Well I never thought I’d get to this point a month or so ago BUT today I’m currently on cycle number 6 of chemotherapy – halfway there. So I thought I would dedicated this post reflecting on the past 3 months of my cancer treatment………
I’ve always liked metaphors – I’m a very visual person, even the day my Consultant gave me my life changing news that I had cancer he had to draw me a picture so that it sunk in! With a metaphor in mind I relate my chemo journey to like climbing Mount Everest. For me when I sat in Oncology back in June when the Dr explained the Chemo regime, that I would need a PICC line (I had no idea what this was), I would have 2 drugs (one of which being a pump I’d have for 2 days), the side effects and that would happen every 2 weeks for 6 months, I immediately popped all the dates in my diary (because I’m a planner!) and thought great I would be done by 9th December in time for Christmas……. oh how niave was I!
So I’m looking up at my mountain and I thought to myself, “ok I know the path I’m gonna take, just got to focus on getting to the top (end of treatment)”. I was (and still am) determined, nothing is going to stop me reaching the summit. I thought once I got to the top of the summit I could take a clear view about my life moving forward and all the great things I am going to do – charity work, raise awareness about bowel cancer symptoms for those under 50, get my business started and all the other goals and places I want to visit.
However, what I failed to take into account is how tough and lonely that journey is. Every time I place a pick is like me having a chemo session and physically dragging myself up to place the next pick. I relate that to the side effects of chemo – nausea, tingly fingers (Neuropathy) when I touch cold things, metallic taste in my mouth, fatigue like you’ve never experienced (literally my brain says “you need to lie down – now!”), lack of appetite and emotions that draw on every bit of energy in your body. Oh and not to forget chemo brain – no one mentions this to you but I find when I’m on my treatment week I lose my train of thought, I become really clumsy and I get tongue tied. Even a text message is a challenge! I’ve knocked over 3 glasses in the past few days!
So what have I learnt when I look down the path of my mountain that I have taken over the past few months? Go with the flow! Stay Positive and fight like a girl! Chemo is fluid – there are so many variables, they reduced my drugs and I panicked “OMG does that mean the treatment won’t work and cancer will come back??” I’ve been reassured that your body has to metabolise the toxins and adjust it to suit your body. Then my PICC line drama and that had to come out and my groshong line put in. I’ve also had a delay in treatment due to the PICC issue. Finally dealing with emotions and the physical side effects of treatment – this is the hardest, most challenging climb of my life and I look behind me on my mountain and put two fingers up to cancer, tell it “I’m fighting like a girl to beat cancer, nothing is going to stop me reaching my summit, and I will draw every single last bit of energy and strength from those close to me to help me get there. I will not be a victim, cancer will make me a better person and good things will happen I truly believe that.”
**This post is dedicated to Pearl, I will fight this battle for you, may you rest in peace 💐**