Its been a while.
I finished 5 months and 16 rounds of chemotherapy on Friday 13th of December 2019. AC was the hardest with nausea but Taxol took the biggest toll on my body. My liver was responding poorly to the chemo so when I would get sick, I wasn’t even allowed to take regular medication to relieve the symptoms. It was a horrible.
We had a lovely Christmas and New Years with my family. I hadn’t seen my baby brother since Daisy was first born so it was so good to see him.
I had a double mastectomy, auxiliary clearance of my lymph nodes on my left side (where the disease originally was) and a sentinel node biopsy on my right side. They only found 1 extra lymph node that was affected by cancer but had been successfully treated by chemo. So overall, I had 4 lymph nodes affected by cancer. I was told by my Radiation Oncologist that as my cancer is aggressive, they want to treat it aggressively. So they had already decided that I would continue on to radiation even before they discovered the 4th affected node.
I started radiation on Wednesday this week. Although it isn’t painful, this week has been very overwhelming. I have felt like I could be in tears at any given moment. It is just ‘another thing’ that I have to do before I’m better. Whenever that is.
One thing that I have to keep reminding myself about is that every single person that has gone through cancer, has a different experience. They may have the same cancer as me, but they can have a completely different experience. I’m not saying that it is harder or easier for certain people - just different.
Most people know someone that has been affected by cancer but until you’ve gone through it, you honestly have no idea what it is like. I don’t say that to be mean in any way but I had no idea before. You think losing hair, nausea and potentially surgery is all normal right? The things you don’t think about are the side effects and what happens mentally. Even though you know that you will lose your hair, it is still confronting and horrible to pull clumps of it out. It means it real. When you are feeling nauseous you’re not about to go out for a play date or jump on Skype. Most of the time people won’t see you at your worst so they don’t know how bad it actually gets. I didn’t anticipate the cording and the lymphedema in my left arm. I now have to wear a compression garment most of the time. Even though I knew what a mastectomy was, I never knew what it would feel like to look in the mirror afterwards. It is traumatising. Not being able to lift my kids for 4 weeks was the hardest.
I am so grateful for the people that I have around me. Every message, call and hug has not gone unnoticed. And to the people that may not know what to say, you don’t need to say anything. Thank you for you.