The drip drip drip looks so innocuous. They are all clear fluids. The bag with the poison looks the same as the bag with the blood thinner looks the same as the bag with the saline. They pour the poison in and then flush it back out. It stays in just long enough, they hope, to kill you just a little bit. Not all of you. The tumors, of course. But your hair goes too. And your appetite. When you throw up every day for weeks at a time you lose weight. Not in a good way. I’m sitting with one of my sisters. A shell, a shadow of what I know her to be. Weak, shriveled, bald. And that drip drip drip.
Why can’t they just cut the tumors out? But how much of her would have to go? How much to be safe, to believe there’s not still some insidious little clump of cells that would start this all over again? And so they’re killing her. Just a little bit. Just a little bit? Damn near all the way. Into the ICU. No more poison now. But they can only pour back in so much of what they took away. And they’ll still have to cut in a few weeks. And I have to wonder if it was really worth it.
Her prognosis is actually better than many. She’ll probably be one of the survivors. If we get past this week. And then one more. And then another after that. But it is close. Too close. And you’d think I’d relax when she’s sleeping, but I worry even more. What if she doesn’t wake up? What if one of those labored breaths is her last? I know that’s crazy. But you want to know sumthin crazier? I wish it were me instead.