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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This past Saturday was the one year anniversary of the end of chemo.

In preparation, or perhaps, remembrance, my body reverted back to my chemo state in a few small ways. I had a strange, metallic taste in my mouth for about a week. My joints throbbed, for no reason. My hair hurt. Hurting hair is an odd sensation, I think unique to chemo. Before it falls out, your hair hurts. Like when it's been pulled very hard, and aches afterward. That achey feeling comes just before the fall.

I breathed sharply with all of these. It's so easy to be transported back to then. And why was it even happening? Was it my body remembering and mourning, or simply acting out the role it learned last year this time? I think our cells do remember things, independent from our brains.

One year since finishing. I don't know where I thought I'd be, but I don't think it was here. Here, with a possible clinical trial and a new try at reconstruction. Here, not finished. Here, still feeling near the start.

But I have come a ways, maybe. When Pancho went badly lame this weekend, and I kissed and coddled him. I wondered if he knew that now he could let go a little. I could take care of him again. My stout-hearted and dependable boy. He was my most attentive caretaker, carefully sniffing my incisions after surgeries, scaring off all strangers, friend or foe, on our walks. Now I am cooking him dinner and ordering takeout for me and Matt. Pancho eats everything except the string beans, which he carefully spits out on the floor. I don't think it's anthropomorphizing too much to say that he feels he can ease off the intense care-taking. And so often, when that happens, the little pains we have been ignoring make themselves known. Hence his sad little kneecap, dislocated and staying that way for the time being.

Sad as I am to see my little one in pain, I know he will get better. And his faith that I will too, that I have already started, is fortifying. Sometimes you need someone to remind you that can, in fact, get out of bed again.


  1. Hi Emily, I apologize if I had double commented but I was reading up on few of your posts and had quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance, thanks!


    1. Hi Emily,

      Sure I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please email me at