I sit in the chemo day unit having chemotherapy pumped into my veins, but feel like I don't 'belong' there. You see, I am surrounded by 'sick' people, cancer patients. As people keep telling me, doctors and nurses included, I look well. I haven't lost my hair. I haven't lost weight (I am ashamed to admit I may have actually gained a bit). A good majority of the other cancer patients are elderly. They have a daughter or son sitting by their side for support. Most of these daughters and sons are somewhat older than me. I sit with my husband by my side. We read magazines and chat. Snacks come by far more often than I actually need. This is not to say that I feel well. For the 3-4 days after chemo I feel like I've been hit with the worst hangover known to man. I feel like a lead vest has been put over my entire body and I nap on the couch a lot of the time. Then my energy levels improve and life resembles some kind of normal for 3 weeks. This mind-frame of not feeling like a sick person could stem from optimism and strength. Refusing to let myself become a victim. Refusing to let cancer destroy my hopes and dreams. It is in stark contrast to how my body feels after chemo though. Sometimes I think it'd be easier to get treated with sympathy if I looked as sick as I feel. If I lost my hair and looked like a cancer patient.
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