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.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nearly two thirds!

Tomorrow is my fourth treatment, which will make me two thirds of the way through it. For some reason I think that saying I have one-third of my treatment left seems like less than saying I have 2 treatments to go!

Dave, our school's PE teacher (and one of the most thoughtful and genuine guys I know) has organised for the students to walk to school on each of my treatment days. They meet down the road from school and walk up over the big hill to represent overcoming a challenge, while I overcome my own challenge. Furthermore, they each give a gold coin donation which goes to the Cancer Council of Australia. On my last treatment there was such a big crowd they needed a police escort up the road!

Over the last week I've begun to get neuropathy in my fingertips. The tips of my thumbs and my little finger are numb. It feels sort of like pins and needles, except it won't go away! I spoke to my oncologist about it and he said it's likely to get worse and unfortunately unlike other side effects it can take a long time to go away after treatment stops. But, like the hair loss I'd rather have numb fingers than cancer!

Once again I want to say a huge thank you to all my awesome friends and family and thank you to everyone that has left me such lovely comments on this blog. I love you all!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm over it

The past few weeks have been a bit up and down for me. I’ve had some really fantastic times and some really awful times. I suppose I’m starting to get quite tired which is in turn making a bit emotional. I feel that I’m getting to a point where I’m sick of the treatments, sick of feeling crappy and sick of waiting. I’m just over it. But, I’m not allowed to be over it. I’m only half way through my treatment so I have to find a way to move past these feelings.

Over the past few months I’ve been really quite angry about the whole thing. I constantly think ‘why me?’. I know it’s ‘why anyone?’, but I can’t help but be really frustrated by the fact that I feel that I’ve done the right things and it’s still happened to me. I don’t smoke and don’t drink excessively. I hate the sun and avoid it to the point where people make jokes about how white I am. I don’t like polluting my body with medicines, so would be lucky to take paracetamol or anything a couple of times a year. Furthermore I do many things that are supposed to benefit your health and help stop you getting cancer. I play sport regularly, I eat a balanced diet and drink heaps of water. Broccoli (supposedly an anti-cancer food) is my favourite vegetable and I eat it all the time! I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone, yet I get so angry and upset when I see people choosing to sunbake or smoke or never eat vegetables. How can they do the wrong things and still enjoy a happy, carefree life?

Anyway, I’m trying hard not to be too bitter about this. I’m not an angry or resentful person and I’m determined to not let this experience make me become that way. I suppose the fact that I have done the right things means I don’t have to feel guilty. I can’t imagine how disappointed with myself I’d be if I new I’d caused this to happen.

As I mentioned earlier I’m really just over it. It’s really hard to keep pumping your body full of poisons that make you feel really crappy and tired, without a guarantee of being well at the end. It would be much easier to keep going back if you new for sure it was working. I have many reasons to believe that it is working (I feel better, I don’t have the B-Symptoms any more and I just had an x-ray that now shows a ‘normal’ chest). However, I want to know unquestionably, absolutely, without a doubt that it’s working.

I would like x-rays, CT scans, PET Scans, blood tests, biopsies, psychics, palm readers, Catholic Saints, the Dalai Llama, anything that will tell me I’m going to be ok. I have an inquiring mind that always needs to know everything. This case is no different. Anyway, I can’t do most of things and the ones I can do will still give me no definite answers. All I can do right now is keep going with my treatment and watch for fevers. I cannot make the chemo do what I want it to do and I cannot check up on it to find out if it is going to plan.

I’ve got to keep focusing on the good things. This experience is really making me appreciate my wonderful family and friends. I’m very lucky to have such supportive people helping me through this journey and allowing me to keep things ‘normal’.

I’d like to finish this post with a whole bunch of thank yous!

Thanks so much to Keryn, Ben, Andrea, Fran├žoise and Suzanne for cooking us meals. It's so nice to come home and not have to cook. This is appreciated so, so , so much!

Thank you Melanie for my chemo bags! They make the day so much more bearable!

Thanks to everyone at work for putting up with my vagueness/forgetfulness, and just generally being so supportive.

Thanks Dani for coming to my treatment with me. Sorry it was such a boring day!

Thank you so much to everyone that has joined or sponsored our school’s team for World’s Greatest Shave and thank you to my mum and dad who are both shaving!!

Thanks Damo for the guitar!

Thank you Leah for listening to my emotional and irrational outpours, driving me around, coming along to various things with me, and generally just being there for me.

Thank you to Daniel for EVERYTHING!