The first cut is not always the deepest but sometimes it is the one that refuses to heal

I have a small cut on my toe. It became infected. Welcome to the nadir of my immune system for chemo cycle one.

What did you cut it on, my doctor asked.

I don’t know, I answered.

You must know.

No, it was so small I didn’t even notice it. It’s not like it was bleeding. It was just…a cut. A small, painless cut. Until it wasn’t. Haven’t you ever cut yourself and not noticed?

He didn’t really answer. He just looked at me quizzically and reached for some gloves.

Okay, well, I’m going to slice it open to drain it.

That sounds awful.

Well, I’m not really going to slice it. I’m going to poke it with a very tiny needle.

Then why the hell would you say slice? Jesus.

And now I’m on antibiotics for the week.

I have had more curious, random encounters this week than perhaps ever before in my life. Consequently, there have been interesting developments in multiple projects, plans made for travel, and a realization about the advocacy work I should do. When you’ve been around the block a few times and all your friends are doing it, you start to feel completely like you’re letting the team down if you don’t do some kind of advocacy work for the cancer community. But you need to find something that feels meaningful. And I’ve found it. More on that another day.

I stood up to leave the doctor’s office. Thanks, I said. I know it would probably be okay on its own, but it makes me feel good to know I’m covering all my bases. I would hate to have to visit the emergency room on the weekend because a stupid little infected cut got even worse. Plus, I’ve been looking at a lot of pictures of people with flesh-eating disease.

He raised his eyebrows at me.

What? I said. There’s been a lot of cases in the news lately. I was curious.

Well, that’s not what this is. Yet.

Ah, Dr. F. He always knows exactly where to leave things with me.


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
This entry was posted in chemo days, Indignities of the human body, Second recurrence and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The first cut is not always the deepest but sometimes it is the one that refuses to heal

  1. Yep – agreement on the advocacy work. There’s this need to contribute, but I think we need to contribute on our own terms, however suits us best. Good luck on your projects!


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