Thirty-two days after I found the lump, I'm sitting at a table making polite conversation, evading the topic of cancer, or chemotherapy, or the fact that the next time these people see me I'll be bald; I'm so scared. I don't want to be at my boyfriend's family's house, I want to be home in bed resting, curled up in a ball. I had my first chemo treatment less than a week ago, and the aftermath was terrifyingly painful. My head is still throbbing from the treatment; I feel like I'm wearing a tight helmet. The sound of loud teenagers running around is harrowing - it rattles me. I isolate, in the dining room, where the fireplace keeps me warm. I'm here to support my boyfriend, to show him I care - spending time with his family is important to him. I knew he was going to be with his family no matter what, and I didn't want to be left home alone. I can't wait to leave. The sight of candied yams makes me heave. I wonder, how can people enjoy melted marshmallows when I have a tumor growing in my chest and strange fluids cruising through my body? They sip wine because they enjoy it. How much longer will I have to do things that I enjoy? Will I ever enjoy things again, like I used to, or am I forever changed? The five day ski trip comes up: my boyfriend and his brother are going heli-skiing in the middle of my chemo and no one at this table seems to take into consideration that I may be on his floor in pain - where is the humanity? How could you plan a ski trip when I'll be going through treatment; can't you go next year when I'm better...or dead? Can't you put your pleasures aside for the time being and suffer with me, not flaunt your healthy life in my face? Please don't leave me, please don't make me ask you to stay with me. I feel so alone, unearthly. I want to bury my head in my lap and cry.

Chiara D'AgostinoComment