Yes, she saved my life, and I owe her and am immensely thankful. But (if I may complain for just the tiniest moment) I think it’s a tad unkind on her part that those of us indebted to her have such long payment plans. She goes by various names; I know her as CarboTaxol, and though we worked well together, and though she’s done her work and I’ve paid off much of the debt, she’s not going to let me off the hook entirely, not just yet.
I actually can’t complain—that was enough right there—because I don’t want to mess with her. I hear she can be cruel, and she’s been kind to me, infinitely kinder than to some, for which I’m humbly thankful. I hear about heartbreakingly young, young women, women in their twenties, who have paid with serious hearing loss and vision loss and osteoporosis. I hear about neuropathy that makes mine look like a walk in the park on a sunny spring day, women who have traded their service to CarboTaxol for service to Neurontin. I’ve read about women who lose normal reflexes in their limbs. And of course there are those dealt the cruelest hand of all, like my friend Margie: they pay up, but the deal is broken, the debt not only never reduced, but stupidly and cruelly grown until the winner takes all.
My debt at the nine-month mark has been largely forgiven, reduced to muscle and joint pain mild enough I don’t need painkillers to deal with, nerve pain that haunts me only rarely in the night now, some persistent brain-fog and depression, mild foot pain when I try my tree poses or walk a little too much, and the odd surprise clumsiness.
So I’m not complaining, just saying: I’ve been lucky, lucky, lucky, and am beyond thankful. But can I be both thankful and honest, and ask you to be patient with me?