Sweet Relief

knocked down

Today, I am doing something different.  Today I introduce to you, my first GUEST BLOGGER, Marcia Worth.  Her New Year’s Resolution was to be a “Guest Blogger” so I am happy to help her out in her endeavor!

As I type, baking soda flakes and falls like snow around me.  I’ve covered my legs in a minty-baking soda paste that I hope will relieve the itch of a dozen new mosquito bites. For me, this has been a summer of stings and bites; today I had a mosquito bite me on top of a two-day-old yellow jacket sting.

Last year, I didn’t have a single bite.  I’ve learned from The New York Times that mosquitoes can “smell” our sweat. Based on what they smell, the insects choose which of us to target. A group of folks gathered around a grill, or a crowd at the outdoor Wednesday concert is a buffet to your average mosquito.  The insects know what – or who — they like and they go back for several servings.

So why am I the mosquito Special of the Day everyday?  I would love to know.  What I can tell you is that last year I didn’t taste good because I still had chemo chemicals charging through my body.  After several months of weekly chemotherapy, I was as loaded with chemical aftertaste as warm, flat diet soda.  The bugs stayed away.

I also spent last year being poked with needles so regularly that I no longer flinched or much noticed the pinch.   This year, I’m bothered by every single sting.   They hurt first and they itch all night long.

But there’s a bright side to my Summer of the Bug.  A year ago, scary thoughts and side effects kept me awake at night.  The chemicals that chased away mosquitoes made me feel left out of summer.   My doctors told me the chemo would leave my body in about a year, and I doubted them. I feared that the rest of my life would be marked by doctor visits and weighing one side effect against another.

I was wrong.  I am well and many of the bug stings are the occupational hazard of gardening and generally having a good time. The chemo is gone and the mosquitoes are, in comparison, a sweet relief.

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