infustion room, moores cancer center, university of california, san diego

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

survivor book

Two Down, Six to Go

I have been sleeping for days. I am waking from dreams I cannot remember, and experiencing fainting spells when I stand-up. All the while I still have the hope that today will give me something good to chase. I fantasize about the future, three months from this point, and I try to imagine a day when I won’t have to think about the stale flavor of dusk in my mouth. My diet is always the same and I am pleased. At least I can eat. At night my dog Lucy lies by my side sighing and I wonder if she can smell the chemicals leaking from my skin. They say dogs can sniff and point to the cancer in humans. So I wonder what she smells as her pale and aging eyes look into mine. We stared at each other this morning, our heads side by side on the pillow. I wish I could ask her what she smelled months ago—when the cancer was digging deep into my breast? Did you smell it then? Is that why you look at me with such knowledge, a psychic of profound talents—as you huff through your nose, your jowls drooping with anguish as we stare into the mirror of each other’s soul, you sniffing out the devil better than any chemical could?

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