I have spent the last month organising a wedding fayre, and to be honest it has been extremely difficult. However I have patted myself on the back for a job well done. In between I've built up a Wedding Networking group and ran our friend's company while they have been away. Yes I have been exhausted, yes I had to push myself, as in the middle of all this I have had another bout of chemo - which wasn't any where near as as bad as the last lot - see last post -where my whole perceptive on life changed.
However I did it and now as my last chemo looms - hurrah I move into the next stage of my treatment -radiotherapy - I am feeling a little more satisfied that hopefully it will be my last ever chemo and in a couple of weeks I can have the PICC line removed. ( the line that is permanently in my arm that goes from my arm round to just above my heart inside my body. This is what the chemo goes into ) Then I'm looking forward to my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows growing back so I won't look so much like a alien.
I recently described myself to one of my friends as a " Blown up cartoon version of myself" simply because everything about me is false - hair, eyebrows, eyelashes. Obviously one of my boobs is now made up of a temporary implant with skin grafted from my back, so this is false - however it will be corrected after radiotherapy finishes.
I am so blown up with all the steroids that I simply do not recognise myself any more. I can now fill out a pair of jeans in the bum area - which my husband loves. My legs are unrecognisable as normally they are skinny, but now they look a normal size and trousers cling to them which is unbelievable. My arms are huge and my face has ballooned up. Apart from the fact that nothing fits me, I have now borrowed my friend's size 12 jeans and have given her some of my size 10's. (The cow has lost weight )So everything that was Wendie has now been erased.
A couple of weeks ago we went to a friends for dinner, or a " Food orgy." A few things happened, first of all I had to wear an elasticated jumpsuit, which to be fair looked very elegant and once I had dressed it up it did look good, however teamed with a long wavy wig, false eyelashes etc. the person looking out of the mirror was not me. Elegant yes - funny, chatty, kooky, slim Wendie - no, it was bloody fat version of Jessica Rabbit!
My friends were amazing, the food was fabulous however I couldn't taste it. I managed a glass or two of wine, and joined in the conversation, in-between hot flushes where sweat was dripping of me, everyone noticed my struggle and suggested that I take off my wig as I was amongst friends. I was nearly in tears as I felt quite poorly, but I refused to give in - I've had to cancel so many things due to bloody cancer- I was staying put if it killed me. Anyway, eventually I took the wig off and sat there dressed up, full make up and a bald head. Do you know what? No one was bothered, they were more interested in trying on the wig. Andrew said he was proud of me and the others said I looked good bald, even though I was pleased that the wig had come off and felt better I still felt strange that I was the only female with the bald head.
Then just as I was beginning to feel okay about the lack of hair on my head, I was sick - all over our friend's kitchen - Errr taxi for The Webb's........
I know that as time goes on my fight with Cancer will end. My hair will grow back and the steroids and chemo will wear off. I look at other cancer survivors and they're all really positive people - after all what is the alternative?
I will - hopefully - get the all clear when I am 50 - five long years, however I don't think you every stop worrying that it will come back,worst case scenario is that it could spread or it won't have all been zapped, what a way to live thinking about that every day. However, I have plans - so many things that I want to do, I don't have time for cancer- it just seems that some days it gets the better of me and I have to make time for it, much to my annoyance, but even now I am fighting.
In the last couple of weeks I have had someone I know who has been diagnosed with it, and someone else die from it. Now I could get all philosophical here, but to be fair - I am angry, not for me you understand,
No, for me I have never really been angry I have been accepting I have just done as I am told and got on with it.No I'm angry that this terrible disease can grab anyone, at any time. The friend that had been diagnosed came round for a cup of tea. I poured her a large glass of wine - what should I say to her? She asked me if she was going to die. I said no the aim is to cure. She cried because she felt that she would not see her children grow up. I told her that I couldn't pretend as there was no good news, however she needed to stay strong and bloody minded and she would see her children grow up.She would have good days and bad but if she stayed strong she would get through it and before she looked round her life would be back to normal. She may not have to have chemo, or radiotherapy she may just have the lumps taken away and that would be it. However she cried and cried........... why her? She just wanted to be normal, this is what made me angry this woman minding her own business and getting on with her life who has already been through stress in her life, all of a sudden she has her world turned upside down because of bloody cancer. It broke my heart, that night I thought about her, did I help her? Did I say the right things? How can you give good news when there isn't any, but like I told her there is always hope, and strength. Maybe I wasn't the best person to ask! I cried on my husband why her? Life was so cruel.
1 in 3 women are diagnosed with cancer, what is the world coming to? The flip side is of course cancer can be cured, in this day and age we don't just get handed a death sentence. Yes its bloody horrible and its a long fight, but we can be cured, and this is what keeps me going, this is what I hang on to - every single day. I just hope my friend will..........as I don't know if I am strong enough for both of us.