Sunday, 23 December 2012

"This is the Song I die to" and other things Cancer has made me think

First, I will explain the title soon enough, but I think part of it speaks for itself.

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you think about some things differently, some things not at all anymore, and some new things that maybe you didn't think would ever cross your mind. This post is about those types of things you never thought you would think, but happen, after diagnosis.

When I was diagnosed, it was really just a blur for me. I don't recall a whole lot, except having the oncologist tell me what was going on. And I cried a lot. I remember that. Two days later I would have the first surgery of my life to deal with something serious. When I went into surgery in a cold room (as they are), Katie Perry's "Firework" was playing on the radio. As I went under for surgery, I thought "This is the song I die to". Well, as it turns out, I didn't die, which was great for me, but it really set the tone for many odd thoughts over the course of a year. Here are some of my "favorites" or most memorable, if you prefer to call them that, with a little explanation of each one. I am sure everyone has their own list.

"More Stairs...." Living in a building with no elevators and getting chemo, bad idea. I grew to hate stairs as I was simply too tired to get up them most the time. Looking back now, it is easy to see how out of shape I was, I find stairs quite easy now thankfully.

"What's up with those scrubs?" This was more of a relic of being at a hospital so much. Some nurses wear the most ridiculous patterns on their scrubs. My personal least favorite was one of "Betty Boop". I guess this doesn't matter, but you need something to pass the time when you are in the chemo ward so much.

"Shouldn't you be more concerned with my operation?" Upon getting my third surgery for infection, my surgical oncologist was talking with nurses (flirting?) about jobs he had turned down. I was in the room, I would have preferred a discussion about my leg, surgery, or hey, even pretend I was there, but what can you do? Guess he wasn't too concerned because it was "minor" surgery, which leads too....

"MINOR SURGERY!" How can cutting my leg open when I am on chemo "minor"?

"Guess it is another trip to the hospital...routine." Unfortunately for me,  I got sick a lot when I was going through chemo. I had neutropenia (basically your body cannot fight infection) all the time (about eight times total), and regularly had to go to the hospital for antibiotics. This became the "norm". People can die from this, and I guess it never really got to me until after chemo. I was pretty lucky at the end of the day.  But it was routine.

"I can't wait until my butt doesn't hurt anymore" "Chemoroids" is quite possibly the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life. I don't even like talking about it. But this is a side effect of chemo for some people, and is extremely painful. Basically, your hemorrhoids  get swollen and sore, like real bad, I don't need to explain why this is a bad thing. Glad it is gone though, that was easily the worst side effect of chemo for me.

"This whole radiation thing isn't so bad" Radiation is very painful and burns your skin badly. I had mine after my chemo. Radiation was sweet relief for me compared to chemo. It was local pain! chemo made my whole body hurt mercilessly, but radiation only made my hip hurt. I always felt jealous of people who "just" needed radiation. But don't get me wrong, it is miserable in its own special way.

"I hope I don't end up a red head" My oncologist told me, that after chemo sometimes your hair can grow back a different colour or texture. Curly red hair was my nightmare.

These are just a few randoms that I had, some are kind of funny I think looking back. Share any ones you had!

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