So I got disconnected from my chemotherapy that I take home yesterday and all I did was sleep. I get nervous when I sleep for hours on end because I don’t want to screw up my routine for the week. So far, I’m OK. The funny part is my mum gives me leg massages in the evening because when I feel really unsettled, my legs get tense and so do my shoulders. My shoulders are OK, I use the heat pack on my abdomen and it calms down. (I don’t know why, it’s witchcraft!)
Im sleeping on the couch for now. Don’t get me wrong I like my bed. It’s very comfy. I just LOVE my couch. It is the prettiest, comfiest, stylish couch I have ever seen- and I own it! To be honest, I think it’s got something to do with my back, which in turn has something to do with my blood thinners because back pain in a side effect 🙄.
So over the past couple of weeks, the shit turned into snow that turned into an avalanche. Well, that’s how I feel anyway. I found out my insane mood swings, emotional wailing and wanting to destroy everything was because I have early on-set menopause. Then I start radiotherapy on 31/05 to reduce a tumour that’s causing me so much pain. I’m hoping with the radiotherapy, it’ll reduce the pain meds because that is making me drowsy amongst everything else. Then my anxiety with the rest of my life. Have I left it all too late? Can I travel? How far can I travel? Will I get to see all my family and spend the most amazing time with them? Will I see all my little nieces and nephews grow? Will I fall in love with someone who will love me, with everything I’m going through? Writing it now is making me nervous. I’m too scared to ask the Oncologist for his expected timeline because sometimes living in blissful ignorance is more bearable than knowing the complete truth.
So I spoke to my GP because he has been on this journey with me from the very beginning and I just needed his advice. I assumed he’s dealt with many patients in similar situations and has come across the fear of the known and how to deal with it.
Doctor:”You know, you’re lucky in a sense that you have an idea of how long you have left. Now the question is what will you do with it?”
He also said something very poignant that was also incredibly brave. He found patients who were open with their oncologist and aware of their timeline, lived longer than expected. I guess being that brave has its benefits.
And that’s the biggest question I have now- what will I do with it?
- I’ve been thinking of travelling to France, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Prague, Germany, South Africa, Tonga, Fiji, Southern States of the USA, I’d love to go back to Canada,
- I will drink a lovely cocktail on the Thursday before treatment. That way, I sleep like a baby and wander around the hospital like Jack Sparrow
- I will go for lots of walks. I should take pictures of said walks.
- I’ll go to as many theatre shows as I can. I must collect them like a hoarder. It’s a calling
- Hopefully, I’ll fall in love. Who knows? They might love me back.
The last one has been playing on my mind a bit. I guess it’s the thing of when you know how limited your time is, you figure out what’s most important to you that you haven’t done. I am a hopeless romantic so the fact that this is playing on my mind a lot lately doesn’t surprise me. I get overtly excited when I sell baby booties at work- it’s cringe but hilarious the same time.
I started radiotherapy yesterday and so far, no complaints. Just nauseous and tired. I noticed I don’t have that much energy because I could walk to the local Cafe then come back home. That’s about a 20 minute walk. Nurse says I should listen to my body. I thought that was funny. I haven’t listened to my body since I got diagnosed. Payback is a bitch, I guess!
Food is such a wierd thing for me at the moment. Like right now, I just love plain, savoury foods like crackers and rice. Give me fruit!- I’ll wonder if you even cared… just kidding 🙃. Perfect example- just had my second round of radiotherapy. First thing I crave- Doritos corn chips. Also, need to note that when I eat a dorito, I must eat the whole triangle in one bite. I feel a slither of disappointment when I have to break it in half with my teeth.
Today my mum and I are trying something new. I’m catching the V-line back home after radiotherapy. We ubered yesterday and it felt like it took forever. So we’re doing it this way. Also, economical because all the sessions finish around peak hour traffic time. Hopefully, this will work because it’s so much easier for me and mum to travel to hospital and back. Also, Ubers are way expensive. Like, I can do a local trip but when you live waaaay out and it costs your Aunty $74 one way- you bet I’m finding an alternative route. Think of all the nachos you can eat for $74! I’m on a corn chip phase…
I think Melbourne’s weather is going through menopause too. It was freezing and wet yesterday. Now, it’s a cool winter’s day and the sun is out! Maybe I should share my escotalipram with the weather…
Also, my friend (Jin, I love you) suggested an amazing idea. The hangover diary- chemotherapy edition. I know, it’s not the most encouraged thing and it actually feels horrible but it’s so funny! I think it’s funny anyway.
