Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The path to my heart

The second round of chemotherapy drugs have just been infused, and so far the side-effects have been tolerable. As I was going through the round of treatment it struck me that the whole process could be explained well with a series of haiku poems. Enjoy. 


The path to my heart
Runs directly through my groin.
At least it does now.

With a jab and poke
The surgeon has created
An express route north.

And through the passage,
For five days in twenty-one,
Flows liquid saviour.

Like those that follow,
The day begins with a 'roid –
Breakfast of champions.

Appetite whetted,
I head from home to ward, where
Professionals loom.

Friendly smiles greet
Those who pass the saloon’s doors;
Hope mixed with pity.

Atop an arm chair
I get myself comfortable.
Position assumed.

EPOCH’s my order
With a side of R for some
Sweetness, extra tang.

A chemo barman
Can turn this toxic combo
Into sweet nectar.

(But before we start
A little pill for nausea
Lest lunch go to waste.)

First, Rituximab
Zero-ing in on B-cells
Both good and hostile.

New and expensive,
This one make sure the others
Can best hit their mark.

Next come the stayers,
Who travel as a trio;
Devil’s amigos.

Vincristine is one;
Doxorubicin as well;
Etoposide third.

Together they sit
Merged as one in a “cassette”:
Worst mix-tape ever.

Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip
Just a mere quarter litre
Takes five days to flow.

By my side throughout,
Releasing the special blend,
The CADD pump beeps, whirs.

The size of a brick,
This feat of technology
Let’s me freely roam.

A dainty little tube
Feeds the chemo-colada
Into my belly.

As I sleep, eat, walk,
Work or dance the lambada
My CADD remains close.

Just as the friendship
Starts to fray at the edges
Relief is at hand.

The drugs nearly drained,
The time comes for CADD and I
To part ways, for now.

No party's complete
Without a chaser farewell.
And this one has two!

Cyclophosphamide,
An alkylating agent,
Drip, drips its way in.

And a day later,
A quick jab to the belly,
To boost my white cells.

My filgrastim shot
May be all that saves me from
Neutropaenia.

Once more I trudge home
My bones sore, muscles aching
Concentration lost.

I lay down in bed
Fatigue fusing head, pillow.
Waiting for next time.

In weeks ahead
I will curse the toxic brew
Ebbing at my being.

But for years after
I will toast to my good health
In mind, body, soul.

Showing off my CADD pump.

1 comment:

Jayde Lovell said...

You have a way of making even the awful sound funny and amusing. Quite the way with words! Sending my love to Canberra, along with high hopes and high spirits!