I’ve just started treatment for breast cancer. Here are five reasons why it sucks:
- I’ve been there, done that and got the chemo T-shirt. 2005 was another vintage year, involving a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, an above-knee amputation of my right leg, and nine months spent puking into a cardboard bowler hat as an in-patient on the grey and airless cancer ward at St James’. But apparently (and of course, I knew this really), being critically ill once doesn’t insure you against getting cancer again. But it does seem cruelly ironic, that having spent the past ten years worrying every day about the sarcoma returning, it’s a different variety of the disease that’s come knocking.
2 Breast cancer is common, where osteosarcoma is not. But I had hoped that having some of the smallest breasts ever seen on a fully-grown woman (less boobs, more moobs) might offer me some protection. But no – my miniscule lady lumps have still managed to produce a malignancy of impressive size – a 2.7cm tumour plus a ‘suspicious’ (which is the word the docs always use to mean ‘probably cancerous’) area of calcification taking the total to 9cm. Meaning a mastectomy is likely. Something to look forward to in 2017.
3 I have spent most of my life studiously following a ‘healthy lifestyle’ – I eat vegetables and fish, restrict sweet treats to the weekends. I drink in moderation, have never smoked, and exercise like a demon – it’s my stress-reliever. Hell, I even meditate using an app on my phone. And yet, I still have cancer. Again.
4 Having two young children gorgeously unaware of the horrors of illness also offers no protection against going back into the pit of despair. I’m lucky to have a wonderful kids and supportive family but I really wish I didn’t have to drag them down into the quagmire with me.
5 I threw my chemo wig and head scarves away during a clearout a couple of months ago. Because I wouldn’t need them again. Dickhead.
I’m not ready for anything ‘motivational’/sentimental – I’ve cried enough already. But if anyone wants to message me with anything funny/rude/inappropriate to make me smile over the next few months, it would be appreciated. My warped sense of humour is still there somewhere. It just needs bringing out again xxxx