Tag Archive | Chemo

Chemo session


She is lying under her white hospital blanket, her eyes closed

She may even be asleep

She looks serene 

He is on his phone

Doing something or other

The lady across from me seems to be content to just be

And not do anything

I’m listening to calming piano 

Attached to my IV

Which gives me medicine that will heal me

My nurse, a big, tall lady with beautiful manicured nails

Is sitting at her desk now

Doing something on the computer

We are not allowed to have family with us

So, Albert is in the cafeteria

Having driven me here

And ready to take me home

I am grateful

I feel groggy and tired as I type this poem 

Driving would not be advisable 

One of the nurses is with her patient now

Looking at the device that dispenses the chemo right into our veins

Lots of buttons, telling the time and the kind of medicine being dispensed

And tubes that come out of the device everywhere

One such tube is attached to me

And I can see the drip drip of the medicine

Half an hour to go, says the timer

Five weeks of chemo done

Seven weeks to go

But I live my life

And do what I need to and want to do

At a pace I choose

February 15th, 2023

What more could I want?


My Chemo holiday is almost over

Tomorrow blood test and my meeting with my oncologist

And Wednesday, back to the hospital to get some Taxol in me

Compared to my chemo before the New Year

This is a walk in the park

Yes, there are side effects

Fatigue, the funny taste in my mouth, my tongue being sore sometimes

But they are very tolerable

Two more months of Taxol and I’ll be done with chemo

What an experience it has been

As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

After chemo, my body gets a break

Then comes one more surgery

Followed by radiation therapy 

And finally I’ll have reconstruction surgery

It’s a long road

But I’m living my life

I’m writing and working on publishing my books

Life goes on

Of course I will be happy when this period is over

But I’ll try to make the best of the journey I’m on

My cancer diary keeps me company

My friends shower me with love and encouragement 

My family is most supportive

What more could I want?

January 29th, 2023

My chemo ring


My chemo ring

What might that be, you may wonder

Let me explain

When I found I needed chemotherapy

I was shocked and taken off guard

I thought I would be done after my surgery for breast cancer

But the surgery revealed things that meant 

My treatment was not over yet

I needed chemotherapy and more surgery

I especially did not look forward to chemotherapy 

I’d never heard of a good chemo experience

Hair loss and unpleasant side effects are all I knew about it

So, to make the situation more palatable

I decided to treat myself to something

And that would be my chemo ring

Recently I had bough a ring for my right ring finger

It had a little bling, which is what I was looking for

Now, I wanted to buy a ring with bling for my right index finger

And by bling I mean fake diamonds

I just love glitter but 

I don’t like the price of diamonds

There are many alternatives these days

So, when I was at the jewelry store for another reason

I decided to look at their rings too

I found one that looked nice and was not too expensive

And that’s how my chemo ring came to be

It had the required bling of course

January 25th, 2023

My finger nails



Different kinds of chemo have different side effects

There could be a funny taste in your mouth

Food may not seem as flavour full as before

Nausea is a common one

And hair loss as well as fatigue

There is a strange side effect that involves the finger nails

They start getting darker at the cuticle end

And that dark patch expands gradually

First it happened to my thumb nails

And then the other finger nails

The toe nails too

My oncologist said I could paint my nails

But I’ve decided it doesn’t bother me so much

No one stares at may nails anyway

And this will be over in a few months


January 17th, 2023

Chemo is not fun


Three months of a/c chemo for breast cancer is finished

Three months of Taxol to go

That means three months of heavy chemo is behind me

And twelve weekly chemos ahead

Chemo is not fun

While attacking cancer cells

Other parts of your body are under attack too

Side effects are different for everyone

But nausea, fatigue, low energy and low mood are not fun

As chemo kills the fast dividing cancer cells

Other fast dividing cells are killed as well

Our hair cells are one such cells

The unwanted effects of chemo is the price one pays

To get one’s health back

The alternative is much worse

I need to be thankful that treatment exists

Probably treatments will be even better in the future

But for now 

Nausea, hair loss, fatigue and other side effects

Are things I need to live with

A disease that always had a negative outcome

Is now treatable

It’s important to keep things in perspective

January 6th, 2023

Chemo holidays


Chemo holidays are great

What might those be, you say?

It’s week two and three in a three week cycle of chemo

The first week after getting your IV drip of chemo drugs is a right off

Fatigue, nausea, sleepless nights

Food not tasting good, swallowing being hard

Everything out of whack basically

Brain fog

But luckily, there are weeks two and three

And I call those chemo holiday weeks

A semblance of normal returns

You feel like yourself again

You’re not in constant discomfort 

Basically, life is good

Thank God for chemo holidays

When your body can take a break

From the onslaught of the meds

That help you and hurt you at the same time

When your mind can relax 

And realize that normal does return

October 29th, 2022

Being grateful is best


At the coffee shop

Sitting in the sun

Watching normal people doing normal things

Chatting with friends

Having their croissants with coffee

Me, I’m feeling good relatively speaking

I’m at the coffee shop, aren’t I?

I wonder when I’ll be back to normal

Normal energy levels

Normal days 

It will be a while

So, I have to make the best of it for now

Who knows what kinds of issues

The people at the table next to me are dealing with

I could look very normal to them

But I know better myself

This is a process I have to go through 

One day at a time

I can’t have my eyes on the end

That’s too long from now

I’ve got to be my best self 

Whatever that is now

Do what I can

Rest when I can’t 

Accept things as they are

Be thankful for the treatment I’m getting

In a beautiful hospital

With competent specialists

It’s always best to be grateful

It leads to a better outcome 


October 28th, 2022

Nine days after first chemo treatment 

A night from hell


First night after my first chemo treatment:

It was a night from hell

Pardon my language

No, it wasn’t nausea or fatigue or the other things I was expecting

It did not let me sleep 

Did not let go of me all night

And I had never experienced  it before

It was restless leg syndrome

Every few second my leg would go into a spasm and move involuntarily, like a little kick 

So imagine that, times a thousand

Because it would not stop

I tried hot packs

I tried stretches

Albert gave me a massage

But these little kicks came back on time each time

I took Tylenol

I took Valerian 

I would sleep a little and then wake up 

To that now familiar and dreaded feeling of a kick I was not in control of

It did get better as the night went on

But it didn’t disappear totally

It became milder and less frequent

It moved from my left leg to my right leg where it has stayed

I’m so happy the night is almost over and with it my ordeal 

I hope it’s not a night I will ever have to repeat again

October 20th, 2022

ps: Nine days later: survived the first week after chemo and doing well.