I did not know what to expect on my first day of chemo. I had researched what I would feel like and even spoke with a couple of people, but all in all, I knew that only God could prepare me to face something like this. Anxiety, fear and confusion are all feelings that consumed me on my first day of chemo. These feelings draped my shoulders like an itchy, wool scarf & held my body close like an unwanted body. August 16th,2018 was the day that I resented, but grew to get to know better with time.
My mother, sister, father and good friend, Taylor all accompanied me on this day. Here it was 55 days after I found out about my cancer diagnosis, sitting here thinking that I was dreaming — having a nightmare that I couldn’t snap out of. Sitting in that cold chair, I realized that this is just another chapter in my book.
Taylor definitely lightened the mood with her bubbly personality and I was glad that she came because she made “it” feel normal, she made me feel normal and that’s exactly what I needed. She came strapped with gifts and even brought me popsicles to prevent mouth sores. When I got up to use the bathroom, she was two steps behind me telling me to calm down each step of the way. She looked me in my eyes and said, “Girl, I know you have cancer, but you can’t be up here looking like shit!” I laughed. I had on my favorite, but broken down uggs (which I was going to need because my feet get cold so fast).
The nurse assisting me was very nice and overall the experience wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. Being there with family relaxed me so much. My family brought me food and made me laugh so I didn’t have time to think about what I was going thru.
The scariest part was when it was time to access my port (this is how chemo is administered), but God knew that I was scared because it didn’t even end up being painful. I was given three different types of pre-meds and some medications even caused me to pee about six times within 15 minutes.
Chemo ate all of the popsicles that Taylor gave me and eventually, I grew tired and dozed off. When I woke up from my chemo-nap, I felt the exact same that I did before I went into chemo, minus the anxiety. At this point, I realized that I had done it. One session down and eleven to go. Me, Ranneisha the CHAMPION had finished her first chemo session. The blankets of anxiety and fear were removed from my body and replaced with strength and courage — I’m blessed, I thought over and over. I am blessed. I then realized that this is just what the doctor ordered. Good friends, good family, good popsicles and good faith and even if that called for a side of chemo cocktail, I was going to be fine because I had all of these good things.
In the words of the great Cynthia Ozick ,“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”