by Carol Fragale Brill
Admittedly facing cancer and chemo is less fairy tale than scary tale.
A few hours into my first chemo treatment when the nurse asked how I was feeling, I said sleepy and dopey--and instantly thought of Snow White. I pulled out my cell phone and whipped off something like the following email to my family.
Once upon a time DOC gave me anti-nausea drugs that make me SLEEPY, borderline HAPPY, and just DOPEY enough to not be BASHFUL. The miracle drugs are working and I am so grateful not to be nauseous because that would make me GRUMPY. And, I’m not having an allergic reaction like I did with anesthesia after surgery so Chemo didn’t make me SNEEZY.
Oh, and did I mention I’m sitting here with my prince?
While my ditty lacks literary merit, my writer-self coming out to play during my first chemo treatment felt absolutely huge.
If it were up to me, I’d add a couple more dwarfs to the mix. The first time the nurse put the needle into my access port, I filled up with tears. Not because she hurt me, I barely felt it, but that needle under my skin, made chemo feel more real. So I’d add a dwarf named Weepy. And for balance I’d add Hopeful, because that is how I want to face each day.
The day before my chemo, I had a networking breakfast with one of my writing mentors, and a writer we’d never met before who wanted to pick our brains.
The new writer told me he believes the prayer of strangers is very powerful and that he would pray for my recovery. My mentor said, “I’m praying for you too. I’m praying you keep writing.”
I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about a three sentence scary tale. And, yet, I’m guessing when he reads this, it will make him smile.