Well I can certainly say that chemo is like an evil spirit it knocks you out and makes you feel like crap.
However, chemo is all part of the journey to recovery and we have to undertake it o make ourselves well again following the cancer treatment and everyone’s journey is different.
I have to put my hand on my heart now and be honest, as I didn’t really believe I was sick, I didn’t spend hours on the internet or hours reading the information given to me, most of it went in the bin – all I did, was listen to my Oncologists and took whatever they said was the bible. I read or, should I say glanced over the paperwork given to me with prescriptions, always saying I was unique and that the paperwork and leaflets were written for 1 in a 1000 and I was not that. However, the reality hit me 10 days ago and now I know I am unwell and it’s now about changing the way I think and more importantly live.
The most important part of the journey is to be positive – no negative people and thoughts and to stay focused and surround myself with love.
10 days ago, I got a viral infection after chemo 1 and ended up spending four days in Chelsea & Westminster where I had an experience and a half but that’s not for this email. But one think I did learn, was just how quickly the poisons get into your system and my white blood cells got screwed up something I don’t wish upon anyone. Anyway, I left hospital finally having managed to get my blood pressure up only to go for more bloods at the Marsden so in total over 24 injections in 72 hours and I felt like a pin cushion.
Fortunately, I was well enough for a pic line and off I went the next morning to Sutton Marsden and I felt like a new lady, ok a foreign body is in my system for the next 7 or so months but no more needles or at least that was what I led to believe. Also, now I had a visual reminder I am sick and finally it hit home. It also doesn’t help with the arm band you have to squeeze into each morning to shower and that every week it has to be flushed not something I plan to learn to do myself.
Round 2 of chemo was last Friday and I was feeling ok, hair was coming out – I have lost about 70% but fortunately I have thick hair. The rest of my body hair is 90% gone and I have to say that’s a blessing, I’ll save on razors!
2nd chemo did hit me and I have been more tired however, I don’t feel guilty if I need to change plans which is new for me and now it’s about living every day as it comes. I did the three day pills and then I started the daily injections in my tummy. Boy I wasn’t prepared for these as basically being pumped with a bogus virus to kick start the white blood cells and the side effect, well it’s like you have had a round with Mike Tyson, quite literally. Not wanting to cause alarm I slept on it and the next day at hospital had a melt down as I started to panic, I was going to have another viral infection but it was all part of the process. My chemo nurse is amazing and for the first time I was me, no act, no face to put on, they have seen it all and know the signs and it was for the first time I realised I need to ask for help and not hide and that going for these treatments on my own was a good way forward.
I have spent the past couple of days sleeping a lot and watching crap on telly, yes for those of you who know me I am back on track with Jeremy Kyle! I have also being talking to friends and fellow suffers and something happened last night, I relaxed and breathed and today I feel back on track.
Emotions go all over, one moment I am crying the next laughing and then I worry how I look, as it all goes to pot but I am still the same old person just battling the ‘PT’ (preventative treatment). Today, when I got to the hospital I bumped into another Sarah a lady I’d met on the Look Good Feel Better course and it was just what I needed, we both had hit a wall, having a blip but we could laugh about it and work through the unknown the fears as some of these are unspoken but understood. She is 8 months into her PT having had a reoccurrence and some shocking news that it may have caused damage elsewhere. I am only 6 weeks in but there is something one shares now with these others and it’s very powerful.
This blog is starting to be like a ramble but I need to share my feelings as it’s not always easy to talk with friends. I have amazing friends around me who have become rocks for me, I have made deeper friendships with people as a result of this and I have learnt to discard the crap and cherish the good.
I spoke to a lady yesterday who has just completed her 8 sessions of chemo and she has a young family and I take my hat off to her as she had to stay strong for them and knowing what it is like as a child to see a parent unwell I am not sure I could have had her strength – she is an inspiration.
Then, there is Sarah who I thought lived with a partner only to discover today no, she is alone and that must be scary. I have my Hubert and it only took us 40 years to get together but I couldn’t be without him now, we are going to come out the other side of this journey and be stronger and have the most amazing stories to share which will all be ended off with one fuck off amazing holiday.
Lastly, I must thank Henny at Coming Home where I work two days a week, as for me the working is key and it has certainly given me drive and whereas I may not get to be here as much as I like, over the next few months having a purpose is critical to my personal journey and there are some really exciting projects we are working on.
I’m going to seek help now and start to tackle this PT head on and start by seeing a nutritionist and learn what works and what doesn’t work for my body, as it all helps the white blood count and this is going to be my shortfall. I am also going to look at complimentary therapies as quite frankly I’ll try anything right now.
My ending comment is to all my friends and colleagues reading this please do check yourselves regularly and if you find an abnormality GO TO THE DOCTOR.