Saturday, 21 May 2011

Cancer - 1, Me - nil

In my determination to prove to myself that this cancer thing would not get me down I made a decision to live my life as close to normal as I could. Thus, a lot of offers of help were turned down and I made it a point to be as active as I could. In so doing, I started to feel my normal self again.

However, every now and then little things would happen which would remind me that things were not all good: whether it would be from looks of pity thrown my way or just bashing my port. But I would just brush these events off and pick myself up and start all over again. Yesterday however I fell hard and found it very difficult get up.

It started off with a full day at a self-defence class. I thoroughly enjoyed the class as it made me feel strong and empowered; however, I started to flag by the afternoon session. I soldiered on, but I found myself so tired that I started to lose concentration. I ended leaving the class nearly an hour early and so frustrated at my inability to finish it. I cycled home (yes I know, how silly, but I had cycled to the venue) and immediately hit the shower. Where my hair fell in droves. I thought I was prepared for this, but seeing my hair all over the bath was terribly distressing. Poor LH had to deal with the flood of tears and the self-pity that this brought on - how do you deal with a woman who feels weak and ugly?

The problem is that I was determined to prove to myself that this evil affliction would not change me - and in my determination, I overdid it with exercise and activity. I found myself exhausted. And although I talked and joked about my hair falling out, I secretly hoped that I would be spared. But I am weaker as a result of the drugs coursing through my body. And why should I be spared the trauma of hair loss? I need to accept that chemotherapy has unfortunate side effects because until I do so, it will always be a fight between myself and the cancer treatment which I will lose. But only for now. Because at the end of it all, I may find myself bald and weak, but I will be the ultimate winner.


  1. Honey, it's early days and you are just trying to find what works for YOU. Don't mathematicians term it 'Trial & Improvement' when trying to solve a problem?
    So, after Wednesday, you try a different strategy. A little exercise & a lot of help? And if that doesn't work, duvet days all the way!
    The crab may have won this little skirmish, but you will win the war. Lots of love xx

  2. It's not self pity to be upset. It's normal. I thnk that the acceptance part about the chemo is right but again it's normal to fight it. There's no instruction booklet so you are having to learn how to deal with this on a daily basis and of course some days are going to be absolutely completely rubbish. Though, only you would actually CYCLE to a FULL DAY of self defence (they may send you for a psych consult soon as well as see the oncologist!)!!!! Have your turbans arrived yet? You may be forced to be bald and weak but you can do it uber stylishly and put two fingers up to the EC. Again! Let me know what you want to do this afternoon. Lynne x

  3. Hey C
    You're amazing but accept that you'll be up and down and I guess find a baseline of activity and don't go beyond it and deplete your reserves...pacing is key. As Lynne says, it's normal to have all these feelings.
    As for the hair, horrible but I'm sure it will come back as thick...and maybe LH an I can harvest it for ourselves and stick it on with Sellotape? ;-)
    Not belittling it, but you are strong most of the time and when your not you have an amazing LH and kids and family and friends who will always be there to support you and listen and understand and love you because you love them and we know that! You are beautiful with or without hair, and loved. Xxx

  4. Hi! A lot of people who have gone through this that i had spoken to reacted the way you did to the sudden hair loss. my hair loss wasn't as dramatic, as i had cut my hair to about a quarter inch all around before it started to fall... why didn't i shave it all off, you may be wondering... well, i tried, but got scared of the electric shaver thingy, so the poor stylist had to cut it practically strand by strand. you may want to just go get your head shaved. it beats having to clean out all the hair from the shower... plus, you are in control of when you lose all your hair :)

  5. Hang in there Chinot. I'm not a religious person but my thoughts and prayers are with you. You'll beat this, I know it.


  6. It's very early in the ballgame, so that score is otherwise meaningless. After a few more quarters, it will be a landslide victory for you. It's the final score that counts, and we all know how that will turn out.

    I'm afraid I've overused the gameday analogy :)

    If I were the Evil Crab, the sight of a bald self-defense expert would scare the bejeezus out of me.