a sudden desire to eat pineapple

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This was not what I expected.  I thought I was going to get well really soon.  I assumed that the last day of radiation would be the end of it all and that everything would get better from then on.  It hasn’t worked that way.

During the first two weeks since the treatment stopped I was getting worse, not better.  I stayed in bed throughout, between sheets, trying to eat and drink, but not being very successful at it. Popping pills in a thousand colors, trying to sleep, coughing blood and phlegm, night and day completely blended together.  I couldn’t speak — I lost my voice some three weeks ago — and I communicated with Diane via written notes.  Half of the time she couldn’t understand my squiggles.  The children were too scared to come anywhere near me.

Weirdest of all: I somehow lost my claim on a place and position in life.  I just didn’t care what happened to me.  I had no interest in anything.  Not in my own future and not in whatever happened to my family or anyone else. During the radiation treatment, I was engaged in a battle which was ferocious but also, in a way, exciting.  After the treatment stopped, there was no fight, just an infinite emptiness.  I lost my will to live, I guess, and with it I lost my will to write.

It was a big mistake not to accept the feeding tube through my nose.  For about two weeks I really didn’t get enough nutrition.

Since I’m writing here now, you know I’m coming back to life.  Today is the first day that I feel a bit better.  The first inkling was an unexpected desire to eat pineapple.  Suddenly I wanted to eat a piece of pineapple so badly it made me cry.  But I can’t eat solids yet and I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.  I’ll stay with the nutrition drinks for another week.  Still, the sudden desire for something was very surprising and very encouraging.  A person who really, really wants to eat pineapple has not given up on life yet.  I am slowly returning to myself.  Reclaiming my place in the world.

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