So it’s the night/early morning before my first round of chemo tomorrow. The first of 16 rounds spread out over 20 weeks. Man… it’s been a little over 7 weeks since this journey started and now, tomorrow is what seems like to be the beginning. The true test.
A couple of weeks ago I thought about blogging my feelings and thoughts about chemo in the weeks leading up to it but I have instead done everything to avoid even thinking about it. And now even the night before I have avoided every thought that has popped up into my head.. well it’s either I’m too scared to think or too distracted by vampire diaries I have only just started watching haha either way… I really don’t want to think about it. So fucking scary.
What do you think about when you hear the word chemotherapy? At the beginning of all of this, the word chemotherapy scared me a shitload more than the other bitch of a C word, cancer. It still does! When you think of chemo, you think sick, fragile and unable. At least that’s all we see – I have since followed multiple women & men who have trumped cancer in the ass and completed chemo treatment with attitudes as amazing as the one I have been trying to portray! I know I am going to get through it, some days with ease & some with immense pain. It’s not that I have any doubt in my mind that it can be done, I am just incredibly scared. Scared of all the things my mind and body is about to feel. Scared about the unknown & scared about the known – about the thought of WHAT my mind and body is going to feel in these coming weeks. I’m scared to feel weak. To feel sick. To feel unable to do things for myself. To lose my hair. To be absolutely stripped. I didn’t want to be scared of these things but I don’t think I would be human if I didn’t.
Do you know what the most common side effects of chemotherapy are? I have listed them below for you, just to give you a bit of an insight.
- Hair loss
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite changes
- Mouth, tongue, and throat problems such as sores and pain with swallowing
- Nerve and muscle problems such as numbness, tingling, and pain
- Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
- Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
- Weight changes
- Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus
- Mood changes
- Changes in libido and sexual function
- Fertility problems
In the last week or 2 I have found myself to be quite angry which then made me realise, I have pretty much been going through the 7 stages of grief. I have been in shock, a little in denial & now angry. What am I even grieving? I don’t know. But I have been angry and I certainly haven’t enjoyed it. This is why I have been angry.
A couple of weeks ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘The Magic Pill.’ Because of that documentary I have spent endless nights googling, researching and reading conspiracy theories about how fucked the government is, how cancer is this massive money making machine, how harmful the things in our world are to our bodies and that surely there’s a cure for cancer. I read stories of survivors who took the natural remedies route, who completely snubbed treatment & survived to live a happy and long life. No surgeries. No chemo. Nothing. Do you know how conflicting that is? It fucked with my head so bad. It’s still really annoying me even as I write this. I have found this to be such a taboo topic as I have posted a couple of things. Why isn’t this being spoken about more openly? Lets have that discussion. There was a moment where I hated and regretted the decision I made to have my breast removed. I had decided that I to, like many others have done will snub chemo and take the natural path. I beat myself up so bad about it because for a moment I thought, fucking hell I didn’t have to and don’t have to go through all of this. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. And I’m so sure there is but that moment passed as I realised, I don’t know enough about it. People on social media sent me stories of people who took the natural route and failed. Who died. Taking the natural route would have meant turning my whole world upside and living a completely different lifestyle, changing every little thing I know. I have vowed to change so much of my lifestyle during this and post treatment. I have to.
It still makes me angry when I think about the above. Why wouldn’t I? I was dealt this asshole of a card. It’s put my whole fucking year on hold. RUDE! I was going to bloody Thailand in October and a girls winery trip sometime in the winter. Damn.
Anyway, anger aside. This is my life now. I am taking a huge step in saving it, with professionals who seem to take immense pride in their work and profession. I just want to set one thing straight before anything else on this blog. I in no way want to discredit anybody who has worked their ass off hard and tirelessly to do what they can to save another persons life. Whether you’re a surgeon & perform great operations like a mastectomy, a nurse who performs around the clock care for patients, oncology staff members or just ANYBODY. If you’re reading this please don’t be offended. I think the work you do is incredible. You have helped save my life.
That’s all from me. There’s nothing else I can really say but I’m scared. I will do my best to write my feelings and track the side effects as they come in the days to follow my treatment tomorrow. Not sure how up for it I will be, but we’ll see.
Please do follow me on instagram if you don’t already, I seem to be posting on their a lot more than here ‘sofileota’
I will solider on through this, believe me I bloody know it.