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My Chemo Upheaval

BY Karen Maliwat
PUBLISHED September 26, 2016
Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.
The way it goes
Since I was diagnosed
Unraveling the process
Causing a bit of distress
 
Reality sinking in
An inkling
of a roster of side effects
Blinking and kicking in
My head's spinning
I'm not yet flipping
I feel like sprinting
It's gonna be stinging
 
Left me eviscerated
Spent eight hours being bladed
A few vital organs, gutted
I was bloodied, gruntled, but trusted
 
Chemo-addled brain
Leaves so much strain
Synapses misfire
Catches me in a quagmire
A puzzle, a mystery, everyday conversation
Oftentimes, a consternation
 
Then this neuropathy
Keeping me up till three
Twitches, skin blotches
Ain't keeping me in darkness
 
Fatigued, indeed
Agreed
Shortness of breath, Dyspnea
Its main insignia
Stopping several paces after
No swagger there, just one
other matter
 
Like salmon heading upstream
Sometimes feels like a dream
And then I want to scream
 
Unable to eat
No flavor could beat
Not even from a cookie sheet
That metallic taste
My tongue is always laced
A disconnect I do not embrace
 
Feels like there's a brick in my stomach
Unable to flick, wanting to run amuck
Having to hydrate
Pushing myself to drink
One would think!
 
Oh, and my tresses
Clearly distresses
First thinning, then bald
Gggrrrr, leaves me appalled
It grows back like baby's hair
As an adult, this is rare
 
I couldn't don a wig
Tempted to have a swig
Scalp was allergic
Itchy; needle-like, hypodermic
Resorted to wearing caps during summer
As in mid-summer, bummer
And beanies during winter
Thermal, not looking sinister
 
Bedridden for five-days straight
What a time-worn state
Can't read, utterly useless
It isn't the coolest, being motionless
Boredom zeroes in
Crawling under your skin
 
Forget regular bowel movements
If you're even assuming,
is no amusement
Bury sleep for that matter
Getting up to empty your bladder
 
Deep, dark circles under my eyes
As you arise
Trudging through the day
Zombie-like, fumbling for prey
 
Huh? Pardon me?
Always feels like an odyssey
The tinnitus in my ears
Admittedly induces tears
Worse on my left
Leaving me so bereft
Like cicadas besieging an
innocent forest tree
A tyranny
Arbitrarily, assuredly, like a parody
 
Dry mouth that can lead to sores
Which I absolutely abhor
A dry, bloody nose
Makes for cruddy blows
 
Flu-like chills
None like cheap frills
At ease, comforted under the covers
The chills that it buffers
A moment thereafter
Like a choreographer
Abruptly and swiftly
Unceremoniously
Feeling silly
Kicking off the blanket
Like a bandit in a sandpit
Hot and cold
Like crazy folk

Wellness had sprung
For a period of time, it rung
Can it be undone?
Like a shot from a BB gun
Like still waters
That soothes and caters
A rainbow's end
The hard and soft colors blend
 
Wish the cancer abated
I felt so alienated
I valiantly fought
And through the years
It simply accelerated
 
It's been five years now
Since I then found how
It has left its physical and emotional scars
Peering, not allowing shears
To project anymore fears
 
It's a battle
But don't be rattled
It's a personal struggle
Be a fighter, never buckle
 
Hope should abound
In your mind and center crowned
Keeping Him close in prayer
Never questioning, nor in despair
And always, evermore aware
 
Ultimately, definitively
And conclusively
My life will all depend
For it has been penned
In God's time
In my prime
In His hands
Akin to being lambs
It is not a reprimand
I rest, and fully understand
 
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