adriene hughes sleeping on couch while Peso the chihuahua lays on my side

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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03.23.05
Peso the Sleep Assistant

There are days that are good and days that are not. Taxol makes the first five days
of the chemo application extremely difficult. It’s painful to move, and frankly I don’t want to. I would rather sleep as long as I can so time compresses and the visitation of evening comes more quickly than anticipated. On this day I spent the afternoon sleeping on Darren’s couch with Peso propped in the crook of my side. His sweet breathing rose and fell with the cadence of my own, and somehow it was more than comforting. Animals know and they watch over you like silent Pharaohs guarding the entrance of the soul. Like my own dog, Peso must smell the pungent chemicals leaking from my skin. His silent watch is more than I can bear at times—looking at me with his full eyes. So instead we sleep together and lull ourselves with the full moon, the tides counting the rhythm of each breath as I continue to count the days until this ritual is no more.

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