“I stood in front of it for a long time. Staring. My bladder full of chemo and my heart longing for tea.”
Mural in Cologne Ehrenfeld by www.goodlack-art.com photo by howlzap Cologne

Wednesday was the 39th chemo session with Mitomycin C. In consultation with my urologist and due to recent recurrences, I’ve even decided to continue a little longer than the prescribed 3 years.

Intravesical chemo is by no means a picnic but probably still preferable to chemo in the bloodstream, this way it’s concentrated in the bladder where it needs to be.

I welcome distraction during the first two-hour retention phase. It’s a contraction to yoga and meditation that teach focus and letting go of distractions. But both focus and distraction have their uses during chemo days.

On Wednesday as well as shopping for fruit and vegetables in the Turkish shop we walked around the corner to take graffiti pictures. We’d seen a new mural and, on the way, discovered a train station subway filled with glorious painted images.

This tea bathing one was one of them. I stood in front of it for a long time.


My bladder full of chemo and my heart longing for tea. I favour early chemo appointments so recovery can start earlier and it’s less agonizing waiting for the first cup of green tea of the day. An 8.30 appointment means getting up at 7.00 and first tea at 10.15. Meditation before the appointment and yoga after the appointment – as I’ve read that changing position while the chemo is in the bladder is beneficial. The tea picture feels apt for many reasons; the longing for warmth and liquids, the need to be cosy and warm and protected, the urge to spend hours bathing in hot bubbles, being kind to myself with nurturing meditations and gentle yoga flows and the need for peace and quiet and gentle distractions.

When I look at the picture it feels like me bathing in tea and letting go of everyday stress to heal my bladder and nurture my spirit.