Talking about friends, I’m slowly telling my close loved ones about what the oncologist told me. It never gets easier. I’ve told as many loved ones as I can handle for now. I will tell the rest and if you find out this way, please know it wasn’t intentional. I just don’t have the capacity right now to tell everyone. It’s still very raw and fucking terrifying.
I was listening to Sia on my way back from my 4th round of radiotherapy and I remembered she did a song called ‘Reaper’. It’s about deciding that today was not the day for the reaper to come knocking on your door. Your feel good and it’ll stay this way. I think this will be my anthem. I’ve saved it to my playlist. I also decided to go back to work for short shifts as I’m recovering really well and feel like I can handle short shifts. I know I’m not forcing myself and my body is really well rested. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Today is Saturday and the start of my first weekend in ages where I can just be normal. I went fabric shopping and had lunch with my mum. I’ve decided to go back into sewing and do what I really enjoyed- Tailoring. Now, don’t roll your eyes too much because I’ll start small and progress from there. I love a well fitted suit and creating one so it only makes sense I start from there. We also went to my Aunties and just hung out with my nieces and nephew and my cousins. It’s was just awesome to just sit with them and enjoy listening to them make noise (the nieces and nephew are young). We watched the Lion King (animated, I refuse to watch the live action one. The nostalgia and fun just isn’t there. Well, not in the trailers at least.) And ate pizza. It was just nice to be with my family and be random and scroll through our phones. Then the pain flare started. Since I’ve been drinking heaps of water, my body has felt really good. But for some reason, with all the peeing and farting, the flare ups have happened a few times now.
That’s what they don’t talk about. Is the insane amount of gas build up you have! I am an ongoing burping machine! I get acid reflux on the daily and my farts would make a sailor blush! And it isn’t specific foods or drink. It’s not because I inhale too much air when I’m eating or eating fast or slow. Mindful eating is a joke. If anything, it makes it worse because trying to focus on your food when your that off your face on meds is not fun. So long as I’m eating or drinking something, the gas machine cranks out another stunner. I have noticed it’s worse or bigger in the evening. I use eucalyptus spray to neutralise the smell when there is one. But yeah, if you ever get cancer just bear in mind the you will most likely turn into a human whoppee cushion.
I went back to work today during radiotherapy. I was nervous because I didn’t know how my body would cope doing radiotherapy and work at the same time. I packed all my preventative medicine just in case. I only needed the Ordine for some sudden pain. Turns out it was OK. The flare up was a bit random and my dear tummy didn’t come to play today. 😕 Apparently, it’s expected. After a few rounds of radiotherapy, expect nausea and everything that comes with it. I went to Peter Mac and got a sandwich. Maybe that was it. I didn’t eat too much when I was working. I am always busy. Busy sizing, busy doing admin, busy selling, busy getting people to do work, busy just being busy. I’ll sleep well tonight. Tomorrow I find out the amount of time they think I have left. It’s not going to be fun but I have to bite the bullet and find out.
Second day back at work and I was really nervous because after my first day, I was really nauseous and had a really bad case of runny tummy. Not glamorous at all. All I wanted was apple juice. I knew I needed fluids. I just couldnt stomach water. I was hoping by drinking juice, it would keep me hydrated. Then on my round yesterday, I got some really bad pain flare ups. The only thing that would settle that was heat packs and a hot shower. Sometimes you just don’t want to take your ordine. I get tired of the drowsiness and lack of productivity. So I rested and woke up feeling ok. I made sure to have a good lunch (peanut butter and jam sandwiches) so then hopefully that’ll make a difference. I also found out that they predict 12-18 months life expectancy but what I love is my oncologists following words:
“But I want you to prove me wrong.”