It’s been a bit quiet on the blog front for the past few weeks. Mainly because I’ve just recovered from the absolute battering that my final week of chemo and radiotherapy handed to me.
I thought I was doing well. Too well. And that turned out to be the case. I got through my final week of treatment, the same as I had previous weeks, more tired than when I had started but I was coping. I had been warned that the two weeks after treatment were likely to be my worst but I figured it couldn’t be that much different but I was WRONG.
I’m not too brave to admit that the following days after treatment were pure hell. I was exhausted, I was vomiting following the chemo, the stomach cramps were intense (this was an interesting time having to now deal with the bags), I couldn’t eat, I was really dehydrated and struggling to control my high temperatures. I developed eye infections, I could barely walk from the blisters that had developed on top of my raw burns and just as a little extra, I had a nice big fat cold on top of it. I cried – a lot. Walking upstairs to bed or the bathroom was exhausting and painful. I spent my time lying in bed or on the sofa and getting upset if I knew I would have to move in any way. The radiotherapy has also forced my body into an early menopause with ‘granny’ sweats and sleepless nights now in full force.
This was hard, I felt that I had climbed Ben Nevis to be faced with Mt Everest as my next hurdle. Every stage of this journey is getting harder and harder and I worry how much more punishment my tiny 6 stone body can take.
I should be proud of myself, I’ve got to the half way point. I’ve managed the colostomy surgery and I’ve got through the treatment. I can’t help but feel more scared though as I know my next challenges are going to be even harder yet. Extensive surgery to remove the cancer is now next on the list and having had one lot of surgery, I’m scared of the pain that I will face and the time it will take to recover. I’ve been told that now I’ve had radiotherapy, wound healing after surgery is going to be difficult. Once I have recovered from the surgery then I am likely to need more chemotherapy after to make sure that the cancer is completely eradicated and that there’s less chance of it returning. Again though, the chemo regimen after surgery is going to be harsher and for longer and after last week, the thought of more chemo makes my stomach churn.
My only option is to face all my fears head on. There’s no avoiding any of this. I can’t turn around to my consultants and say ‘no thanks, I don’t think I fancy any of that after all’. Not without the consequences proving fatal. All I can do is try to remain positive and rope up ready for my next mountain adventure.
Everest will not beat me.