Let the Sunshine In

Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, chemotherapy is not all sunshine and parades.

Sometimes, even with this lower dose treatment, chemo can mean acne and queasiness.  Nail pain and finger numbness.  Heartburn and heart ache.

I feel ridiculous to even complain.  Who am I to boohoo about niggling little complaints when in the scheme of things I’ve been given the breast cancer equivalent of a “Get Out of Jail Free” card?  A few operations, 3 months of “chemo lite,” 9 months of minimally irksome Herceptin, and I’m as good as new.  Well, maybe I won’t be like new, more like blind-sided and repaired, but still road worthy nevertheless.

I had a hair nightmare the other day.  In it, I looked down and realized the floor was covered with my hair, whereas my head wasn’t.  You can imagine my profound relief the next morning when I awoke to a densely covered scalp.  After all this work, it really boiled down to a simple binary variable.  Hair or not.  Hair = happy.  Not = not.

Compare this admittedly trifling scene to the next night’s, when I dreamed a doctor gently gave me the bad news:  a paltry 14 months left (not necessarily due to cancer, but some other unspecified condition).  I lived through a nighttime eternity of shock, denial, and resolve and everything in between.  My unconscious body suffered through the gut-wrenching realization that my husband would have to carry on alone and the heart-breaking conclusion that my children would grow up and grow old without me.

Emotionally drained, I arose hours later not with another sigh of relief but with the sharp, deep gasp we all involuntarily struggle for when we enter this world.  A rebirth, another chance, call it what you will.  I ventured down the alternate, far less desirable path that night and in the morning simultaneously regained both consciousness and the prospect of a long life.

Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in

Let the sunshine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in

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