Chemo cherries and Pac Man

Every morning I wake up and drink the most horrible concoction of wheat germ gross. Well, maybe it’s not exactly wheat germ  – it’s a Hungarian thing that is meant to boost the immune system and help kill bad cells (aka, cancer cells).

Combine that with the chemo drugs and we’ll have a game of Pac Man. The little ghosty cancer cells (if they’re in my body still) will be floating around the grid stalking my healthy Mrs Pac Man with her pretty pink bow. But BAM – here comes a chemo cherry and now it’s going wild. She’ll gobble them whole, boosting up on immune system lives, and send them all to ghost prison where they die-die-die. In my game the ghosts never come back; I always hated how the nasty buggers were allowed to escape the centre box. In this version they are eaten and then disappear from the entire series. If you proceed to the next level it’s a breeze because all the ghosties have been eradicated, and Mrs Pac Man is welcomed to chomp in a healthy, cancer-free grid.

So I’m taking the terrible wheat germ stuff. Every morning I wake up and shoot it down with a quarter glass of almond milk. At first it was a twist in my arm, but now I’m beginning to own the habit.

My mom often talks about ‘owning your space’. I know others who do this well, so can imagine what she means – wherever you go, whatever situation, you make your place. I’ve been so anxious about entering the chemo room, with its numbered chairs and cancer patients, and I’m a little concerned that it’s the anxiety, not the chemo, that may send me into freak-out mode.

MRI and the dizzy dye was exactly the same. I had a mediocre peanut butter sandwich but that was no reason to faint on the nurses, almost take an ambulance ride, and vomit my guts up after the scan. It was all nerves. All nerves.

We’re practicing ‘owning spaces’ but it doesn’t come naturally. Another thing on my to-do list: visualizations. Every time I even imagine the treatment room butterflies start to flutter. Nerves again, needing to be conquered.

Honestly, I’m terrible at Pac Man. But with the supplements and drinks and treatments and consultations, I’ll jam that grid full of cherries. It’s time to go fruit salad.