Nice and Numb

Every morning of chemotherapy, 2 hours prior to the appointment, I slather a glob of lidocaine (numbing cream) on to my port (access to my veins). By the time the nurse is ready to stick a butterfly needle in it, they always say ” Should be nice and numb.” A feeling of gentle pressure and they can draw blood from it.

“Nice and numb,” I always think, “Who is nice and numb?  Just the port or all of me?” Is numb really nice? Is that how I am dealing with all of this – by numbing myself? I know that I am not all numb, because you can still tick me off easily by being ignorant or judgmental for starters. So some feeling is still present. Today, as I was putting the numbing cream on the port for the 10th time, I started sobbing. Even I was puzzled by it. I have hardly cried through all of this (except during the Breast MRI). I am on my way to being nice and numb, why should I be crying so profusely? Could it be the bald head or the missing eyebrows (which leaves me with a perpetual  stunned expression), or the black checkered nails or the tongue, or the seven-inch scar across my chest? Is it the Anxiety of going back again? May be…going in well to come back tired and loopy. May be…having to set a day aside to get treatment and 4 more to recover from. May be…not being able to chase my little ones around.

But by now, I should be nice and numb! Five months is a long time, but is it? Is it long enough to accept a permanent long-lasting change in the rest of my life (only God knows how long the rest of my life is anyway). Will I get neurotic every time that the cancer is back every time I get an unexplained symptom? Flooded with emotions , I unrolled the Saran Wrap and put it on the port. There…I am ready to be nice and numb. I have thought of my self and so have others, that I fall mostly under naughty and sensitive. I can’t stand fake, arrogant and selfish people, and if they are around me and they soon find out. Sometimes, I still have to put up with them especially if I share genes with them. Most instances are written off as me being too “sensitive.”

Honestly, some numbness to relationships isn’t such a bad thing – it’s just that one doesn’t get enough notice to get going early with the lidocaine. In my book, emotional hurt is far worse than physical hurt . So being sensitive is great artistic potential but sucks when dealing with lidocaine-soaked fellows. Does being numb allows one to be NutraSweet? Is being able to let it roll off you back, key component of numb? May be thinking too much is making me cry. We will see if Santa brings me remission this year, then we can decide if it truly is nice and numb or naughty and sensitive. Happy Holidays you all!


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