This time last year I was about to start chemotherapy. When you’re told you have to have chemo it’s really quite scary. When they show people with cancer on the TV they are always really Ill looking and sick. But it’s not quite so bad.
When I look back on the 6 cycles I had, I think of it like a very slow mountain climb. With each one I was closer to the top. It was gruelling both physically and mentally, something I wish to never have to repeat in my life.
The first three I had were a specific type of chemo called FEC. FEC is really horrible. This chemo makes you lose your hair. It makes you feel sick all day for about a week. Some people vomit constantly.
It makes you feel very spaced out, on another planet; like your head is stuffed with cotton wool.
I could not concentrate on TV, couldn’t read books, I just sat in bed staring in to space. I didn’t really want to talk to people either.
I forced myself most days to walk the dog, and just get outside for five minutes. Chemo drugs make you exhausted to put it mildly. I also had to take steroids which made my moods quite erratic.
After a week of feeling shitty I felt good again for two weeks and then it was time for the next cycle again. And so this went on for four months.
The next 3 chemo I had were a bit easier. It was like having the flu. My whole body ached. Even my face hurt to touch. I had to inject myself every day for a week of each cycle to keep my white blood count above zero which I hated.
On November 5 2013, I had no 6 – my last chemo. The tiniest sprouts of hair had started coming through. I’d got to the top of the mountain. I was a chemo crusader.