Tag Archives: memories

Memoir Moments: Chemo

Hey all, coming at you with another short piece from my writing class. This one is another true telling, of sorts. It is actually two different events all rolled into one. Names may have been changed to protect identities…

Chemo, yet again. You would think that after five years this would be old hat, but no. The sharp tang of hospital chemical assaults your nose. Nothing like strong chlorine to wake up the senses with a jolt. Glancing around the room you see all the usuals, but in the chair next to your’s is a new face. She seems pretty bubbly, the day is looking up, of course unless she is obnoxiously positive. Man alive can those people grate on your last nerve. Nothing like Sally Positive to really make your skin crawl.
The clicking of IVs echos through the small room. Every week you go in, sit in your designated chair, drink water from the big plastic cup they keep for you, with your name on it in black sharpie on the lid, and wait through your several hours of chemo. Drip, drip, drip, go the IVs. Beep, Beep, Beep, go the monitors. A never ending drone that you eventually learn to tune out. But every week it is like the first time all over again. A cacophony of sound, banging through your head, until you learn to turn it all down and hear what you want to hear.
“Hi there, I’m Becky. What are you in for?” she asked you, beaming.
“Hodgkin’s… some trial drug chemo experience. You know, the one we all sign up for,” you tell her with a laugh. “What about you?”
“Oh, just maintenance Chemo. Ovarian Cancer.” She says, the smile wilting a little.
You can’t help but cringe. Ovarian… that’s a death sentence. Ouch. Of course you would never say such things to her, upbeat, encouraging, positive, that’s how all the strong cancer patients face the day.
“Doesn’t cancer just suck” you say in response. All the fun and we even sign up for this crap” you murmur.
She laughs, “too true.” She glances at your girlfriend and sees the knitting she has pulled out. “Oh that is so fun, what are you creating? Oh, and I didn’t catch your names…”
“I am B, and my girlfriend is SaraBeth.” You answer her.
“I am knitting a shrug” your girlfriend answers. “I mostly make up my own patterns, but this one looked cute, so I thought I would give it a whirl.”
“That is really great! I wish I could do something like that. Bet that will take a while.” Becky says.
“Oh not really, if I don’t finish this today, I will have it done before next week’s Chemo.”
“That would be amazing, you will have to bring it so I can see it! Hey Kelly, I am due back same time next week right?” She asks laughing, knowing the answer is of course yes. “What about you B? Are you due back same time next week?” she asks you.
“It would seem so” you answer, laughing yourself. Something cuts you off though, a tightening in your throat. It would seem that this time things are different. Your girlfriend drops her knitting and gets the nurse over there. Codes are called, the room moving into a flurry of activity. Mere moments, that seem to last an eternity there is a room full of staff, and they are pumping you full of antihistamines. Your veins feel like ice, the room feels too hot to breathe.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! I love to hear from you!

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Memoir Moments: Last Moments

Well, there has been a change in plans, but the lists are soon to come, I am sure!  Instead, may I share with you a piece I wrote for one of my creative writing classes.  This is a piece from my memoir collection, please don’t hesitate to tell me what you think!

Last Moments

The room was silent, death hovering in the air. It was so thick you breathed it in with every breath, a heaviness that was cloying. Her eyes flew open, clear for the first time in days. A stark contrast to the glazed over look she had lately.
She ripped off her oxygen mask, something that had become an accessory over the course of a month. Leaving her lips ragged and chapped. There was a wildness about her, a finality in that moment.
“Fuck” she swore. The word loud and sharp in the darkness. Her eyes looked around wildly, her hand grasping. I moved up close to her, taking her seeking hand in mine.
“I am right here, love. It is alright.” I assured her. The hand I clasped tightly, cold and limp, a jarring contrast to the heat of mine and the strength she always had.
Her breath wheezed in, raggedly a couple times. A heavy cough rattled out, foam and blood dotting her lips. She shook her head no and slammed the recliner shut with a strength that had been lost to her days ago, surprising us all.
Looking directly in my eyes, a calmness settled over her. “I love you” she whispered to me. The finality in her voice makes me suck in all my air, holding my breath to keep the tears threatening to fall at bay. Her eyes widened and all the air left her in a final ragged gasp. The room going silent in the predawn hours once more. Stunned silence keeping us all still only moments. Kenny reaching up, feels for a pulse, grabs his stethoscope and says quietly to the room, “time of death 5:43” the tears running freely down his face as he calls his own daughters time of death. My wife was gone.

