Cancer Chronicles: Post 4 of 6

Friday, 13th August 2010: Chemo cycle #4, attempt # 2

Again I saw my onc right before chemo clinic. They’ve now decided to give me 5 cycles instead of 6 (which had been reduced from 8 by the way). Total alignment! It’s exactly what I had been praying about for the past week. In fact, I was planning to tell them that this cycle would be my last. If my progress is so rapid, why give more chemo if I don’t need it? 

The side effects have been kind to me in comparison to others, but some days I’m really weak, tired, fed up and just want to feel “normal” again. Anyway, since they decided on 5, that’s not too bad so I’ll go with that. All my finger nails are completely black by the way, but I’ve got fake nails on so no biggie. But the nails in my big toes are hanging on for dear life at this point. 

I look around the chemo room and again my heart bleeds for some of the other warriors. One lady in her 50’s literally has NO ONE for support and I tried to comfort her the best way I could, just by listening. I self reflect on how blessed and lucky I am. I think about my 4 sisters and thank God that it was ME and not any of them. I feel like I’m the one in the best position to be able to go through such an ordeal. I’m living in the UK where health care is free for me, a tax paying citizen. I stopped asking “why me?” a long time ago. Instead, my thought was, “why NOT me?” After all, no one deserves cancer and I’m no better than the next person, regardless of the lifestyle they choose. If you get cancer, you fight it the best way you can and that’s that. It’s natural to ask, “why me?” at first. But I think it’s a useless question to ask, which ultimately does more harm than good.

Thursday August 19th

I met with the surgeon today to discuss surgery and date. I thought they’d be able to reconstruct my breast with fat from other parts of my body, but apparently I do not have enough fat. I’d have thought differently to be honest, especially since I’ve actually put on a few pounds since I started chemo. Anyway they will have to use implants. 

Surgery is scheduled for October 11th. Coincidentally, it’s also Rihana’s 3rd birthday so we’ll have to celebrate it the day before, which means I’ll not see my daughter on her 3rd birthday. Meanwhile, this toxicity overload is wreaking havoc on my body. I’m constantly bloated. And the dry mouth and bad taste in my mouth from chemo, which nothing gets rid of, is getting on my nerves. I also continue to eat twice the amount of food I’d usually eat and my weight is steadily creeping up. My onc says it’s a good thing and that things will return to normal after treatment. I hope she is right! I’m still having headaches almost on a daily basis. Oh well, nearly there. I can definitely do this! 

Some survivors/current warriors are frustrated and angry during this month. They hate this whole, pink, October thing. They believe it’s a scam because a lot of them didn’t get the help they need and are struggling financially, mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s sad that some organisations actually “profit” off someone else’s misfortune. 

I’m actually one of those who don’t believe in mainstream charities, not least cancer charities. I believe that if they really wanted to find a cure, one would have been found already. Therefore, I prefer to be more hands on with my charity/giving so I know EXACTLY where my help/money is going. 

The purpose of my posts is to educate and inspire, not in a way for you to donate (that’s up to you of course), but more so to be hopeful; to be more aware of what some cancer sufferers/survivors go through, to take your health more seriously and to be more compassionate towards cancer sufferers and survivors. Stop making comments like, “you should be grateful because at least you’re alive.” Because unless you’ve walked the journey you have absolutely no idea, not even as a close family member. And I say this with love.

Someone who has had cancer is NEVER the same person after that. Some survivors’ quality of life is so awful (due to long term chemo side effects that doctors don’t mention, and especially if they’re on long term medication) that they actually wish they had died. You NEVER know what someone is going/has gone through, not even if they try to explain it in the best way possible. So please be more compassionate. Thanks for reading.

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