I have been away for a while… Alas, the posting ceased. I had a wonderful holiday. A wonderful holiday away from the things that await me here. For 8 days I could pretend like it didn’t matter, like it wasn’t an issue and like I was able to just be Leanne and that there was no harms or general scariness around me.
The only time on this trip that this was interrupted was on my flight from Sydney to Launceston. Just as I was about to switch my phone off my Chemo Nurse phoned me and informed me that the Doctors have decided to give me a full set of chemo. This basically means 6 months of treatment, every three weeks.
You know, the most vain person within came to front. The first thing I asked the nurse was “So does this mean I am going to lose my hair?” … She reassured me that 99.9999999999999999999999% of her patients ask the same question first also… “Yes” was her response. You know, of all the things I could have asked, this was it. So stupid right? So vain!
I had a big cry on Vee’s and Kelly’s shoulders (Good thing I had the middle seat on the plane right? ) and then went into quiet reflection. The three of us decided to grab a bourbon and coke and cheers. It certainly made me calmer on the flight over.
When I pulled myself out of the silence I just looked up, with red raw eyes, and said to Kelly and Vee … “Well, I guess we can look at the positives… We’ll save a buttload on shampoo!” … To which the three of us laughed, and Kelly gave me a big kiss and cuddle and says “There’s my girl!”
Isn’t it funny how the thought of being sickly, or the fact I have cancer was certainly not of my most concern? It almost felt as if 30 years of growing something means more. My hair, like an old friend I have become very attached to. Kind of like that security blanket.
Instead of me taking the outlook of “I am going to beat cancer!” or “I am so lucky to have a massive chance of survival” or “This is just a small time frame in the grand scheme of things” … I took the “People are going to stare at me” or “I am going to be ugly” or “No one will want to touch me, to hold me, to hug me” or “My kids are going to be scared of me, like I am a mutant” … Kelly has said repeatedly “You will ALWAYS be beautiful to me no matter what!” …
The stupid thing is, what do people matter? If the situation was reversed and it was someone I loved it would make zero difference to me. I would hold them, hug them and be there with them. And in what world do I have the right to think so lowly of those around me as to believe this of them? And honestly, what do the people out in public matter? Who are they to me?
I just don’t want that pity party stare you know? It is hard enough as it is without people staring at you as if to say “Ohhh poor girl!” which makes me want to cry more.
I joke about things, I laugh… And you know, on my holiday I was the usual loud, overbearing me. The one making jokes at everything… Saying this, I also had some really unusual grumpy days. A lot of that was guilt for feeling so good. Who am I to feel so great when in reality I have all this to deal with?
I also “forgot” to take my medication more than once because I didn’t want to have it. I wanted, for one week, to be normal. Instead it made me agitated and weird.
On the flight home, it hit me. I was coming home. On the one hand, I was DELIGHTED because I had become an Aunty again to a beautiful little girl. I have to confess, I was worried how her arrival would affect me given the situation and facing the idea that we may very well be unable to have a baby together. I would never begrudge my brother and his STUNNING fiance happiness. They are two of the MOST kind and genuine people you will ever meet and I love them more than words. I did fear it would be confronting but, honestly, it was the most WELCOME arrival I have ever felt. She was a little bit of healing. When I got to hold her I felt so blessed. She is perfect, tiny and overwhelmed me with feelings of love and appreciation that she has been brought into my life in a time of darkness.
I cried the night she was born. Kelly and I stood near the ocean in Hobart and just held each other for a while. When this subsided we were both totally elated.
My little Lily niece… You are truly a gift to this world, to me… And you will FOREVER be a reminder of what is RIGHT in this world sweetheart. I could NOT love you more.
When I arrived home there were several pieces of correspondance from the hospital. It was a big punch in the guts. I got my first Chemo card stating I begin treatment on the 20th of January. I have my fertility appointment on the 16th and my oncology on the 19th. Next week will be a big week.
This Friday, I have a seminar and tour of the Chemo unit I am a member of. I spoke to the nurse again on the phone yesterday and she recommended I bring family and friends with me. So far I have three people coming along. Three people who will have a very active part in my treatment.
I told the Chemo nurse how I fear that the treatment is too harsh for my condition. She said “The thing about this love is that YOU can control what you have and when you have it. We give you a guide and hope you follow but the control is ALL yours. If you want it for 2 months then have a break for a while you can. It is ALL in your hands” … Then I asked the question “Well how can I have a baby if you are going to ‘nuke’ me 4 days after my appointment?” …
Her response “That is a fair question, though nuking is a very harsh term… The likely thing is the Fert doctors will give you some medication which is going to put your ovary to sleep for a few months during treatment. It means that it will be protected and once treatment finishes they will wake it up and you will resume as normal”.
This, oddly, made both Kelly and I feel a lot better. So, provided we still feel comfortable after the 19th, we will at least do the first course of chemo immediately and take it one step at a time from there.
And hopefully in time I will embrace this more and celebrate the fact there will be an end.
I will continue being as jovial and joking as I can… And at night I will do my crying. Though the nurse has asked me to join The Cancer Council meditation and exercise courses to help deal with what they call ‘The Night Terrors’ … Apparently that is common…
This is a long post, and I hope it makes up for my absence.
So, I guess I better start embracing the bald within… Think, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Yul Brynner, Telly Savalas and so on…
And when all else fails, I can always buy a mullet wig!