 

I hope that you enjoyed this piece, and again, leave any thoughts in the comments below!

Writing Prompt: Childhood Memory

So the challenge was simple… to get the juices flowing we were to write on this topic:

“Describe the clearest, most vivid memory you had as a child—a moment that has stayed with you your whole life.”

As I really don’t have many childhood memories, and one of my all time favorite memories was shopping for my senior prom dress here is my tale:

Senior Prom Dress Shopping

It was a shopping trip, a very special one. It was senior prom… I remember like it was yesterday, the trip to Fargo… exploring the mall and all the dresses that I could imagine. They were in every color. My favorite one… it was all the colors of the rainbow. Tulle. Puffy. I HAD to have it… tried it on, but grams… she said, “oh you don’t want that. It’s too puffy. Too many colors. Do you want other girls to laugh at you?” It shaped the rest of my day. Now how could I ever pick the ones that were wild and fae like me?!? None of the other dresses were as pretty to me. They didn’t suit my uniqueness… but then grams, she was a sedate person. Not wanting to be different or stand out.

Yes this is 'The Dress' no it isn't prom, it is a year or so ago...
Yes this is ‘The Dress’ no it isn’t prom, it is a year or so ago… I modeled for my wife’s photography class.

Then, there we were, I have no idea of the store, but the dress… it was perfect!! It still had the puffy skirt that I loved so much, but it was simple!  White elegance with cascading black velvet roses, falling down the skirt. Grams would HAVE to like that right?!? So back to the fitting room I go, it fits beautifully! She has to like this one! what does she say? (I don’t really remember but it could have been along these lines) “what are you going to wear with it? it is spaghetti strap. Looks nice enough if you find something to go with it.” I feel my heart start to sink, there is no way we will ever agree on a dress.  (In all honesty I think she liked the simple elegance of this dress.  Especially after the rather outrageously,  hmm flamboyant?  dresses I had been picking.)  But after I come out we look at the price… I think it was prolly somewhere around one hundred dollars, I can’t believe it, that is rather a lot. She tells me I will have to ask gramps.  How will I ever get this dress, it is the only other dress I have seen that I liked… and grams wasn’t totally against it. It was right around then when gramps finds us. I go back to try it on, again. Palms sweaty, completely nervous. If I can convince gramps I know that dress is mine. I come back out and show him. Watching him… awaiting his judgement and simple little words come out… “why haven’t you gotten it yet? It is beautiful on you” “well gramps, its kinda spendy” I tell him worriedly. I couldn’t tell you what he said then, other than he wanted me to get it, that it looked wonderful on me. I had succeeded… but what was even better… as I moved back to the dressing room to slip out of the dress soon to become mine, for the first time in my life gramps had said I was beautiful! There was something good about me after all. I have never, in all my years since had him compliment me like that… but that one day… that day I hold in my memory as the most precious. That was the first day I knew that he noticed me, that I mattered.

 

This is the memory of the teen that I was.  Mind you, being raised by your grandparents is a different experience, especially when it comes to things like dating and dress shopping…  Also note that I would not be the person I am today without them *grins* I love them both very much!

 

I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into my youth.  What about you?  What are your stories?  Do you have a childhood memory that will also be with you?  What is your prom dress moment?  Please take a moment and join me down memory lane!  I would love to hear your stories…