Chapter 4 Dancing With Cancer

Nae's Nest —  September 8, 2013 — 4 Comments


This is a preview of my novel I am currently working on.  Let me know your thoughts.  This is Chapter 4.  It is the night before I have part of my colon removed.  It is also when we think the tumor is non-cancerous.:

Chapter 4

Images of the tumor growing inside of me kept playing in my head.  My body was being invaded and I had to get rid of the intruder.

Since being diagnosed, I have felt like a hamster on a wheel which never stops.  Time stands still and time flies by.  I’m living in an upside down world where nothing makes sense anymore.  I have turned into Alice and have fallen through the looking-glass.

So on the day of surgery, I find myself running on a treadmill instead.  All the while the words of the White Rabbit chimed over and over in my head:

“I’m late. I’m late. For a very important date.  No time to say hello goodbye. I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

Embrace Me
Embrace me, Embrace you
I see you, I see me
Reflections in the mirror
Do you belong to me?
My hand touches liquid glass
Reaches inside
And stepping through
Alice’s Wonderland
A beginning, brand new
Inside the mirror
The mirror’s outside
It matters not
Life is a ride
Tackle each hurdle
Come what may
Step through life
Day by day
Life is the same
All is different
Joy and sorrow
Wild and tame
Emotional coaster rides
On top of the mountain
Down in the valley
Swing low, reach high
To become who you are
Embrace who you once were
Love and acceptance
Helps the circle to turn
Love me here
Love me there
When in need
I am here and I care
Take my love
Take my hand
In a mystical wonderland

The night before surgery, I begin to prepare.  I fasted all day which was not very difficult.  I couldn’t eat even if I wanted to.  I felt like a few hundred butterflies hatched in my stomach.

I was more than happy to take a shower as it gave me and my mind something else to do.  The surgeon gave me a bottle of liquid shower soap.  It smells like disinfectant, which I suppose is what it was.  Per Doctor’s orders, I am to lather up my belly and soak in the suds for a few seconds.  Next, I scrub with a steel-wool pad and repeat all over again. Well, okay. I didn’t use a steel-wool.  I was just making sure you were really paying attention.  I hate to think I lost you somewhere in the shower.  I am nervous enough without having to worry about you.

I allow the water to pour over me.  I have apple scented shower soap and lather my peach shower puff.  I tried to relax and enjoy the apple scented swirls as it rose up to envelop me like a blanket. When I finished shaving, I pull out my favorite apple scent shampoo and creat a thick white lather.  I close my eyes and hid in the warm fog.  As I rinse my hair, tears began to slip down my cheeks.  I imagine it looks much like the water droplets training down the shower walls.  I began to pray.  Right there, butt naked in the shower.  Just me and God.  I told Him I am scared.  I ask Him to come to surgery with me.  I ask him to please watch over Del and my family.  I pray for a miracle and His healing touch.

I got out of the shower and towel off with my favorite fluffy white towel.  My belly is so clean it squeaks and I swear I saw my belly button wink in pride.

Now I have one final step to take in preparation.  I have to give myself an enema.   Earlier, I placed the enema box with its contents in the bathroom.  With a deep sigh, I pick it up off the sink.  All of the comfort the shower just gave me, evaporated as I open the box. I stand staring at the illustrated contents.

My mouth fell open as my eyes involuntarily roll, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I think.   “Is this even possible?”

With nothing but a towel wrapped around me, I enter my bedroom, closing the door behind me.  With a groan, I drop my soft fluffy towel and spread it on my bed along with a couple more.  After studying the directions and one last disturbing glance at the diagram, I crawl on my bed to mimic the picture.

I feel like I am playing a demented game of twister.  Place right and left knee on bed.  Stick naked butt up in the air.  With one elbow on the bed for support, reach back with free hand…

“Free hand?  What free hand?” I think.  “OH! The hand holding the bottle with the horrifying applicator!”  Swallow.  “Oh God.”

