I got lucky

Tuesday 16 November, 2010

Treatment for cancer was an interesting time for me.

Overall I got lucky with my treatment. Chemotherapy was terrifying on my first day. I was afraid I would be sick, so I didn't eat. The process took a lot longer than I thought it would. First I met with the nurse and she explained the treatment and the type of chemo I would be having (at this stage I didn't even know there were different types of chemo). It was called AVBD - which is abbreviated but I can't remember what all the names of the drugs were.

Then I had to be weighed so the nurses knew how much of the drugs to give me. There were anti-nausea tablets to take and these must have worked a treat for me because I was never sick during chemo. The only side effects from chemo that affected me were a lack of sleep and hair loss.

I didn't expect to not be able to sleep during chemo, everyone kept telling me how tired I should have been and to 'take it easy'. But I was full of energy. I couldn't sit still or stop talking. My mum rang the nurse and she said it was because of the steroids in the chemo drugs.

The other painful part about chemo was that it had to be inserted into my arm, like a drip. I also didn't enjoy having blood tests once a fortnight before treatment. It got tiring after 8 weeks.

My hair didn't start to fall out until about 6 weeks of treatment and the nurses were amazed that I still had most of my hair and eyelashes. When my hair started to fall out it kind of really hit me that I was having chemotherapy and I would cry a lot when I was in the shower trying to wash my hair and clumps would come out. I was actually a lot happier when I got my hair cut shorter, because I didn't have to see as much of it falling out.

I thought it would have been harder for me to cut my hair, but that was a time when I had been through so much that cutting my hair wasn't as big a deal.

After I finished chemo I had a break for a few weeks and started radiation.

Radiation was completely different to chemo and involved lying on a machine, while another machine went around my neck and chest. It was a laser - if that makes sense. I had a cast made to put over my head, neck and chest to keep me in place. It only took about ten minutes, but I had to go every day for a month and I got tired. I was drained and couldn't wait for the last day of my treatment. The day finally came and I was relieved it was over.

Cancer wasn't over for me though - it's always there. A part of me that I continually have to acknowledge and accept. I have quite angry feelings about cancer still, but I also have other feelings about it.

I don't think cancer has 'made me stronger' but it has helped me to take care of mine and others health. Treatment wasn't the worst part of cancer for me, having cancer was the worst part of cancer.

I'd like to forget it now that it's gone, wish it never happened, but I can't do that to such a big part of me.

My blog is one way I deal with cancer. It helps me to think about what happened, how it happened and how I feel about it now. I can't just forget or continue being angry about cancer.


Updated: 16 Nov, 2010