My body is becoming soft from nonactivity, while the veins in my left arm are hard from the chemo. When Chloe squeezes my arm as her sign of affection, it feels like a hose with the water on, but knotted up in the middle, the pressure building. Likewise, my mother doesn't understand that her tastebuds are not mine. What she buys for me at the Vietnamese market are delicacies to her, and on an average day, are to me as well; but now, they make my stomach roil, causing a retching reaction. She leaves the food on the table with the hopes of a miraculous recovery of appetite.
It's a bit difficult to make anyone understand what the immediate reactions of a chemo dose are. The first week is the worst; and it gets worse by the dose. It's a tug-of-war of feeling okay one second, and not feeling quite right the next. So much limbo and not knowing what to do with your own body.
Eventually, the strangeness wears away, and some semblance of normalcy reappears. But between now and then, all I want to do is hide from those who want to understand the most but cannot.