Over the hump!...in my 4th week of treatment of 6 wk radiotherapy (5 days/wk and chemo on Mondays) feeling in a good place today. Of course getting to this point, not so much. Feeling grateful today that my side-effects have been somewhat minimal, third/fourth day after chemo up until the weekend comes has been the biggest hurdle. Cysplatin = nausea and popping wafers/Pramin seems to be easing a large part of that feeling. When feeling crappy I must also remind myself that obviously my journey so far as been a relatively easy one comparatively.
Last week would have to have been my worst, symptoms and emotionally. I confess I was feeling a lot of anger towards my poor husband who spends majority of his day surrounding himself with practical things and avoiding any conversation regarding emotions..built up to a complete blow-up - it all came out - why aren't you talking enough, you must not be feeling, who the heck are you? do you even care I have cancer? why aren't you planning for the future.... I temporarily lost my mindset and forgot obviously Christmas was coming up and he was doing the plans for the first time in our married lives, looking after our boys and EVERYTHING else. Yep, poor guy... So then the ugly guilt followed - who needs that? and my thoughts turned to myself and the inevitable why me? Boy it was a rollercoaster 2 days, which eventually ended with a Panic Attack. That's a first! I was so confused about what was happening, the anxiety was stifling.
So I had to go backwards, what set this off? so I can't get to that place again... Believe it or not, it all started with a soy strawberry shake, a simple sweet beautiful shake, hadn't had one in months, it was like the first shake I had ever tasted, I was on a sugar high. So the questions started, why does this drink taste like the best drink in the world? And why do I feel like a 7 year old sitting on the brick wall at Oriental Bay in Wellington swinging my feet and watching the waves come in. The moment was so great that I had to go and analyze it... other memories flooded in, childhood, disappointments, regrets a complete overload...and then I turned to my boys and the guilt that the reason I'm in this position. Clarity - I didn't do regular pap smears, this would be a different journey and should've taken the time to look after me.
Following that a short visit with my doctor - beautiful woman, great oncologist and I blurted all this out to her - she's an oncologist not a therapist! But she listened and she said one simple sentence - We can't do anything about changing the past, let's just focus on the future. Just like that! Stop beating yourself up for your mistakes, it's only weighing you down, look forward!
(and it's up to me to remind myself to go easy on my husband)
MRI tomorrow to see how far treatment has come - looking forward to that!
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I heard somewhere once that "If you want to hear God laughing, you tell him your plans"! At first I felt disappointed and and hell of a lot ripped off. But then the realization that if it wasn't for organizing the trip and making sure myself for a change that I had a full health check, once I started that process, believe it or not, was when symptoms or the idea "something is not right" started to crop up.
I feel like telling my boys who are 10 and 12 was actually, and keeping in mind it being one of the hardest things so far I have had to say to them, compared to the reactions of some adults, much easier to deal with myself because they asked honest questions and gave honest reactions. So far they have been coping well, my youngest showers me with cuddles all day long who can't love that, and my oldest just started puberty - so a lot of time spent alone and sometimes outbursts of anger. They seem to be doing okay and I am truly lucky. My husband - is just amazing really. At times he is really quiet and well, he's never been best with his emotions but he has taken on a lot and I am grateful that I chose well.
How about you - Catherine? How is your husband coping and do you have children?
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Hi Catherine - when I read your blog it was almost like I had written it myself. You are not alone. I too feel like somewhat of an imposter and third day in going to the clinic with the majority of suffers being elderly and frail was like an out-of-body experience, a reality check, and also a massive help of guilt - to the shock of my husband I jumped up and ran out - he said it was the fastest he'd seen me move in weeks! It's gotten easier, especially being armed with bags of "distractors" (headphones,ipad, iphone, books, beading, chrystals...I tried taking up knitting but I had to accept that it really aint my thing). It's the little things helping me through at the moment, the pleasure of sucking on soft Licorice, when I get a ting of nausea, or Sayo crackers packed with marg and vegemite. And Apple/Raspberry cordial never tasted better. These little things that are helping me get through treatment.
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Hi Wendy, Thank you that really was extremely helpful!! Great idea - group message my close friends. I think that is the best approach, also gives people time to think about their response and remember to say reply to me not to all.
I wish you and your husband the very best in his treatment ahead also Wendy and - and on behalf of him, as someone who is being supported by a great partner like yourself, Thank you!
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Hi John, Thank you so much for your words of support and taking the time to share your thoughts - I really appreciate it. I agree with you that it is now a small part of me and probably time to pluck up the courage and tell others that I care for.
I guess also a small part of it John is that some reactions I have received were not what I expected and a little disappointing (cant change that) so therefore I can, as you say it is indeed a sticky subject, and only accept that there will be a reaction no matter what type .....even if it's less or more than I expected.
Thank you and I hope everything is going well for you and still finding the strength within. Take care and all the best to you
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Hi thought I'd come by and introduce myself. So grateful for this chance to a place to connect with others going through similar experiences. Last night was my first blog entry. I am in week 2 of my treatment for cervical cancer. I'm 43 and live in Darwin with my husband and 2 boys - my angels. Taking every day one day at time. Today's delimma: Finding it hard to share at the moment - just wanted to know how people got the courage to tell their friends? I have only spoken to a few family and friends - I'm finding it really hard to know what to say and it's draining. Not sure how to approach it, should I just do a facebook update ??? I mean that sounds ridiculous. A lot of people I have on facebook as they live so far away from me that is the easiest way to keep in contact with them (including family) and they are important in my life but just not every day. The reason I think I should get this out of the way is a lot of people think that in January next year we're moving for 3 years overseas, so Jan comes and go and we're still here, people are going to wonder. I don't want to isolate anyone but I don't want to unnecessarily include someone in this news as well. I am interested in finding out anyone who has advice.
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This is my first time here - actually wasn't sure if this was going to be something that I was going to do. But feeling a bit lost today. So, where do we start? Ok so it's week two of my 6 week treatment for Stage 4 Cervical Cancer. Stage 4 as this is a cheeky little 1 cm bugger escaped and spread to a lymph node up near my right kidney but hasn't spread to any another major organs. My initial prognosis was stage 2b2 so that's what I tell people not to scare them. In fact "telling" people seems to be the hardest part of this journey so far for me. Taking one day at a time the first week of treatment was scary, and threw me around a bit but by the weekend I find like the "old" of about 5 months ago before this whole journey started. It started when we collectively decided as a family to take an overseas adventure and post to a third world country for 3 years.. so seeing as the health facilities weren't going to be up to Australian standards it was best to get everything checked out. Several tests, teeth done, everyone's immunised, husband had the chop and the final hurdle and then hello something isn't right. At first I was told it was fibroids, so I went to a the Gyno and she said it had to be more than that. And 2 weeks after that, cervical cancer, no overseas adventure, just an adventure of another kind ...
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.