This is a strange story for me to write. It will at times be a sad story, in many ways it will be happy and perhaps even funny. It will be an adventure that entails anxiety, flirting with danger, fortitude in the face of adversity and many attempts to look on the bright side. There will also no doubt be moments of anguish and despair, and a lot of uncertainty. It's a story that will hopefully be cathartic for me, but also interesting and perhaps informative or even entertaining for others.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chemo done.

So that was an experience I wish I'd never had! I've now finished my six sessions of R-CHOP21 and am so glad it's over and I hope I never have to go through anything like that again. I have no hair, puffy black eyes, numb finger tips and I'm fat (I've put on about 7kg and have lost all my muscle tone). But, at least I'm beating this thing.

Worst of all I am feeling absolutely exhausted. My body aches all over, particularly my arms, legs and neck and nothing seems to help. I'm now just thankful that there's no more treatments, so it will hopefully start improving soon. Although apparently the radiation causes fatigue, so maybe I still have a while to wait.

I'd like to say thank you once again to everyone I know for their support, friendship and encouragement. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Good news... my scan was clear. Well, as good as! There are two nodes right in the middle of my chest that according to the radiologist's report are slightly bigger than 'normal'. They are 11mm and normally would be about 8 or 9mm. But considering that before my treatment they were 100mm, they've certainly shrunk a lot! My oncologist said that had I been a normal person (haha!) walking in off the street, he would look at the scans and say there was nothing wrong with me. So the extra 2mm is probably nothing and my chemo will definitely be over this Friday!

I have an appointment with a radiation specialist on the 2nd of May to discuss whether I need radiation just to be sure all the cancer cells are gone. I'm feeling pretty anxious about this appointment as I'm having very mixed feelings about having radiation. Obviously I'd like to be sure all the cancer is gone, but radiation has many risks. As it's my chest that would be getting radiated it can cause heart problems and there are also quite high risks of it causing secondary cancers later in life (being my chest this risk is particularly true for breast cancer).

So I'm feeling extremely relieved that the scan was clear and I won't have to have any more horrible chemo sessions. Hopefully I won't be too anxious for the next week and a half while waiting to find out about the radiation.

It feels like I was just writing about being two-thirds of the way through and in a few days I'll be saying that I'm six-sixths of the way! The whole thing! Completed! Done! Over!

Monday, April 19, 2010


I had my CT Scan this afternoon and I think I've made progress with my needle phobia! I didn't take my lorazepam (anti-anxiety tablets) and I was fine! Obviously I still hated it and couldn't wait for it to be out of my arm, but I didn't freak out, didn't cry and best of all didn't feel like a big, fat sook!

So now the hard part. I know there are pictures there that show whether or not the treatment has been successful, but I have to wait till Wednesday to find out. It's going to be a very tough, very anxious 48 hours.

I have this totally illogical and irrational feeling that I am entitled to be fine, as though anyone who undergoes treatment will unquestionably be cured. Basically at the moment my plan is to get the all clear, celebrate, continue with my life and forget I ever had cancer.

I know that’s not reality and regardless of the outcome of my current treatment, cancer will be with me in some sense forever. However, if things could go somewhat as above, I’d be very grateful!

So, for the next couple of days I’ll be doing lots of hoping (and a bit of worrying). I’m also looking beyond my final treatment this Friday and dreaming of things like my hair growing back and the black circles under my eyes disappearing! Can’t wait!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Only one more session to go

I cannot ever recall my body being so tired. I don't really feel so tired in the sense of needing to sleep more, but my body is just exhausted. I want to sit down all the time and my arms and legs just feel like dead weights. I've also begun to get really achy muscles during the past week.

My last chemo session was awful. The needle got bent in my arm so after much digging and rearranging it was moved to the other arm, where the same thing happened! It would work for about a minute, then the machine would start beeping saying that it had stopped. We did some rearranging and so for the last 40 minutes Leah and I were holding it on an angle where it would keep going. This worked, but unfortunately Leah had to push down on it really hard, so it was quite painful. Furthermore, I still have sore bruised arms a week and a half later.

I have a CT scan next week and I'm feeling a bit anxious about it. It's really hard not to get my hopes up about a positive result. I'm trying to not think about it.