I rise from the chair stiff legged. I plod forward: feet numb, leg joints aching, until I find the rhythm of my gait and stretch tall to reach some semblance of normality. (Docetaxel – the chemo that keeps on giving). Sinister clots brood in my lower leg taunting me with the possibility that they will set out and burst into my unsuspecting heart. When evening comes I take out 2 needle packs, strip them of their plastic housing, swab a section of my abdomen and with an energetic ‘huh’ jab each one in until 120 mls of blood thinning liquid floods my tissues. (The Zena warrior woman approach to clexane injection). The left upper quadrant of my chest has been radiated 25 times over the past 5 weeks. The skin is red and stiff and pains like severe sunburn. I apply moisturising creams every few hours. Only a week or two and the radiated skin will heal, only 30 more days of clexane injections, only one year, two years or will it be five years until I will feel ‘well’ again? It is this stretching of the deadlines for wellness that I find most difficult. I am working on the patience to live this half -life in a meaningful way and to dream a positive dream of my future in a new-normal body. They say I can get my chest tattooed in about 6 months – something else to look forward to- design ideas welcome- at the moment it is an angel wing where each breast used to be!
How it is