FIGHTING LADY – the chemotherapy
The protocol is so invasive, the chemotherapy so overwhelming that my body seems to be tearing to
shreds. One morning, my nails start to fall out while I’m trying to open shower gel bottle or to zip
up my jeans. A nail that falls off doesn’t heal; the wound stays raw and causes incessant pain.
I put sticking plasters and tape around it. There are so many sores in my mouth that I can’t
swallow anything anymore. I have no more saliva, my lips are split and burn so badly that
even talking becomes difficult. This side-effect, called mucositis, often keeps me from eating.
The only thing I can take in, with great difficulty, is a few small bits of macaroni, and they
taste of rusty metal. Everything tastes of metal. Brushing my teeth is difficult since the toothpaste burns me or makes me nauseous.
I realize that my bathroom is full of expensive products that I can’t use, because none of them is of any help. The more I buy, the less suitable they are. The mouthwashes that were prescribed come in large glass containers that are difficult to manage.
I repeatedly drop and break them
because my hands have lost all their strength. The usually gentle and pleasant moment of freshening up in the morning becomes hell. Every day, I have to wage a battle with my own body, a body I no longer recognize, that obeys only the disease and hurts terribly.