After five years of dealing with cancer, the chemo treatments … oncology visits … MRI/CT scans … and blood tests have all become the new norm for me. It is now part of my life; the unwanted houseguest has somehow become a constant rule in my daily routines. In fact, my cancer seems to be evolving into a chronic illness, which may never go away. Surprisingly, even my chemo treatments have become par for the course in my life, like one would visit the dentist every six months or yet, pay a visit to the barber.
I remember my first chemo treatment in January 2014. I felt as though I was a like “a sheep being led to the slaughter,” anxiously tapping my fingers on the chemo chair armrest while waiting for the drug to be infused into my system. Today, however, when I go to my chemo treatment, I walk in the waiting room like a patron on “Cheers” would wander into the pub and say, “Pour me a cold one, Coach!” And before they can take my vitals and connect the IV line to my chemo port, I say, “Hold on, I need to get a couple of pillows and a blanket,” and make myself at home as I stretch out in the chemo chair.
Without a doubt, having cancer and undergoing chemo treatment have become the new norm.