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The Chemo Countdown: When 'Nevermore' Can't Come Soon Enough

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To treat triple positive breast cancer, there are four different drugs: Doxataxel, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta -- which I refer to as the four chemos of the apocalypse. The standard protocol is an infusion every three weeks for 18 weeks, or a total of six chemotherapy treatments. As I was going into my fourth treatment, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and penned the following poem:


Once upon a morning dreary, while the chemo made me weary,
With my white count steadily dropping to the floor.
Tomorrow is my fourth infusion, adding to the brain confusion,
For six hours of getting treatment is something I abhor.
Quoth the patient, "Then, two times more."

In the chemo chair of plastic, the medication in a basket,
Starting with a line drawn through a vein; the drip does pour.
With each chemical imbibing to track down the cells dividing,
While I sense them penetrating right down to my core.
Quoth the patient, "After this, two times more."

In this seat I'll be receiving, cytotoxins so deceiving.
The minutes turn to hours -- it's really such a bore.
And the nurses so efficient but you still can't believe you're in it.
How the hell did I get in it?
Cries the patient, "Two times more????"

And the patient, keeps on sitting, while the IV keeps on dripping
With the bags of medications, who knows what each one is for?
As expected, I'm connected, with composure not affected
The time is slowly waning then I'm finally out the door.
Of course, I've not forgotten, "I have two more times in store."

In the weeks that are to follow, it's a bitter pill to swallow,
All though Ativan is helpful and no one's keeping score,
With my head held high I'm fighting, and to all I am inviting
To share with me your writing; perhaps a comment, nothing more.
After Wednesday, I'll be saying, there are only two times more.
One day shouting from the rooftop, "And now, it's nevermore."