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  • Nathira Salim

I wonder

The journey to recovery after chemo is definetly not a smooth sailing one. I mean if I look at my life so far, what fun is there if things were easy come and go for me right? My radiation treatment (RT) officially started today. Prior to today I went in for two session of pre prep work to get the measurements of the area that were going to be zapped, got myself a new bra that radiation team can draw and write down the measurements in, and also got myself CT scan and x rayed quite extensively.


Today, the RT went ahead and some eight hours later, my breasts are sore and I feel feverish and I have seven more sessions to complete.


During my waiting hours at NCC, in my XL sized green top, I wonder about people and also about me. Ever since chemo, when I walk, I am more aware of myself and not of others. I don't care what I am wearing, or how people look at me especially on days when my eye brows are either erased or not well drawn. I am more focused on how I walk, the pain in my knees when I take each step, the growing numbness on my toes and how hard it takes for me to breathe. I focus on trying to get my legs moving straight ahead instead of each leg going in different directions especially when I attempt to speed up.


Its week 4 post chemo. As of yesterday I was not tired nor fatigued, my taste buds were slowly coming alive and I can walk longer distances. Today however, I am not feeling hungry, just tired and slightly feverish. I wonder about my future when I get older, like twenty years from now ( if I get to live that long that is) how will my life be? I have had a taste of how weak human body truly is when its not well and I wonder if thats how my final days be like. Do all people start out thinking they will live forever or think that they will die peacefully of old age in their sleep after all their commitments has been cleared? I think they do, because everyone diagnosed with some form of terminal disease always say that their life was suddenly derailed and that everything changed, and that they didn't think their life will end like that so and so. I was one of them of course, no denying it.


When I look at all the old people coming in for their chemo, radiation, x ray, and etc, I feel sad for them. They are people who are old, frail and fragile already and by giving them treatment especially for cancer that is not known for being painless aren't the old dying in pain slowly? How could they go ahead with this? Or how could their family members let them go through like this? Aren't they feeling sad at all for them? I see sad old people while I wait for my turn and I don't see the spark or the zest to live in their eyes. They look resigned and forlorn. What kind of life is this I wonder for them and for me, that I have to suffer and see my health totally breakdown before there is a recovery for my cancer?


Of course I can't wait for my health to be better. I want to feel better, I want to walk faster without falling, I want to feel my fingers and toes, I want to see some hair on my bald head, I want to feel my fingers going through my hair mindlessly when I am reading, I want to taste food and I want to climb stairs, I want to dress up well, I want to have my eyebrows and eye lashes so I will finally look like myself again. I do. But with all the treatments I have done and doing, I am pretty sure I have harmed my body more than the cancer could have and worried about recurrence. I have never in my life yearned for something this bad and I know I can't turn back time, but if I could I really would want to go back to the moment just before I entered my doc's office to receive my punishment on 17th of July 2020. I want to feel healthy - I want to feel the vibrant, healthy and positive Hira just one more time. I want to breathe in that healthy body without feeling pain in my knees or anywhere else in my body and I want to remember how I thought my life was simple and ordinary. I took my health and life for granted even with all the health warnings I have read about cancer and I regret of course.


But this is life. Turning points that are meant to mentally U-turn people off from their planned course of life, because not everything in life can be planned. That turning point usually ends up being a blessing in disguise or for some end of life. I have read heartbreaking stories of young mothers who die of recurrence just months after their completion of cancer treatment. There have been loss of young lives - most who have promising life ahead of them and all - and such loss is devastating for their family and friends and to those reading about them -some form of sadness and feeling of injustice that good nice people die in such sad way. Shit happens right?


But I wonder most - what awaits me when I take my last breath. Curious.



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