The loneliness of cancer.

lost

Here’s hoping…

It turns out May is a milestone month for me this year. It was on May 19 last year I first found out I had a ‘gynaecological malignancy, ovarian in nature’. (No matter how many memories chemo steals, that sentence is burnt into my brain.) Five days later, I finally graduated from uni with my Bachelor of Communications. And six months ago today I had a massive operation to remove a cancer that was close to killing me. So to say it’s been a big year would be an understatement. And even though I have my girl and my little man, it has undoubtedly been the loneliest year of my life. Continue reading

Hot flushes and HRT

hot flushes

This last week I have been trialing an oestrogen transdermal patch to get my hot flushes under control. Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like it. Like clock work, from 6pm, my body would turn into a furnace. Sometimes, it was just random parts of my body, like I would notice my shins sweating, or my head sweating or just my eyebrows. Other times it was an all over body experience like somehow I had started orbiting far too close to the sun. Continue reading

Apologies in advance.

chemo-made-me-do-it

Last night I was watching Quantum of Solace, a movie I have watched at least five or six times, and there were parts of the movie I have absolutely no recollection of. I am usually able to recall movies so easily. For god’s sake, I’ve managed to memorise most of the Hamilton soundtrack in less than two weeks. But thanks to last year’s chemo, some stuff seems to have disappeared if not for good, at least for now. Continue reading

Fucking Chemo

cytotoxic

Generally, I try not to swear when I write. I swear enough when I talk. But I really fucking hate chemo. It’s obvious, I know. No one likes chemo. Well I hope no one likes chemo. I have spent the two and a half months since coming home bouncing between ‘chemo is a necessary evil’ and ‘nope, I don’t wanna’. I’m lucky that I have a family who are willing to support me regardless of which option I take, now and in the future. Continue reading

Living with an ileostomy bag

poop

*If the title didn’t give it away, be warned – herein lies more poop talk.

I imagine that for people whose lives don’t revolve around poop, that the repeated talk of poop by those of us whose life does revolve around poop can seem kind of unnecessary. But some life experiences not only change your perspective on poop but also make it one of the most consuming aspects of your life. Continue reading

Give me strength.

strength

Throughout this appendix cancer caper, people keep telling me I’m amazing and I’m strong and I’m doing so well. I’ve never been good at compliments and to be honest, it makes me feel like a fraud. Although I am doing very well in my recovery, overall I just get out of bed each day. Sure I do it with a sense of humour and a smile but it doesn’t mean it’s not hard and doesn’t catch me out. People tell me of others who might let a cancer diagnosis beat them – who would be negative and struggle to face things. It makes me wonder, are there people like that and is that so bad? When you are hit by a truck there’s no shame in going down. There is no shame in staying down for a good long while. Here’s the truth about my perceived strength. Continue reading