I would like to use this quote from Laura that describes everything just perfectly.
"Cancer changes everything in life. Cancer can be cured one minute, then it can come back and kill you. Chemo can make you infertile. Cancer slaps you around the face, kicks you in the stomach and pulls out all your hair, eyebrows and eyelashes one by one while you're still lying on the floor, too weak to move or fight back. It takes away your confidence, your lust for life. And slowly, it can take away your positivity."Reading those words really gave me goose bumps because they hit so close to home. Because of her words and my chemo black hole experience I all of a sudden started to think about dementors.
The "soulless creatures" from the Harry Potter books. They are the guards of the wizard prison, Azkaban. They are soul-sucking fiends who, as their name suggests, cause people who encounter them for too long to lose their minds. That would explain the whole chemo brain.
Being blind, dementors hunt their prey by sensing emotions. They feed on the positive emotions, happiness, and good memories of human beings, forcing them to relive their worst memories. The very presence of a dementor makes the surrounding atmosphere grow cold and dark.
Besides feeding on positive emotions, dementors can perform the Dementor’s Kiss, where the dementor latches its mouth onto a victim's lips and sucks out the person's soul. Chemo is like meeting the dementors!
After some research on dementors (that's the kind of geek I am) I found out Rowling created the dementors after a time in her life in which she, in her own words, "was clinically depressed". Dementors really can be viewed as a metaphor for depression. I thought that was a pretty cool fact.
However, because these dementors are immortal, very few methods exist to repel one; but Harry used a Patronus Charm to shield himself and drive them away. Chocolate is an effective first aid against mild cases of contact, which may suggest a non-magical, physiological effect on a person's endorphin level.
So how to prepare for your next chemo?
1. Bring chocolate.
2. Practise your Patronus Charm (mine is a bunny of course).
It also made me realize chemo stinks. Why can it be fun? Why can't the pills be happy pills? Why can't the side effects be smiles and laughter and feelings of zen? We need some happy camper side effects such as absolutely beautiful drop-dead gorgeous hair grow. We want a huge aquarium in the middle of the room to decrease stress. We need furry white rabbits jump around. Why aren't there rainbows painted on the walls of chemo land yet? WHY?!