Into The Light

The antibiotics I’m taking make me feel a little bit sick to my stomach.  When you’re in pain, there’s nothing worse than adding nausea to your list of constant delights.

Tomorrow I go to the endodontist for the last time.  After that, the appointments with the regular dentist resume and then I’ll be done with all of this tooth crap.

I hate to take pills, but I know they’re making a difference.  I can see light at the end of the discomfort tunnel.  I’ll be fine.

My best friend was sick to her stomach on chemo.  She hated that feeling, but she did it anyway.

It was difficult.  She stayed positive in the beginning because she thought for a moment that the drugs were saving her.  In hindsight, I see they may have hastened her death.

It pisses me off that she had to go through all of that for nothing.  All I have is a little tooth problem.  The pills make me feel gross, but I get to whine a lot, pop a few and I’m on the mend.  My friend had a ton of chemo and all she got was sicker.  Try as I might, I can’t stop sobbing about that when I’m down for the count myself.

My friend was a trooper.  She certainly cried to me about losing her life and having to leave her kids, but she didn’t complain.  Although she always told me how her body was changing and reacting to treatment, she wasn’t a whiner.  At least not to me.  I guess that’s why it was so easy to feel defensive of her when simple moments turned difficult.

One day, a few months before she died, my friend called to tell me about a jerk in a big pick up truck who had yelled at her for taking too long to make a turn in the supermarket parking lot.  She was shaken by it.

That day the chemo had upset her stomach, impaired her thinking and choked her confidence.  She was just trying to get home and this guy had called her a name.

I wanted to find him and kick him.  He was mean to my friend.  I wanted to kick him and punch him and key his truck.  But I didn’t get to.

Even if she knew where he had gone or who he was, she wouldn’t have told me.  She wouldn’t have let me do any of those things.  She was good and kind and she was dying.  Other stuff was more important.

Another time I went with her to a clothing store.  She got sick in the check-out line and looked at me for reassurance.  I asked what I could do, but she said “nothing” and just pushed herself to get through and out of the store.

I felt helpless watching her shake as she scribbled out her signature.  She wore a pretty black hat over her fuzzy new hair.  She was beautiful and fragile.  She used to be beautiful and hale.

I’ve had a week of physical pain and nausea, easily some of the worst of in my life.  I’ve sobbed myself to sleep and had exhausting nightmares.  I’ve tried not to chew or floss or brush my teeth too vigorously.  I’ve taken Vicodin and struggled to think clearly.  I’ve had to work hard to keep from suffering from the weight of despair.

But I’m here.

I’m here and I can’t stop thinking about my lovely friend.

I wish she were around to say “get over it!”

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