The Real Thing – Chemo Recovery. Shot week 12
Photographer: Paige Stoyer
These photos show my real world most days during chemotherapy. The recovery period lasted most of the two-week cycle until the next treatment. I want to be active, go to work, have my life back. However, the flood of drugs in my body and brain say otherwise. I do what I can and what I need to do. I lay on my couch, tell my cat she’s cute, eat so I can take more pills. Pills, pills, pills. Every few hours, I eat so I can take more pills. Anti-nausea pills, herbal pills, pills for pain, pills to sleep… I turn all the lights on so my house is bright even when I am not. I avoid the stacks of paperwork on my kitchen table: bills, applications, copies of blood work and appointments. I worry about the papers and bills I’m avoiding, but can’t wrap my chemo brain around them. I sit up and turn on my laptop to connect to friends on Facebook or think about the next photo shoot. On the days when I am not too dizzy or nauseated I go outside, ride my bike around the neighborhood, feel the air on my face. I think about how the context for exercise, as well as most other things in my life, has changed. How little accomplishments mean something now. I try not to measure this time by the same standards I had a few months ago.