What really happens during chemotherapy:
Bert tried to grab hold of the slick cartilage at bone’s end, but not having hands made that difficult. Tears ran. A defeatist, “How will I ever get to the trabecular bone tissue if I can’t make it past the cartilage?” he fairly whimpered. He was afraid. Fear made him smell even worse than usual, which was really bad. He smelled like dried pee on a dog’s paw. The smelly coward pooped his pants. He would never survive the bi-weekly siege, the siege of the red death. The pulsing poison torrent swept him away, along with his metastatic dreams.
Karl fared no better. He hadn’t anticipated the deep breaths that pushed him about causing him to ricochet off the spongy alveoli. “Stupid, stupid, stupid,” he berated himself for choosing the bronchi. And he was stupid – surprisingly so. And nobody likes stupid. Before he knew it his lazy ass had fallen to the bottom of the thorax. “Huh?” he uttered with the bad breath of rotten teeth as the contraction of the diaphragm squeezed the poop out of him. The red death whisked him away and cleaned up the scene like it never even happened. Cleansing breath in….breathe out.
Jean thought she was so clever to hone in on the last node left behind. Arrogant and conniving, she could hide out there then flee to an organ on a surge of lymphatic fluid just before radiation. Diabolical! But nodes are funny things. Garrisons of immunity, they are, with their lymphocytes and their macrophages. Overconfident and under prepared, within moments she was tangled in the reticular network, shitake-fueled B cells migrating to the germinal centers. She panicked and struggled like a bug in a spider web. “I took a wrong turn, an honest mistake,” the liar called out to someone, anyone. The node swelled, squeezing her until gray goo ran out, until she pooped her pants, then it cast her out into the red river.
I feel like this post might need an explanation. Guided imagery is supposed to be a powerful tool so I took a shot. I gave cancer vile character traits: spineless, smelly, coward Bert; stupid, lazy, self-defeatist, rotten-toothed Karl; conniving, arrogant, liar Jean. “What is with all the pooping of the pants?” you may wonder. The ultimate of character flaws, no one but a mother tolerates a pants-pooper. And cancer, I’m not your mother.
When it comes down to it I had to give cancer as many bad qualities as I could think of so that I can imagine chemo kicking cancer’s ass instead of killing me. Because, you know, it’s toxic and it’s scary. Years of eating organic food followed by letting someone inject poison into me is hardly amusing irony at this point. More like fodder for full-on panic.
Next up: chemo as red velvet silly string, or red yarn my Granny made my mittens with, or maybe a good merlot, because for some reason the fact that what they pump into me is red is freaking me out. Please just tell me its not added Red Dye No 40.