…just another day of radiation treatment
Today I can’t. My body is not my friend. She refuses to cooperate. I don’t remember how many radiation sessions I’ve had, I just know there have been many and there are many more to come. I’m tired. I don’t feel well. All I want to do is sleep. This might be a blessing in disguise, my one chance at getting some rest. So I’ll just call the hospital, let them know I’m ill, that I won’t be coming in today and then crawl back into my warm bed. A comforting thought albeit a measly one.
“I’m sorry but we need you to come in.”, says the nurse. “But I’m ill”, I reply. I sound desperate but it doesn’t seem to faze her. “I know honey, but even with a fever, we need you to come in. Now!” Defeated, I lay down the phone after promising to be there as soon as possible. No rest for the wicked.
I stare longingly at my bed in its unmade state, ready to keep me warm and safe. Too tired, I turn my back on it and start getting ready. But everything hurts. I just don’t feel well.
Normally I’d be chatting away on the journey to the hospital. I’d thank my stars that we live so close by but today it’s silent. It hurts to even speak. Waiting my turn in an all too familiar hospital room, my lover beside me. I’m shivering. I want to lie down but how stupid would that be. He grasps my hand “It won’t be long now. You’re next. In a matter of minutes, it’ll be over and then we can go home. It’s ok, It’s ok..”. I realise I’m visibly shivering, my face is wet, I can hardly hold up my head.
I hear my name and slowly shuffle into the radiation room. “We heard you’re not feeling well.” The nurse says. “We’re so sorry but this has to be done” As I undress, the tears stream down my face. I hear myself repeatedly whispering, “I’m cold, it’s so cold”
Gently the nurse guides me to the radiation table. She’s consoling me, telling me everything will be ok. “But it’s so cold” I cry. “I know, I know. You’re a strong woman though. You can do this. It’ll be over in no time”. I have no idea why I’m crying. It seems so silly but for the life of me, I can’t make the tears stop.
Lying on the table, chilled to the bone, “be still” they say. I try hard to stop shivering. I try or else it might take longer. A few seconds is all it takes. It’s over. I’m free …for today.
I get up, dry my tears, thank the staff and nearly faint at the comforting thought of being able to crawl back into bed.
One step at a time, they say and never have truer words been spoken. Today was a giant step. Tomorrow is another day, another step.
I will fight another day, tomorrow.