Saturday, 16 August 2014

33. The stone in the apple

I found a stone in my apple yesterday.

"Isn't this strange?" I said to my son, showing him. "How on earth does a hard stone like this get into an apple?"

Later that evening, my tongue hit upon an unusual gap in my mouth. Could it be...? I went fishing in the bin and had another good look at that stone.

It wasn't a stone. It was a piece of my back tooth.

Huh? How come? My teeth have never been in the habit of crumbling.

How unfortunate, I thought, that this happens now, just when I am under very strict instructions to steer clear of the dentist. I'm not even allowed to floss, and my toothbrush has to be of the baby-soft variety. Something to do with avoidance of bleeding. My gums, used to much tougher treatment, are delighted.

Today was a Good Day.

Taking it easy, I can now begin to do things again, and how can you not be happy with a view like this on your morning walk?

Also, the girls came back from Lithuania. My fears that it would all be too much proved unfounded. I laughed till I cried at their tales. This being a Good Day is partly because of the relief I feel that after all the misery and not-coping-with-people-talking, I can now not only cope with the endless cheerful chatter, but enjoy it again.

Everything is lovely! I thought. This is a time of rest! It's a time of detox! (Gone off coffee, gone off wine - that's a good thing, right?)

Then I remembered that the reason for my healthy eating is my extremely toxic blood.

My hair is beginning to itch - is the writing on the wall? I'll spare you the ethnographic (and very graphic) details of my bowel movements, but let's just say it's been a case of Constipation: tick, now followed by Diarrhoea: tick. Clearly, all that poison is wreaking havoc with my insides. Everywhere.

Suddenly, I remembered the tooth. Hang on, I thought, could it be the chemo?

There is nothing about crumbling teeth in the 20 pages of side effects, so I googled it. As I started to type chemotherapy tee, Google suggested chemotherapy teeth breaking. Oh dear.

There were only a few websites with cancer patients asking each other if they, too, found that their teeth cracked, chipped and generally gave up the ghost. But that was enough.

My positive day crumbled around me, along with the tooth. Visions of sunken mouths and dentures flashed before me. I saw myself lying amidst the rubble of my treatment, breastless, hairless and now also toothless.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a vain woman. But that, let me tell you, was not a pretty sight.

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