Chemoversary

This time last year, I received my sixth and final cycle of chemo. And earlier this month, I learned I’m still in remission. During chemo, having this much time felt impossible. A whole year. An eternity. A moment. I’m surprised, daily, at how far I’ve come, how much better I feel. While looking at myContinue reading “Chemoversary”

Seeds

The boxelder bugs skitterfrom their winter closetsas I resist being beatenback into mine. Despiteeach blow, this thought:what is life withoutblossoms flexingin the sun, all that rainbow? And always death, like a cat, waitson the other side of doors.In winter, in tight stale spaces,it pounces on anything that moves.In spring, it leaves behind scatteredblossoms to rubContinue reading “Seeds”

Fatphobia and Cancer

Around 2015 I started experiencing dizzy spells, especially when tilting my head back or reaching above my head. I brushed it aside at first, but at one point, it became so bad that there was a thumping in my ears that sounded like a helicopter was landing on top of me, and I almost passedContinue reading “Fatphobia and Cancer”

Remission

Remission: a diminution of the seriousness or intensity of disease or pain; a temporary recovery. -Oxford Languages Treatment: 6 cycles of R-CHOP, 15 fractions/30 Gy of radiation, pug loveOriginal tumor size: 9.8 X 10.4 X 15.4 cmResidual tumor size: 10.2 X 7.2 X 8.5 cm On Monday, I learned I’m in remission, and I’ve hadContinue reading “Remission”

Multitudes

I make an eggnog on the strong sideand put together a playlistof unedited fuck-you songs,the darker the better,which makes me think aboutthose who’ve been alarmedwhen I’ve cussed or been anythingbut cheerful. For some reason,I’ve always been labeleda goody-goody, a pure soul, whateverthe hell that means. A while ago I realized some peoplehave never had toContinue reading “Multitudes”

The Bad Guy

Tomorrow is my birthday, which means I’ve survived a year since being diagnosed. Despite the best efforts of Trump and his cult, COVID-19 and pandemic-deniers and anti-maskers, and, oh yeah!, cancer, I’m alive. For now. Yesterday, I finally had the shot of whiskey I was going to celebrate remission with, since remission seems a fairytaleContinue reading “The Bad Guy”

Unity, They Say

They say they votedfor all women,and I wonderif they did their homework because Amy Coney Barrett because 2 women who won locallywrote anti-trans billsmaking national headlines. They keep calling forUnity. They keep asking meto take my oppressors’ hands.Every electionthey hurry the cameras pastthose marching for justiceand take pictures of themselvessqueezing another chair inat their table,aContinue reading “Unity, They Say”

Cancerversary

This month marks one year since a doctor discovered my cancer, so I guess it’s fitting that the post-treatment wait-and-see is a return to that in-between void that was November 2019 to March 2020: an infinite space of no-answers-only-questions and we-can’t-be-sures where all I needed to know was what type of cancer it was, whatContinue reading “Cancerversary”

Waiting

* for my time to turn crimson, to curl in on itself and drop or else grow plump and green and turn back toward the sun for remission or recurrence or RIP for casual conversations, uncovered a hug from mom and dad or a friend or even a kind nurse for infection or a vaccineContinue reading “Waiting”

Radiation

Radiotherapy is done. One more mile marker in the rearview. One more thing to recover from. Though chemo was easier than I expected, radiation was harder than I expected. Both my medical and radiation oncology teams have been great, and I felt like I was in good hands during both, so that wasn’t the reason.Continue reading “Radiation”