I pulled bobby pins from my hair one by one March 24, piling them in my mother’s palm. I shielded the loose strands with my hands as I fled to the operating room for a biopsy of my stomach and small intestine. Fleeing sometimes takes on strange, disturbing dimensions.
This morning at the infusion room I tugged my sweater from my right arm slowly, the knitted fabric rippling reluctantly, clinging to my skin like it didn’t want to leave. The cold antiseptic stung. I hated my bare arm, resented it, looking away as the nurse stuck me, again.
In 2016, I’ve felt stripped of energy, clothing, control, my favorite foods (I love you and miss you, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls). I called my mom on her 50th birthday after the hematologist called me to inform me of the weekly IVs. It should have been a cheerful birthday call, the one where I inevitably say “happy birthday” in Arabic, tripping over the foreign sounds, still. Continue reading