My brain flourishes with images of my insides dying when receiving chemo. The cells are attacked and become breathless, like ants in an ant trap. I am disgusted as I watch the liquid being pushed into my tiny veins. Treatment after treatment, it was proven that this was too much for my little body.
The nurses would come by to check on me or to change the medication from anti-nausea remedies, including Benadryl, then to another, then to a rinse, then the chemo, and finally another rinse. The other patients in the long, narrow room all had their own little space; and, aside from the occasional glance and warm smile, we each kept to ourselves. It was generally quiet, but you could hear the nurses sharing their personal agendas amongst each other, and asking their patients questions about pain levels and symptoms. The sounds of the machines ticking as they released medications, the ripping of packages for new needles, or the tearing of tape to cover the injection site made me cringe, because they reminded me of where I was and what was circulating inside me.
Mariano usually helped me to extend the seat before he left, and the nurse eventually brought me the vomit tray without my having to ask. The popsicles we’d bring in a cooler that were to be sucked on during the actual chemo injection would bring chills to my already shivering body. The popsicles were supposed to help stop the mouth sores.
When my husband would return, he’d always ask if I had eaten the popsicle. I’m not sure if the frozen treat ever helped, so sometimes I would leave it for him. I always got the sores, and they tortured the inside of my mouth for a week. Even the rinse they prescribed didn’t wash them away until many days later.