Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race......

We had expected harsher side-effects from this round of Docetaxel as the cumulative effects of 5 rounds did their bidding so we did everything we could to make the process easier. Mum kindly gave-up her self-contained sanctuary at the end of the house as my chemo-cave and it worked a treat. The side-effects kicked-in within 24 hours but being able to lie in bed listening to her and Erica chase each other around the garden for the subsequent 5 days was medicine in itself.

I remember watching an interview with Kylie Minogue shortly after I was diagnosed and she spoke about the importance of being selfish in order to allow yourself to recover; I think that point has only just resonated with me. People have constantly been nagging me to the point of distraction to "take it easy dear", "you're doing too much", "you need to let your body recover". I hate that advice but I now realise that it really means "you need to be selfish". Allowing myself to truly become a patient and to relinquish control of my treatment was the hardest and most important lesson that I've learnt so far. Those of you who know me well will likely be sniggering at this point, I don't like not being in control, I think I lost control about 3 posts ago following the baldie comment and it was probably one of the most clarifying moments so far.

Don't get me wrong, now that I'm dropping the bravado I have spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about my prognosis - I can't control whether or not I'm going to survive this and I hate it but I refuse to let cancer define me.

I'm now weirdly intrigued by this disease, not to the point where I am researching emerging therapies and hippie herbal treatments but I am intrigued by the concept of cancer. It's been fuelled by a brilliant book that I've only recently discovered called "The Emperor of All Maladies" which is a Pulitzer prize-winning biography of cancer. I like the fact that it doesn't seek to make cancer sufferers out to be heroes like most of the infuriating books that people encourage me to read - it helps me to demystify and almost respect the complexity of the cells that have somehow made their way into my body.

Ramble over..... one more round of chemo and it's onto radiotherapy, 4 weeks later we do a scan - that scares the shit out of me!