Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chemotherapy, round two

The infusion nurse looked uncomfortable as she prepared to insert a needle into my mediport yesterday. It’s a different motion than slipping a needle into a vein to draw blood or start an IV line. She grabs it kind-of like a knife handle, and jabs firmly through the skin and all the way through the rubber cover of the mediport.

“It’s okay,” I assure her, “it doesn’t really hurt.”

But in spite of training, and years of practice, it doesn’t feel natural to stab someone in the chest that way, and they cringe a little every time they do it.

It doesn’t really hurt, but it does take its toll. It leaves me feeling deeply sad. I’m once again hooked up to my portable IV, back to carrying around a weeklong supply of Genasense. I’m back on chemo.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that the treatment is working in my favor and I can look forward to a time when I’ll have hair and no cancer. But the process is very unsettling, disturbing, intrusive. It represents a profound loss of innocence. I’m reminded again and again that there are things I’ll never be able to take for granted again.

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