The last couple of weeks have been kind of testing. Some days I’ve woken with a heavy heart and a not so sunny disposition. Blame it on the two different lots of hormones I’ve injecting into myself before tea every night but I have awoken a few mornings with a list of things that were making me feel melancholic. I began to jot down my feelings as the start of a blog post but as much as I want my blog to be an honest account of dealing with breast cancer at 26, I don’t just want to sit here and whinge. So I put down my notes and walked away more than once.
But I do think there’s something in acknowledging the quieter days. The days when there aren’t many jokes to find. The days when actually, being treated for cancer is pretty shitty. When all you want to do is go for a bloody swim because that’s the place you find your clarity but you can’t because cancer has taken that away from you. When having to plan for the possibility of kids in your future feels like an alien concept because you don’t even know what you want for dinner, can’t even plan next week. When you’re three weeks post surgery and a couple of slow hours walking around Kew Gardens really knocks you out for the rest of the week. When your wound just isn’t healing quite as you’d like. When you’re scared about facing chemo and all the unknowns that entails. When you’re getting to know an implant that has replaced a huge part of the feminine identity you’ve had for 26 years (and been hard on for 26 years). When you’re trying to prepare yourself for losing your hair against your will. When you’re trying to be determined and upbeat but while you’re lacking a plan you just feel a bit lost and vulnerable. When you want to be your best – your most positive and healthy and happy self – for the people who love you and spend their time coming to visit you. Those days do happen. And they’re hard.
The hormone treatment I’ve been undergoing has been difficult. While I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity to do so, taking out an insurance policy for having a family when I’ve never felt like that is something I want has got my shackles up. (Future child, if I do make you and you read this, know that I probably love you very much – but I’ve never been the maternal type. I’m sure I’ll be open about that with you – it’s a big part of who I am – but sorry if this seems harsh). Blame it on my stubborn streak but being forced into planning for something, and having the ability to do something on my own terms taken away from me, really grinds my jeffing gears.
Anyways, I made the decision to take all the steps I could to preserve my fertility and in the last two weeks I’ve:
1) injected myself with hormones that have made me preeeeeetty miserable to be around approximately 20 times,
2) had far more internal scans and blood tests than I’d like to recall,
3) and on Monday whilst under some pretty bad man sedation (it made my face tingly) had 14 eggs harvested from my ovaries. Which now feeling slightly sorry for themselves.
I don’t know if this is too much information but there’s now a collection of eggs and embryos sitting in a freezer somewhere at Guy’s hospital, ready for me to pop in and parent should the mood ever take me. WEIRD, RIGHT?! That’s a total of 13 potential children. Consider me, the eternal commitment phobe, hugely freaked. I’ve also noted the irony in taking such extensive care and effort over preserving my eggs when I bloody hate eggs.
Anyway. That’s enough about the potential activities of my reproductive system. I’m sure my Father is tearing his hair out reading this. Now that the fertility stuff is all done, and my boob is on it’s way to being fully healed (apart from a couple of hiccups here and there) I should find out when I can start chemo really soon. There’s a small patch of dead skin around the scar which is taking a while to heal – and this needs to be completely sorted before they’ll start me on chemo. At this stage, they’re trying to decide whether to leave it to heal naturally and delay chemo, or get it stitched up so we can get chemo underway quick sharp.
If it were up to me, I’d say get the bugger sewn up and let’s get on with this shit. The unknown is the thing that I’m struggling with most at the moment. Give me a plan and a method of attack and I reckon I can take on pretty much anything. Tell me “you’ll have chemo on this day, you’ll feel like this on this day and it’ll last for this long but then you’ll feel better by this day” and I know that it’ll be alright. But the huge unknown of this thing chemo is scarier than I care to admit. I have my street cred to uphold after all (LOL).
I have a whole other host of things I want to write about but today’s the first day I’ve had the energy (or the time to be honest – last week I was at the hospital Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) to blog and I appear to be suffering from a severe case of word vomit, so I’ll leave those topics for another day. Contain yourselves folks, I know I’m tantilising you.
Mascara warning. I want you to watch this video from the fantastic people at Coppafeel before you disappear. It’s a cracking song with a bloody brilliant message. I’m the girl on the left, but it sends shivers up my spine to know that I could have left it and become the girl on the right. I know I’m turning into a bit of a boob-vangelist but soz. This is what you’re going to have to put up with for the future. My bad.