Thursday, May 13, 2010


I finished Radiotherapy this week. That is the end of my invasive, regular medical treatment. When I go for hospital appointments in the future I will have to pay for parking like most other people. I no longer have the 'special' cancer patient car pass. That is a good feeling. It has been an odd few days. A fresh wave of grief hit me and I felt pissed off and furious at having cancer. It is so indeterminate and raises so many questions - the most crucial being - has it really gone?

I saw the oncologist today and had a good cry in his office. It was very cathartic - almost a rite of passage. It has been a tough nine months and I feel that I can finally let go a little. I don't need to keep it together - in fact - I needed to let go a lot. It takes huge amounts of emotional and physical energy to go through the shock of diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I wanted to keep it together and be positive but in crying today in front of the Onc - I also knew I had to let it go. I had to grieve for the loss of many things - not just the physical. The most important being mental and emotional peace. It is exhausting being consumed with anxiety about your own mortality. Before cancer I would have moments of being conscious of it but they would flit past. With cancer it has consumed me at times to the expense of all else.

Now it's time to move past that. I'm here. As far as the oncologist can tell I'm cured. There is a moderate risk that it could come back but I am certainly not going to live my life with that as my consuming obsession. I am going to put some of that energy into living my life well and with gusto. Life is finite - for everyone - it was crappy to have that suddenly become concrete. Now it's time to get beyond that, to claim back some naivete around it. To have some peace of mind.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


This gorgeous peacock resided outside a converted barn I stayed in recently. He got me thinking about my hair - or lack of it. I used to have quite a healthy head of shoulder length hair and I've had long hair all my life. Chemo claimed it and left me completely bald. It started to clump together after the first session and come out in small handfuls. About 10 days after the first session it was lying on the pillow when I woke up. I decided to take control and enlisted my Mum to give me a crop which I quite liked! Then my husband finished me off with his razor. I stayed bald for 5months and wore a wig. I quite liked the wig to begin with but now I just want my own head of hair back.

It is growing - slowly - and has gone from fluffy to a Mohican type style - tufts down the middle of my head which stick up and then various other sticky out bits over the rest of my head. I'm waiting for the day when I look in the mirror and can go 'yeah today's the day.' Then I'm going to ditch the wig and go free. It is a nondescript colour at present so quite excited to see what I'll end up with. I also lost my eyebrows and eyelashes but eyebrows have come back very 1980s - dark and bushy! Eyelashes are giving it a good shot but rather feathery at present - at least they are coming back. I looked at a photo the other day taken in the middle of chemo it gave me a real shock to see myself so hairless. Of course the hairs on my legs are rampaging! I look forward to feeling like this peacock - out there strutting my feathers!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Fairy God Mother Wanted

Radiotherapy is wearing me out. I want it to be over NOW. I thought I was doing pretty good with it but now I am so weary I can't remember what it feels like not to be knackered. I have a bright red rash on my chest that barely cools down even with an ice pack on it. I have random, fleeting aches throughout my body which force my imagination into overdrive. Don't think there are any body parts that I haven't self diagnosed with cancer in the past 24hrs. Every twinge is something sinister. I hate this bit of having cancer more than anything else. If I was a squillionaire I would buy every diagnostic bit of machinery on the market and hop into one every time I felt a twinge. Anything for peace of mind. When my body gets weary and my mind follows - that's it - I need one of them to be working well to keep me going. I try and hang onto the thought that very soon I will not be having invasive treatment and each day takes me further away from cancer. It's just a hard slog at the moment. I'd like a fairy godmother with a wand to fix it today.