On Monday 23rd September I started my 4th cycle of chemo. The penultimate cycle (hopefully)! I had another bone marrow biopsy which I was still feeling until the Friday. Still the most excruciating pain ever. If you’ve had one you’ll know. I’m sure it’s worse than having a baby. Then the week of chemo. It affected me differently this time. I felt so run down and suffered with headaches quite a lot. I still felt sick but not as much as on the last cycle. On the Friday I was edging towards not having chemo that day. I really didn’t want to do it. The only way I can describe it is when you’re at the gym, and you’re on the treadmill doing 30 second sprints. Towards the end between each sprint you really want to give up! Like REALLY want to give up. But you find something in you and you complete the next few sprints with all you’ve got. You feel invincible and you complete the last sprint better than the one before. After you finish your sprints and you’re walking for a minute because you’re legs feel like jelly and you want to collapse to the ground, comes a huge sigh of relief because you’ve done it and despite the pain and emotional frustration you know you can do it all over again. Just not that very second.
That is what these weeks feel like. These weeks of chemo pushing through each session. The chemo only runs for two hours but you’re sat there all day waiting for blood results and any other bits. I’ve been sat on a flight longer than that but the fact that my body feels like it’s so drained of energy is what makes it hard. Constantly feeling ill. Constantly wishing to feel like you could go back to going on long runs and doing 12 hour shifts. That’s what I miss. I miss living. Because that is what it means to me. Living to me is being adventurous. Not getting embarrassed because you laughed too hard at something or how goofy you looked when telling a story to someone. Living is spending your money on what YOU want to do. Whether you save for a few years to buy a house (okay probably more than a few) or whether you go on shopping sprees each month. You do you and who cares what people say, who cares if someone thinks that you’re not cool or fun because you’re not the type of person to go out on pub crawls every weekend getting pissed and not getting home until 5am. I would rather grab a few drinks, take yourself to a grassy hill where you can see for miles and get wasted there, knowing that you’ll be in bed by 1. Everyone’s different. So figure out how you want to live and just do it. Don’t be afraid because you’ve only got one life and you can fill it with as many mistakes and achievements as you want. (Rant over)
I finished this cycle of chemo thinking it went quite quickly and got back to normality by going back to work and going out again more than I did when I was having chemo. I attended Alex and Hannah’s wedding which was such a lovely day to be part of and they looked amazing.
On Jack’s birthday we went to Basingstoke’s version of Oktoberfest. It was a decent night despite the rain. But when we all got back to my mums my brother and sister fell out with each other over a petty argument which turns out actually had some deeper issues (only that I know of.) It hasn’t really been the same since and the annoying thing is the argument stemmed from a discussion surrounding the politics of cancer treatment (sounds fancy but it wasn’t that fancy). And I don’t think this discussion would have started if I didn’t have leukaemia, can you see where I’m going with this?
I don’t know I just feel a bit guilty and deflated about how the situation is turning out. But what can I do about it. I am worried that it will affect Christmas. I’ve associated Christmas with the end of my chemotherapy. So I want it to be perfect. I want my cheeks and belly to ache from smiling and laughing so much. I want to feel overjoyed with the Christmas spirit.
It all got sorted out in the end but it’s still not the same.
The rest of my 4 weeks off were pretty decent other than that. I just divulged into my work and meeting up with friends and socialising. I was a bit of a rebel and got my third lobe piercing whilst still recieving treatment. Ha-ha that was fun. I felt so excited to do it and was buzzing afterwards. I wasn’t meant to get it, it’s definitely not advised whilst having chemo for a blood cancer where you’re a risk of infection but I just thought ‘fuck it!’ I can do what I want to do with my body. I will deal with the consequences later. And I love my piercing now, it’s part of me, just like my scars from my treatment are.