Ironically the instructions tell me to relax.  “What idiot wrote this?”  I mutter. “Obviously someone smart enough to not have tried doing this!”

Deep breath.  I reached back again and after a few attempts and watery eyes, I finally made contact. “Houston, we’re ready to lift-off”

I tried to quickly squeeze the contents inside me.  It did not take me long to realize my mistake as it ran right back out.  Mortified, I s-l-o-w-l-y empty the contents.  No wonder this particular bodily orifice has a puckered opening.  It is nature’s way of clamping itself shut as if saying, “Hey idiot! Don’t even think about inserting anything in here!”

Once my butt finally consumed the contents of the enema, I immediately ran to the bathroom.  The enema immediately kicking in.  I barely got my butt out of the air when I began to feel the urge to quickly run to the bathroom.  I stay there so long I believe I will have to ask the Doctor to remove the ring from around my butt.

After a couple of hours worth of bathroom trots, I am finally able to go to bed.  As usual Del reaches over for a goodnight kiss. However this time his eyes pool up with water.  He holds me close and silently we weep.  There was no need for words.  We are one.  We are going through this together.  He holds me as if the act of letting go would mean I would be lost to him forever.  We finally try to nestle down for sleep  as our knees fold into each other.  Del’s head against the back of my neck.   His tears rolling down into my ear, mine soaking into my pillow. Together we sleep restlessly.

Pins and needles.  He tosses.  I turn. Each of us feigning sleep. Each of us sharing the same thoughts.  We are scared.  What if I must have an ostomy?  The possibility is very real.  I keep reminding myself if I must have one, it is to save my life.

An ostomy connects either the small or large intestine to the abdominal surface. The intestines  are essentially re-routed to empty all excretions into an ostomy bag attached to the opening. When the large intestines are re-routed it is called a colostomy

It can be temporary or permanent. A temporary ostomy might be necessary if the intestinal tract is scarred or blocked by diseased tissue.  In most cases a temporary ostomy can be reversed with minimal or no intestinal damage.  If the intestinal function is impaired due to disease or if the intestinal muscles can no longer work properly or removed, a permanent ostomy may be required.  A permanent colostomy is often used in conjunction with inflammatory bowel disease and rectal cancers.

 We start out spooning and end up flailing.  What if I lose too much blood?  A blood bank is stored up for me.  What if more tumors are found?  Rollover, curl up.  What if I die?  Del moans. Could it be cancer? I am so cold.  Why am I so cold?  It’s dark.  So dark.  No light anywhere. Darkness.  Cold.  Death.

I receive a one-way ticket from Hell.  A mist consumes me.  Dark. Damp. Cold.

“Congratulations. You have colon cancer”…stop…breath…colon cancer?

 “Please watch your step and enjoy your stay”…what?…breathe, remember to breathe…

 I heard the words over again, “Enjoy your stay…enjoy your stay…”  I am transported into another world.  Carrying a large burning torch, a demon named Cancer grabs me with his free arm and drags me into his lair. He is giddy with pleasure as he tries to sink his finger into my skull.  Like a drill, his nail penetrates through flesh and bone. He stirs his finger around.  Inside my skull.  Inside my brain.  Shrills of laughter echo and bounce off the damp, black, stone walls.

Quite suddenly Cancer withdraws his finger from my skull.  He appears startled.  He screams out with a high-pitch shrill I was certain would make my ears bleed.  My eyes clench tight and my hands flew to my ears in reflex.  The screams hit off the walls.  It reminds me of a siren as it seems to slowly go farther and farther away but never stopping to shriek.  Finally, the shrill vanishes within the mist.  I take my hands off my ears but I still had my eyes clench shut.  Afraid the beast is still here.  Afraid this is a trick.  Afraid as soon as I open my eyes he will be right here in front of me sucking my brain matter off his fingertip.

