By Proxy

At first it was a joke, Then a running joke. Now it’s becoming kinda creepy—but I wouldn’t change a thing.

First, I decided I had ChemoBrain By Proxy. CC and I were spending every moment together and I was there to witness her first bouts of ChemoBrain. It hit sooner than either of us expected!  So when I began to open my mouth and search for words that were not coming out of said mouth

Then combine CB with HormoneBrain and we were in for a lot of uhhhhhh fun. Yeah that’s the word, fun!

When the chemo drugs started dehydrating CC’s system, she got nosebleeds. We should have bought stock in Puffs or Kleenex—between her watering eyes (tear ducts get clogged/dried from chemo) and bleeding, sometimes runny nose (from the eye watering) we had a box on every flat surface in the house and a stash in the car and our purses. So was I surprised one morning when I woke up, blew my nose and saw blood all over the tissue? Of course not. Oddly, I was kind of excited…truly honored. I took a picture and texted it to my husband, “I have NOSEBLEEDS by proxy now!”


Then I told CC who, being CC, felt horrible and apologized as if it were her fault. I really have to work on this trend with her. I’m like, what’s a little nose bleed? I’m still not the one with the port in her chest and purple fingernails.

Then came bleeding from both ends. (Editor’s Note: CC and I decided to leave out some icky details.) Chemo patients are urged to pop stool softeners as a prophylactic. Except even then, it’s not enough. By the way, all of this reminded me of being pregnant—the stool softeners, the (fill in icky word here) warnings, hot sitz baths—but without the tacky floral tents passed off as clothing. So when CC announced, “I’m bleeding out of both ends now; how glamorous,” I simply had to join in the fun. I mean that’s what best friends do, right?

Next up: Tingling in the hands and feet and simultaneous insomnia!

P.S. I still wouldn’t change a thing.

2 thoughts on “By Proxy

  1. It took 5 years for me to realize I didn’t have feeling in my fingertips and toes thus some of the reasons for the graceful stumbling & equally graceful falls & very unique ways of disquising the reason for dropping things … Unfortunately not much has changed … Now have plugs in the eyes to help with the dry eyes, added an $1100 humidifier to the heating system to also help with the dry eyes syndrome … Nosebleeds still pop up at the weirdest times – like 3 a.m. the night before an early morning plane flight thus causing the need to prepare for profuse nose bleeds as the flight takes off … Not remembering ANYTHING SHORT TERM … Oh the “PLEASURE!!!” of chemo … This is the bestest sounding board for all the years of pent up frustration THANKS!


    • SO glad you have a sounding board, MAC! You sharing the details of your during and after journey are going to inspire and help countless women who will and are following in your (no one asked for this thank you very much) footsteps. Thank you ❤


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