The Monster Inside Me: Heavy

2014 Charcoal and color pencil on Bristol 14x17

Charcoal and color pencil on Bristol

Up until now I’ve only heard of how hard chemotherapy was from those that had to go through with it. Then when mom got her first of the four separate rounds of chemo starting in November of 2010, that’s when I realized just how serious and life changing it was.

The first day didn’t seem to affect her too much. They inserted the needle into her arm and attached several different bags that would be injected into her body through it, and several hours later she got up and she said it felt fine, so we were bit relieved. But it was short lived; the very next day was when it hit her like a giant rock knocked her off balance. No verb can describe the amount of fatigue that zapped her of all energy physically and emotionally; she was already so pretty drained from having received that fateful diagnosis. Then followed weeks of chills, aches, and loss of appetites that added to the strain on Mom’s little body. And it was just the first chemo; the more she had to get it, the further she seemed to deteriorate more mentally than physically, and it’s a lot for me to take, me who’s never had any experience of caring for a cancer patient and totally unprepared for what would come and then what was to come thereafter…
I was trying to convey the feeling of abnormality and agony one feels having such dangerous and powerful drugs pumped into the body, it’s effects reaching all the way down to the bones. And the body does not seem like your own and you have no control over it; how emotionally and physically tormenting that could be. Course of you don’t actually get the chemo yourself you wouldn’t understand. Even those standing by and watching can only get so close to feeling the misery the patient is going through.

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