We often look at how far we still have to go but a very good friend of mine Dave said instead of looking how far you still have to go look at how far you have come. When he said that a little light bulb went off in my head. Actually yes. That mountain doesn’t look so steep if I look back at how far I have come. I have faced the hardest part of the journey thus far and what I still need to face is difficult but I’m closer to the end now.
This experience is so humbling. It has made me more compassionate, more sensitive to other people’s journeys. And that’s not to say I wasn’t like that before. And I’m not just talking about people who have cancer but everyone’s experiences. Another friend of mine that has also been through this journey said to me right in the beginning that I must be aware that because I have faced a dreaded disease that I may look at other people’s issues as not as serious. I’m glad I haven’t done that. I am very aware that each persons situation is complicated and they are handling their journey the best way they know how.
I have also started digging deep into myself and have begun uncovering some interesting truths about who I am and what I am really about. And I know this may sound somewhat crazy and I feel crazy saying this but I am grateful for this experience in my life, grateful that it has slowed me down and made me re look at things.
Somewhere along the line of taking pictures of how many to go we got a little confused. But rounds 8, 9, 10 came up. I must say that towards the end it really started to drag. The relentlessness of every week was starting to eat away at me. It felt like my life was in limbo. Suspended waiting for treatment to finish before I can continue with my life. At round 8 I started to feel nauseous. The side effects were getting worse week by week.
I investigated hemp oil when my mom was diagnosed. Really strange story quite serendipitous I think. Last year September I went to Nottingham road with some of my closest girl friends. We had booked lunch at a place called Lala Lampara. On that morning of our booked lunch we decided to move our booking for an hour later. We arrived at the restaurant and decided to move from our outside table to an inside table. Whilst having lunch another family came to sit right next to us. The restaurant was empty and for some reason they decided to sit right next to our table. Towards the end of our lunch my friend Tracey recognised the one lady at the next door table. They got chatting and we ended up chatting to them next to our cars in the parking lot. Through discussions it turns out that their mom had passed away 2 months prior from lung cancer. They were up in the Midlands celebrating their dads birthday. We chatting about all sorts of things and then hemp oil came up.
When I got home from my little holiday I did some research into hemp oil and it all seemed quite amazing what this natural product could do. The lady I met gave me contact details of someone who supplied it. I go in touch and decided to get some for my mom. Sadly we only got to give it to her a few times and so we don’t know if it would have helped her but I honestly think my mom’s case was so severe it may have been too late.
So now having this hemp oil in my cupboard I decided to give it a try. What is the worst that could honestly happen? I could feel a little high, giggle a little and have a good sleep at night which was now becoming an issue too. Lack of sleep was not something I dealt with well and it was starting to become a problem for me.
So I tried it. Vince my hubby got a kick out of making me laugh which I did. Laughing is so good for the soul! And I didn’t sleep as well as I expected but I definitely slept better. And so I have decided to take it every night. If it cures cancer then why the hell not. And if there are any sceptics out there please have a look at the following website it has a lot of interesting facts: http://phoenixtears.ca/ . Carte Blanche also did a special on it and it has many many benefits not only for cancer.
I saw Dr Narsai at the end of my 9th round of chemo and he was happy with the way everything was going. I mentioned that my fingers were becoming more numb and my feet had become sensitive to the cold. He had already lowed my dose by 10% so we needed to keep an eye on how my fingers were going towards the end.
After round 10 of chemo (taxol) my fingers became incredibly number. The numbness was moving down my fingers. I also noticed that I was struggling to open up packets with my fingers or any sort of fine motor movements were becoming an issue. This really made me a little frightened. Because peripheral neuropathy is irreversible I really had to keep an eye on them. I called the oncology nurses and they said I must come in on Monday as usual for my treatment and we will chat to the doctor but by the Friday it was so bad that when I went for my blood tests I spoke to the nurses again about what had happened during the week. She popped her head into the doctors rooms who said I need to see him on the Monday before I had chemo to discuss it further and they may stop the chemo all together.
I didn’t know how to feel about it all. Obviously relieved that if they did stop the chemo that I wouldn’t feel so ill but also scared that I am not having all the necessary treatment I need to make sure that if there was any cancer cells travelling around my body that they had been killed off. I was happy and sad; a little bitter-sweet I suppose.
I had mixed reactions from my friends some very supportive and happy and others a little concerned. I had to trust in what the doctor was to say on Monday. This is what he does every day, he knows what is best for me.
The weekend dragged by and I was quite relieved that it was time to see him. He said he would definitely stop the chemo at this point. I had, had 10 rounds which was enough chemo for it to be effective. He said that when they administered the Taxol every 3 weeks it would amount to 180 (whatever the measurement was I can’t recall) but with Taxol being given weekly it amounts to 210. So as he calculated I had had enough Taxol for it to be equivalent to having the Taxol every 3 weeks. Armed with that information I felt completely confident that the decision that was made was the right one. I was young and nerve repair takes sometimes years and if its is permanently damaged then I would battle with fine motor skills for the rest of my life.
We then went on to discuss the next phase of treatment which is radiation. He said there would be a 4 week break between my last chemo and my first radiation treatment. That is a little frustrating for me. I really wanted to get this over now but he had his medical reasons and so I needed to be patient. I would receive radiation on the whole breast but no radiation under my arm. I would have to go for radiation planning which will be done the week before and then I will have 6 weeks of radiation.
And so I can see the top of the mountain. I can see the end of this ordeal in my life is near. I think about all the emotions, all the tears I have cried, all the fear and anxiety, the sleepless nights, the sickness, the no hair. All of this is coming to an end. 1 last obstacle to go and I can look back and say I did it. I can say that I AM A SURVIVOR!