My body has undergone many physical changes over the last 6 months, since my cancer diagnosis and my chemo began. I used to have hair on my head.
Now I do not.
All this from the chemotherapy.
I’ve also had a plastic triangular disc placed under the skin on my chest which allows for easier intravenous access for chemo drugs. I’ve also lot some weight. And those are just the changes one can see.
My treatment has also given me peripheral neuropathy, which means my fingers and toes tingle all the time.
And the fatigue is persistent, and even as it wanes the further from my last treatment, it pops up unpredictably, causing me to end social engagements early, to leave my friends before I finish my coffee or tea, to leave parties well before the end, just so I can go home and sleep.
In all of this I have been fortunate—my body is continuing to respond well to treatment (relatively speaking). The cancer itself is having less effect on my body than it once did, despite still remaining my probable and eventual killer.
It’s difficult to deal with change, even if you recognize its inevitability and its pervasiveness. If you change one thing, and deal with that, that’s still hard but okay, especially if you are the change’s agent rather than its plaything.
A large, unshakeable, change will come to me swiftly at some point. The chemo will stop working, and the cancer will overtake my body and me. It will be fast—a matter of months. But it will also be slow—months are long. The cancer will bring fatigue down on me like rain. I will not burn out or end with a bang. Instead, I will whimper and fade away. My death will be pathetic.