Chemo Effects

Part 2

At the store everything is pissing me off.

(I hope you excuse my language - that's just how it was!)

I know it is crazy. But I can't help myself. All of a sudden I am a raw nerve.*

I go to get some bananas, and they are all green. I was really looking forward to having a good banana. There aren't ANY. Not a one. A whole bin of bananas. ALL GREEN.

That pisses me off.

Some pickles sound good, but a mom is tussling with a couple of her kids over those when I get there.

That pisses me off.

I go to pick out some cereal - and there they are again, blocking my way!

Okay. I need some coffee. But I can't reach that because some old-fart couple can't decide if they want Mocha Chocolate Supreme or French Vanilla Kona Delight...

GET YOUR STUPID CART OUT OF MY WAY!!!! I hear myself screaming inside.

At least I HOPE I am just screaming inside. I am not entirely sure. I feel like a crazy person just barely on the edge of control! It is all I can do to smile politely and pretend I'm not about to go rampaging through the store, ramming my cart into every one in my way...

I get to the check-out counter and of course, the line in every aisle is three deep with jammed-full carts...

I was glad to get out of there.

...but now I am sitting behind the wheel of a two-ton automobile.

Marcela needed to be picked up from gymnastics, and I was late for that.

Luckily, when I get there class is still going on. But I am feeling so dazed, I am not even sure if Marcela is there. I see a little girl that LOOKS like Marcela... I THINK it is Marcela... but mentally I can't quite put the pieces together to know for sure that it is... the whole place seems hazy and unfamiliar.... it is a scary feeling.

Finally I manage to pull my thoughts together, I recognize Marcela and sit down to wait. The class isn't going well, and THAT pisses me off.

I just desperately want to be home in bed.

Class wraps up and Marcela announces she is going to the magic show. I am supposed to walk her over to a jam-packed gymnasium and let her go in by herself. I can't do that. She is only 10 years old - a small ten, as she says.

"I'm sorry, Marcela, it's too late. You can't go."

So she crawls into the back seat of the car, curls up into a ball and starts crying.

"Why can't I go?" she sobs. "I know you just don't like me."

"I wish we could have all gone to the show" I tell her, "but I just can't. I am sick"

"I don't care," she says.

I don't have the energy to deal with this.

I just don't want there to be any problems. Not tonight. I just want things to go smoothly so I can get some rest. They are not going to.

We stop to get some gas, and the sky is getting black and the wind is picking up. It doesn't look like it is going to be a peaceful evening.

When Marcela and I get home the rest of the kids seem to have amazingly come around. They are being exceptionally helpful getting dinner on the table. (Are these my kids? Am I in the right house?)

Meanwhile Marcela is curled up in a ball on the couch in the living room, crying.

"Marcela, come and eat!" I call to her from the kitchen a few minutes later.

No answer.

"Marcela?" I call as I walk into the living room...

The couch is bare. The front door is open a crack.

Outside the storm is beginning to blow in. It's getting ominously dark. The trees are tossing wildly in the wind. I am picturing Auntie Em's just before the twister...

And Marcela is gone.


No! No! No!!!!

Where did she go??!!! Did she run away??!!! Did she just decide to sneak off to the show by herself??!!!

I can't deal with this!!!

I don't have the strength to go looking for her....

Why is this happening?!!!!

I just want to crumple to the floor.

"Marcela's gone," I say, and in a minute Mannie is out the door looking for her. I am struggling to get my shoes back on when a few minutes later, here comes Mannie and Marcela up the back sidewalk.

What a relief that sight was.

Of course, Marcela is still mad, but at least she is safe at home. She marches back into the house.

I lock the doors....

*It wasn't until a few years later that I learned that what I was experiencing was full-bore steroid rage. Who knew?!!




2011 Paul Dallgas-Frey