The reason for this blog is to share that there are many sides to treatment, my life with breast cancer. This photo is harder to share than when I’m smiling, not because I’m worried that in some way I may come across weak, it’s far from that, the reason is I don’t want to in many ways be part of my own preconceptions of chemotherapy and cancer which was that it’s extremely tough every part of the way and you have little good times, I have come to learn that isn’t true….but yes, there are the harder days.
I guess in some ways showing that I do suffer with fatigue directly after treatment is me openly saying that I’m ‘beaten’ by it, but I’m ok with this now.
Three reasons for this blog :
- To show that it’s ok to give yourself a break.
- To show that again it’s ok not to be ok. I am all for positivity which I carry with me each day, but to only show the smiles wouldn’t be true to my journey. Through the joys of social media we can all lead ourselves into comparisons and although we shouldn’t, it is easily done. Some may think ‘I don’t feel the way that person may seem to feel’ or ‘they seem to be coping far better than me’ OR ‘I don’t want people thinking I need sympathy’ so in turn we beat ourselves up because we don’t look or seem so happy or positive like ‘others’
- To share this journey honestly.
The hardest part for me is almost succumbing to the side effects, this could be the result of the chemo itself and/or the drugs you are given to reduce ‘other side effects’ but this cocktail of drugs netherless can leave you feeling quite beaten up, but of course, this is the stuff that is helping to make me better.
I am over half of the way through paclitaxel now, so the ‘accumulative’ effects are starting to take their toll. Tiredness is my biggest side effect, that and dry skin, however I remind myself if these are the only side effects I experience right now, I feel like I am doing quite well. After the treatment itself I am totally zoned out, for this I do nothing bar rest, watch tv and sleep, oh and I’m happy to say I haven’t lost my appetite, straight after treatment I have something to eat.
This journey is scary enough, at the start I was totally overwhelmed and poorly educated with anything related to chemo, it’s hard, hard mentally, hard physically but there’s one thing I have learnt and would share time and time again and that is, ‘be kind to yourself.’ Do not compare your journey to anyone else or feel like you should be ‘keeping up’ you must go at your own pace.
Use any moments of exhaustion and turn those around to be used as part of your healing process, your resting time, a peroid where you can recharge. If you are anything like me you will find this a difficult task to overcome. You want to be up and about doing something, even if that something serves no purpose, to you ‘doing’ anything appears better than not. The thing is all this ‘doing’ does nothing but make the recovering process longer and although you may feel as though this could almost set you back, feeling like ‘you are losing’ and ‘you aren’t fighting as hard’, know that it is as simple as this:
That little part telling you that you need to rest, you must listen, watch that series you keep meaning to watch, read that book you forgot about, or sleep it off, LISTEN TO IT. I try not to allow these times to be bigger than me, because there is so much time waiting for all the other things which we ‘think we’ should be doing. I always tell myself I have my life ahead to ‘do stuff’
I walk everyday I can, I exercise when I can , I keep active and eat well. I keep a healthy lifestyle throughout, I post a lot about being out and about, food, exercise but some days When my body screams stop …I know to stop. This is me stopping. (Well I wrote this blog so I haven’t totally stopped but writing is a passion and it helps to gather emotions so it actually is a means to helping me stop)
The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.
— Pema Chodron,
All my love and honesty
ps it’s taken me atleast ten read threws of this blog, so there may be ‘grammer’ issues under the circumstances im allowed hahaha 😉