seemed to be perfect, but at the beginning I went there with such luxury demands. I took an anti-emetic, which never worked, but if it has to be taken, then it must be taken. Light breakfast, maybe at first, then getting lighter with time, and hop, finally I couldn’t eat anything at all. This is not an advice. You shall eat! Okay? It just wasn’t for me. I should have had a drink, but I couldn’t. Start. At first, I was very cool, went by bus. Then the car was left, of course the driver wasn’t me. Conversation barely, I found it hard to hide that I am fucked by fear and we don’t like to say out loud something like that.

Arrival and there
A quick blood test to see if I’m sexy enough from the inside for another treatment. Yeah, okay, lay down, let’s start. If we found the vein, we were happy. They are usually damage, everywhere. I loved the precious souls of my hematology assistants who were all day preparing the patients to get the infusion and they were highly professionals. One of them could pierce so good that her name was mentioned in our prayers. When my body did not take the cannula at all, the small winged needles remained. Somehow it had to be injected. The intravenous anti-emetic came. I wouldn’t say it ever helped. Already the first drops of chemotherapy were biting my arm, all the way up to my shoulders and further. Many times, I was thinking about that I could see my vasculature in front of me because I felt everything. Strange pain, unlike anything else.

I have no good ideas for the boring, hours-long lying down. You have to experience what will work for you. For me, hm, almost nothing. I had company, I had only two treatments alone, luckily, he accepted the vision of half-living myself. But you shouldn’t expect too much. Once my brother and his girlfriend accompanied me. I was hoping that they would be entertaining, distract me, and then it might not hurt so much. The rack came, carrying the two buckets of muck to fill me up. Needle inserted, then blown vein. My brother was pale, twisted his eyes, his head. White face, I sent him out. He thanked. Needle again, then blown vein again. Girlfriend was tough, she could do it. Needle again, the third vein couldn’t stand that neither. I jumped out of bed, the needle flied, and my girlfriend fell into my bed. She fainted, I laughed so much. What an escort! I sent them home. They came for me when I was done. It’s worth counting on. If you carry someone who loves you, they may not be able to watch you suffering. And yet, to be alone is not good. It is very difficult to stay positive alone, especially since, in my experience, there is no big “happy little church of positive people” during the treatments.

During the first chemo, I was thinking about reading a good book if I had that much time while that sea of disgust was dropping. Yeah, for the second time I laughed at myself for that. I didn’t read. Once I tried to watch a movie to see if it would work. Yeah, no. Nothing distracted my attention. After a while, it was no longer worth thinking about it, because I was vomiting endlessly. It would have been nice to drink water or anything to get that bad drug taste out of my mouth, but I couldn’t, just a little tea at the end when we were saying goodbye, but nothing before. I would have liked to crunch something during the many hours just to have at least something to throw up, but oh, that was a total foolishness too. So, believe in yourself, it’s not easy to be more awkward than me!

And the moment I first, you know, left myself during the treatment is unforgettable. Probably there cannot be enough years or even lives to vanish these memories. I stood up and I was immediately ordered to sit down because it wasn’t allowed to pull your little rack while trying to beetle from the ward, no way. There’s the kidney bowl. I definitely felt that I did not attend that certain princess training course what taught me that. So, I was forced to outline my concern that even the thought of it was completely ridiculous that I would strike home. I assured them that, that my vomit is like a truck approaching one hundred and twenty miles an hour and when it could reach that tiny bowl, six cleaners would disinfect the floor, the wall, and the next bed with the patient lying on it. They believed in me, and so could take my final shelter, the toilet, with dignity.

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Our spiritual shoes

Every time I see you, every time you hide into my sense and I hear your name, love arises into flames like it hasn’t happened before, like I haven’t met you before: new shoes. Whenever you can come towards me everything starts from the beginning. It doesn’t really matter what you look like: you can be comfy trainers or glittering platforms. It doesn’t matter how expensive you are, because not your price makes your value. I don’t care where I will find you, even if you are a pearl of a mall or a second-hand shop’s queen, because all your secret is that you are new. A prey. I have to get you.

Why do I need you so much?

