The holidays can be tough for a lot of people.  Sadly, several friends of mine are going through their first Christmas having lost people they loved this year.  I am sure that, at some point over the next few days, all of us will feel the loss of someone we loved and who made our past holidays brighter.  Last year at this time, I was a mess. There’s nothing worse than feeling bad when you’re supposed to feel good.  It takes that much more energy to honor your feelings.  It takes that much more guts to ask for help, or a hug.  It takes that much more faith to know that you’ll be given the strength you need to handle what life throws at you.

This year, I have that much more gratitude and much more compassion for anyone who may not be feeling so merry. Last year I wrote and posted a Christmas poem on the night before my first infusion. As I read it now, I’m surprised that I was able to write anything when I was in a state of sheer panic. I think I was a little insane. Today, it’s a reminder to never lose your sense of humor – and that old, standby, “This, too, shall pass.”  Yes, it does.  It did. It will.

So, in (the) light of the season, I give you, again…

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The Night Before Chemo

Twas the night before chemo and all through the house, no one was sleeping, except for my spouse.  Wearing my sweatpants and not feeling sexy, my mind raced like the wind on account of the Dexy.

No sleep would come. I was riddled with fear, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a vision of my oncologist drinking a beer.

His sterile white coat was covered in muck. It made me cry out, “Hey, Doc, what the fuck?” He hooked up my IV, and said with a smile, “Make yourself comfy, you’ll be here awhile.”

More rapid than reindeer the medicines came. Desperate for help, I called them by name: “On Taxol, on Carbo, Herceptin, Perjeta, On Ativan, On Emend – please get me betta!” My chemical friends had a mission to do: to kill every bad cell and not hurt the new.

I sat in the chair, the time it went slooowww – Then finally -, I shouted,”One down! 17 more to go!”

As I started my journey, I promised to fight. Thank you all for your prayers, and to all a good night.

Wishing you as joyous a season as you can muster. xo