Sunday night and I’m preparing for hospital tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is the pre assessment for my chemotherapy, then the following day will be my first chemotherapy and radiation day. Tomorrow, I’m expecting to hear all the glorious side effects that chemo will bring. I have already been told the side effects of radiation and they don’t make for pleasant reading. When I signed the consent form, Dr.Drake read out all the side effects of the radiation and all I could do was cry. Every side affect was so horrible to listen to. I found it hard to grasp how putting my body through this, was actually going to make me better. Some of the common side effects include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, bladder inflammation/bleeding, infertility and early menopause, hairline cracks in the pelvic bones. Some of the more serious side effects include incontinence, a feeling of repeatedly needing to open bowels, damage to the large and or small bowel (if severe may result in correction surgery and colostomy or ilesostomy), blood in the urine, urgency incontinence or pain, an abnormal channel forming between the vagina and bowel or bladder called a fistula and lower limb lymphodema. Makes for pleasant reading as you can see. I’m sure the list of side effects for chemo will be just as delightful.
What makes it harder to accept is that even though I have a cancer I feel ok, I have no other health problems but as a result of cancer treatment I could be left with life long health complications and conditions. It’s not just a case of get treatment and get back to my “normal” self. I’m never going to be my “normal” self again. I’ll be taking tablets for the rest of my life and constantly living in fear of it coming back. Life won’t ever go back to normal it will just become a new version of normal. From tomorrow onwards I’ll be at the cancer centre at the city hospital every day for the next six weeks, my life will revolve around appointments and when I’m not at hospital by all accounts I’m going to probably feel pretty lousy.
In spite of all this though I still feel very thankful that the lymph nodes they removed showed no signs of cancer. This means my stage stays at 2b and there is no need for the extra chemo that would have been given had they tested positive.
Today felt like my last full day of freedom before the hospital so we enjoyed a lovely walk with the kids. Whereas before I would have took a forest walk for granted, but today I didn’t, I loved every second.
I know that whatever lies ahead I’ll have an army of people around me to help in any way I need them to. I’ve already been overwhelmed by the support and concern I’ve received from people. It’s took this for me to realise how many amazing friends I have in my life some of which I’ve only just met.