The question of why shoes define me hasn’t come up for so long. I didn’t want to put any philosophy into my shoeshopping because it was a pleasure in itself, it didn’t need any explanation. You simply notice them, and the feeling burns you down that without them you probably can’t live futher. You can’t wear anything because that certain item is out of your stock and you want it. Anyway. That is the opportunity and it will never come back, so you must get them and that’s all. And a flash sale, aawwhh, need them. And if it is not, it doesn’t matter. It is a must for you, because a voice is howling from deep inside. See, these shoes are so beautiful, and there is the case when they are so ugly that they are beautiful. You know it. Those patterns, look at that colour! You will solve everything in my soul, just come home with me. Don’t bother if I will never wear you or even love, but you will stand in the queue because you have a special teaching for me.

Psychotherapist shoes

I haven’t bought shoes from passionate love for some years, only when needed. That is a totally different world with viewpoints and with conditional love. Very similar to a longlasting relationship, because passion is not enough, you have to be a bit more adult with more special requirements. We are planning for a long term together. Last week I had to go to a shop and buy a bad romance. I was ashamed on my way home. I didn’t need it, I didn’t have money for it, but it gave me a slap to wake up and see that there is something wrong inside. Something made me satisfy a bitter sweet urge filled with deep repentance and I totally lost control over sanity. That dark blue platform was stronger than me. It came along with me because it brought a message about the fact that I had tried to push something deep in myself. I was not good at troubleshooting the plugging as at preventing the problem. So I had to sit down in front of the blue beauty and ask it what it wanted. How could it get me to bring it home when I didn’t need it at all. More precisely the object of my need wasn’t it, but in the absence of myself I had to negotiate with it. It said I had lost. That was the truth, but I was afraid of admitting it. I got into a certain kind of situation what was absolutely unknown for me and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to meet the requirements. My requirements. A burning love was awakened by the shoes.

The main reason why I need you

Life gives us profuse ideas about why we need to get a new pair of shoes. Partners, lovers, preys, reflections of the misery of our souls. During the chemotherapy I didn’t want anybody around me except my family. I didn’t want anybody to see, see through or even slightly suspect what it was about. No one could get the chance to be a part of my suffering. I only needed time to get to know myself and find the most suitable resolution. From the very first moment I knew that it would be a painfully lonely journey. I was prepared not take anyone, no one could accompany me. I went to a long and insanely difficult terrain, but I bought a pair of professional hiking boots, definitely. That period from the beginning of our strange love with Mr. Hodgkin to our breakup brought seventy pairs of shoes into my life. I wanted all of them because they made me a woman. I didn’t dare to look in the mirror, I wasn’t beloved, I couldn’t make myself attractive, so I could give so many roles to my shoes. I needed them so much. Every single shoe was meant for patching my torn soul.

There is no obstacle

My never-existing doctor was born to a highly empathic woman, so she called me to control only three days after the chemotherapy. Simply because she had never been there when I got that shit into my veins. It doesn’t matter, does it? Nothing special, I only had cancer. She wanted to see me therefore I went to the hospital. I could bear the bus ride. Like a well-qualified beagle I felt that disgusting smell in the air at the gate of the hospital. I hadn’t beleived the legend of being able to smell clearly those chemicals from a hundred metre, but that was the truth. So I swallowed and went in. After two sentences she let me go. With rage, anger and with a desperate feeling of fainting I needed to find a shop. That certain shop which was close to the hospital, so I had to walk only a few hundred metres. I was chanting that I was ok, everything was all right. It wasn’t. I entered the shop and meet with a new pair of shoes. I hadn’t had that kind before, you know, I wanted. Awakening from the first sparkles of love I saw that the world started to blur around me. I paid and run out to the fresh air. Not far from the door I found a hiding playground between some huge blocks of flats where I planned to sit down for a while. I failed. A nice little sandbox from the era of socialism was the witness of my vomitting into a dustbin. My tears were falling. Some workers were preparing for their breakfast just a few metres away on a bench. I didn’t even try to smile. After wiping my mouth I bought another pair of boots in another shop. Holding those boots I travelled home and hoped I wouldn’t vomit the whole bus.

Goodbye, glass slipper!

After finishing our extreme romance with Mr. Hodgkin I started to live the real life and I slowly realized that the outlines of my existence were no longer drawn by shoes. I love them nowadays too, but everything went into its appropriate place in my soul and there is no stirring urge to buy a new one. A certain part of my shoes were never on my feet. Some years ago I could give them away from a pure heart. I know they just wanted to help me when I held high, but I just went deeper. I know they just wanted to fill the gaps in my soul I might not have admitted to myself. Finally they couldn’t fill just brought some light into my darkness. Only we can cope with our own demons whatever we wear on our feet.

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