On my left sits the eternal optimist. She was smiling when she came in, grateful for the anticipated snowstorm and the chance to bake cookies on her ‘good’ day.
To my right is the pessimist. She’s here with me every time I come. She groans and complains about the same things each week. ‘Why is this taking so long? Can’t you make this drip go any faster? What are these nurses doing?’
Across from me sits my ‘chemo day friend’ whose been missing for the last few weeks. The chemo drugs she was originally taking didn’t cause her hair to fall out, but today she’s wearing a scarf , hiding her bald head. I know that means they’ve changed her course of treatment. I’m not sure why and I won’t ask her this time. I chose to sit out of earshot today because I don’t really want to know. Selfish maybe, but also self-preserving.
I wonder what they think of me and my coloring book full of curse words and my hot pink bag with the words ‘Kick Butt’ embroidered across the front. I bet they call me a ‘warrior’ or maybe ‘brave.’
God I hate those words.
Brave warriors willingly go into battle believing they can be someone’s hero. That’s not me. I was taken against my will, kicking, screaming and really fucking angry. I’m not brave. I’m not a warrior. I’m a pissed off cancer patient wasting a beautiful day stuck in this prison. All of us here chained by IV polls.
I’m trying my best to steal sunshine from my neighbor to the left. Reminding myself to be grateful for the immunotherapy treatments that keep bringing me here and the promise that this will keep cancer away. She’s right I remind myself – tomorrow will be a ‘good’ day and everyday after will get better. It will.