I begin to sweat but I am frozen too.  After what seems hours but is no more than a few moments, I open one eye.  I sweep the dungeon from wall to wall as far as one eye can see.  Satisfied I was alone I open the other eye.  I almost wish I hadn’t.

frightening shadows appear on the wall.  Was it Cancer? My heart stops.  Was he coming back?  The walls seem to move to the beat of my heart.  It smells of death. I shiver in fear, or maybe it is in cold. Alone.  All alone.

With help from the torch, my eyes adjust to the darkness.  I see the walls really are pulsating.  Suddenly, I have the impression I am being digested!  Cancer is consuming me.  Quickly, I try to get the picture out of my mind.  I remember how Cancer sucked my flesh off his finger.  For the first time in my life I feel Terror. While Cancer consumes me, I feel the arms of Terror as it holds me into place.  Unable to move or to even scream.  Terror coils itself around me, taking my breath. Cancer and Terror are allies.  Together they render me helpless.

Slay The Beast

Only I can see him.

He has haunted me for years.

His prophecies are real.

The root of my fears.

He finally attacked.

I am fighting him off.

He is so strong.

I am too soft.

I have turned to mush.

This has been a long battle.

There is no time to rest. His tail rattles.

Ready to strike.

The snake that he is.

Venomous bite.

Feeding on flesh.

Sucking out blood.

Bone and tissue.

Poisonous flood.

Craving my life

Fangs in deep.

Holding tight

Making me weep

But I will win

The beast will be slayed He won’t get me down. Inside of a grave.

Nae, wake up!

Nae! Del shakes harder. 


I spring bolt upright, gasping for air. My hair is wet and sticking to the side of my face.   My skin clammy and my nightgown drenched in sweat.  With a whimper I lay back down.  Too hot to curl up against Del, I turn  over.  Back to back, we both drift back to sleep.

 Glass Shadows

Glass shadows cracking under my feet
Step on a crack become obsolete
How did I get here? How do I leave?
I feel like a trick, pulled out from a sleeve
I am in Wonderland without Alice
This is frightening full of malice
Glass shadows casting on the land
Cracking under my feet as I stand
If I fall through, where will it lead?
I can’t stay here, I must leave
How do I go, where is the way?
Bring me guidance, don’t let me stray
Cracking shadows full of lies
Shattered hearts and broken dreams
In a place which is not what it seems
Trust no one, all is bad
If I am stuck here much longer
I will go mad
A funhouse which never ends
Full of horrors and screams
Close my eyes and pretend
Click my heels think of home
Open eyes, I see a gnome
But I am still here
What do I do?
Pray for a prince
To make my dreams come true?
Take me away from shadows that crack
Take me away from shards of  glass
Take me away from all that’s ill
But let me escape from some of the real?
Can’t I have two worlds in one?
No pain or hurt
No sickness or death
Gather all horror and leave behind
Please leave me
Only a good design.

Take me from here.  Take me away. Put it in a dream and scream it away.

Desperately, I look all around. I need Inspiration, Hope, Faith!  I see nothing.  “Please, come. I am here”, I shout out.

I pray.  Dear God, please lift the shadows.  Allow me to see your light.  Do not allow my soul to be lost forever.  I am your child.  I put myself in your hands.  Please Dear Lord, hear my words.  The chains are broken. Though Cancer continues to lurk nearby, I am free! I spread my wings, the chains break-away. I arise. I arise. I arise!

Today, I am Okay. Today, I will be alright. What will tomorrow bring? I won’t know, until I turn the page..

 Today is the day.  Today is the day….breath…today is the day of the rest of my life.

Nae's Nest


I find myself "Dancing With Cancer", problem is...I can't dance. I stumble, bumble, and get pulled along. To keep my sanity, (humor me), I write short stories, a journal, musings and poetry....just about anything goes.

4 responses to Chapter 4 Dancing With Cancer


    Well done, Nae. Thank you for sharing your story. It takes skill to make someone want to both laugh and cry in the same chapter.

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