My Story With Chemotherapy – Surviving The Dead Zone

You wake up one day, have breakfast with your partner, and you don’t think of how beautiful your life is. It’s just a normal day in normal life. Then you pass by the doctor to hear about your periodic tests and he says, “there’s something odd about the blood parameters, and a pathology test is needed.” From there, everything goes downward. 

The thin thread between light and darkness

You don’t realize how blissful your life was until you hear the word “leukemia” and “chemotherapy.” And then, you see the thin thread that separates your old life from the upcoming darkness. All you can see at this moment is pain and fear, the fear of the unknown. 

Drowning in your fears and nebulous thoughts, a question slips off your mouth: so what can we do? And a doctor’s plan for a few hard months to come begins to draw up in front of your hazy mind. 

You go home holding your partner’s hand, looking strong, until you take off your clothes in the privacy of your room, and then the panic attack comes, and the tears flood.

Why should I go through this? What’s the point? Why do I want to keep living? But, the answer is stronger than all the savage questions in your head. At this point, my thoughts were that I am my own man, and I die when I decide to die, and a sneaky disease from hell that wants to eat me from the inside out doesn’t get to kill me. 

Just like that, you decide to invest all your energy in surviving this and postpone the thought of suicide for later, because you want your death to be your own decision. The idea sounds reasonable; we fought so many battles to be here, so why don’t we fight one last one?

The fight begins, but your strength fails you

Poor kid! It’s so much harder than you thought, each session takes what feels like years, and you can feel this blue solution dripping in your veins. Like acid, you can feel it burning your insides. 

The weakness, nausea, and skin itchiness afterwards are unbearable. You feel like you want to cut out your guts and throw them away. 

But your partner is here, holding your hands, and kisses your forehead. These touches and kisses recharge your energy store every time you feel empty and want to give up. 

One day, your partner decides that it’s taking too long, that they’re tired, and can’t go any further. You are tired and scared, and don’t have the energy to fight for what you thought would be your forever love story. You let them go, because you have other battles to fight. 

Your friends and family are there next to you, but you feel lonely. Only you feel the pain, go through the medications’ side effects, and lose recognition of the person standing in front of you in the mirror. Only you saw the love of your life packing up their luggage and leaving. Only you heard the door of the house you shared click, and felt the void and cold feeling of the empty house. 

As stubborn as you are, all the pain transforms into resistance. That’s enough. You want this done right now. The scary idea of hospitalization doesn’t feel so scary anymore, and you go for it. There, you meet some of your best friends, the ones that remind you that you’re not alone in this, that someone else knows how you feel, and understands the pain and agony. And you ask yourself: why did I resist this for so long? How foolish you were!

Three months later you are done, just like that, and the doctors come with good news. That was your last chemotherapy session, you can go back home now.

Energy is neither destroyed nor created

You open the door of your empty dark house, smell the air, turn on the light, and see the daffodil your partner bought you on your anniversary. It’s a dead, thin brown stick leaning on its jar, declaring more death now. Suddenly, all the feelings of the lost love and disappointment attack at once. And all the tears you hadn’t cried over the last year, burst out like a bomb for hours, in what seems like an endless flood of suppressed feelings.

It’s done now, but there is one more thing to be done in order to move on. A tattoo of the daffodil must be drawn on your arm, and to feel the needle unleash all the pain that might sneak up and hide inside of you. Force it out, and move on. 

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