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My Story | Kimberly, Illinois, USA

Uterine stromal sarcoma, 2000 at 37
Hysterectomy, chemotherapy

Uterine Cancer

In the midst of this madness - I lost myself.

Just at the time in my life when I almost knew myself.

Cancer survivor? I'm not sure. Will I ever be?

Doubts of the permanence of cancer's final demise. Questions saturate my mind day and night. Did the doctors get it all? Will it grow back? Was the treatment aggressive enough? Was the treatment too aggressive? Will there be consequences to the poisons they've injected into my veins? Who was the sick bastard that thought of chemo in the first place?

Why aren't I grateful for my prognosis? They caught it so early. Will I ever be grateful? Have I learned to treasure every moment of my life? Was that the reason I had my entire life flipped over in a second? All it took was a single phone call to forever change my life! Now I can't remember NOT having cancer.

Chemo – I smell chemo, I taste chemo, I feel chemo and I see chemo.

The smell of chemo is musty and old, dead and rotten. It's everywhere I go. I manufacture the smell through my menopausal body and through the bald and castrated vagina that I do not recognize as my own. Chemo glistens from my hairless head and shines with menopausal perspiration as if to draw attention for all to see.

I taste the chemo when I drink from metal cans and eat from metal silverware. I'm reminded of chemo when I force myself to drink water – the water that helps flush my body of the toxins that I just spent four hours letting them administer. I feel the chemo permeate my body with a warm flush that turns my skin red. I feel the dry skin on my body flake off as if I'm shedding my skin. As if my skin knows that my body is filled with poison and is rejecting it as a form of survival.

I see the chemo in the orange anti-bacterial soap – the one that's supposed to kill the germs. Or orange flavored Jell-O or Kool-Aid. Everything orange now turns into chemo.

Cancer is the jagged, dotted-line scar that opened up my belly – the long curved scar that will forever be. The surgery in which they melon-balled all of my youth, which threw me into middle-age at 37 with such force that my body is screaming for hormones - none of which I can take.

October 2001