Lately every TV show I seem to watch has a cancer storyline, I guess that’s not wholly surprising what with the statistic that 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime. But still, it can make watching the telly box a bit challenging for me. We’ve had to stop watching Cold Feet as the cancer storyline in that was hitting to close to home, not because of the type of cancer, just the way it was written. So back on the hunt for a new series to watch we went and we settled on Amazon Prime’s New Amsterdam and I’ve managed to stick with it. Before anyone yells “spoilers” I’d like to point out that it’s a medical drama – there was always going to be a cancer storyline, but I do promise to keep this post as spoiler free as I can – which should actually be pretty easy. Oh and, if you’re interested, I think it’s well worth a watch.
The unfortunate character dealing with Cancer made a comment that kind of hit me, that they didn’t want to sit in a chemo chair because, well, they didn’t want to be weak in that way. The word weak was what caught me.
I have sat in the chemo chair seven times so far. The first time I went in a rookie. Truly green. Having no idea what to expect, or what was going to come. The first cycle saw me lose my hair, unable to drink fluid so I lived on ice, and generally well… feeling the chemo. The way it made me feel filled me with fear of having to go and sit in the chair again. I was so full of fear I thought I genuinely may not be able to do it again, yet, when the time came I walked in and sat down and got hooked up.
By the 6th cycle I was having immune-responses that had left me screaming in pain. I still made it to the chair for the seventh.
Chemo might make the body weak, it’s basically poison after all. But, sitting in that chair doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong. It makes you a fighter in your own right. A person who has made a choice, a person who chooses life.
Because that is what cancer does. No matter how early, no matter how advanced, no matter how “straightforward” or complicated, or how brilliant your doctor is; it makes you question your own mortality. It shows you death in a stark, harsh way that you had never thought about before and it asks if you are willing to go head to head with it.
So sitting in the chemo chair, it doesn’t make you weak, far from it. Sitting in the chemo chair is a personal declaration of war. It makes you ferocious. A warrior. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong.