She awoke to the sound of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” coming from the phone on her nightstand. She rolled over to check the number and saw it was unknown. She never answered unknown numbers. She heard the voicemail tone and decided to check it later. She rolled over, falling back to sleep.
A couple of hours later, she awoke to start her day. She decided to listen to the voicemail.
Hey Katherine, it’s you old friend 6MP here. You know, the chemo drug you were on. Sorry I turned toxic on you in the spring. I know it’s been about five months since we stopped seeing each other, but there are some things I forgot to mention to you when we split. During the next few months, as you purge me from your system, you are going to experience some… side effects.
First some sort of good news! All the hair you lost, it’ll start to grow back! But it’ll come in super curly. If you can find a way to manage it, I think it’ll look so adorbs! Might even look like Merida! If you can’t tame it, good luck, because you will look like Hagrid. Also, those 14” you donated last year? You’ re never getting them back. Have fun with shoulder length hair!
Now about your skin. You are going to breakout like a teenager on picture day. And anything you do to try and fight it will just make it worse. Totes my bad! Bright side, people will think you are younger than you are! Sorry, I know that isn’t helping.
Let’s see, what else. Oh, your joints! They are going to swell something fierce. I mean puffy to the point of visibility. Making a fist, not going to happen. Oops!
I’d like to tell you I had some awesome news for you about the Crohn’s disease, but I don’t. I may have put it into remission, but it is not going to stay that way. And it is going to suck! Again, my bad.
Lastly, you are going to show high liver counts for a good six months later. It’s just me working my way out of your system. It’s no big deal, so don’t freak out about it or go crazy doing a lot of tests trying to figure out the cause. It’s just me.
So, yeah, I’m sorry. I probably should have mentioned this when I last saw you. Hope your summer was a good one! Take care!
She hung up the phone and sighed. Most of this was not new information to her as she had spent the entire summer fighting breakouts, unruly curls, and swollen joints. She was also well aware the Crohn’s was out of remission. It returned kicking and screaming all up and down her abdomen. The worst part of all of this was the massive number of tests and medication changes she had to do trying to figure out why her liver counts would not normalize.
It had been a miserable five months trying to come off of the 6MP. If she had just had even a small glimpse of what was to come she could have been better prepared. She wouldn’t have had to cancel plans with her friends or sell tickets to events she got. She wouldn’t have been stuck in bed, watching the days of summer pass her by. If she only knew…
Editor’s Note: This story originally started as an answer to the Daily Post prompt Bad Signal:
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?