The Doctor, Part 39

My hands don’t feel like my hands,
they are smaller,
bonier,

most of the nurses smile
their pretty smile,
it hurts my doctor’s face
to smile
her pretty smile,
they’re all surprised
I don’t have
mouth sores,
that I still have
my hair,

round four started Tuesday,
Thursday morning
there was a small, blue clamp
Nurse Jane forgot to remove
from the tube running the drugs
into the port
under my skin
beneath my clavicle,

I had to go back,
Jane sadly apologized
sincerely
oh we never leave these on
I’m so sorry,

so, unclamped, I am plugged into the bottle longer,
I have to
try
sleep,
wires and tapes and gadgets and tubes,
trying not
to roll over onto it,
trying not
to push any of it
over the side of the bed
onto the floor
for one more night,

I pace
away from the annoying sandman,
trying to
outlast
the dosage
so when the last drop
of 5-FU hits my port
I can be
awake
to untwist
the sinister shit
from one tube in my chest,
to flush the port with
a syringe,
to clean it
with another
and,
finally,
pull the needle out,

I wait like a hunter
but the nausea takes up
a lot of space in the blind,
it’s either
the extra day
or round four
but a tornado of toxin
is twisting me up:
tonight,
each time I close my eyes
I am suddenly
sliding down the conveyor belt
into the hot, claustrophobic
PET scan coffin,
I become immediately
disoriented,
the drugs make me
extra sick,
junk sick,
motion in the part of your brain
that makes you sick,
I can’t stop spinning,
my eyes
darting
to hold on
to a single point in the room,
my mouth open.

 

The entire The Doctor series can be found here.