Saturday, May 21, 2011

Surviving Hurricane C

Well people this are the first actual keystrokes I have made since things really started heating up at the C-spa. I am up early as I had all these interesting ideas running through my head and felt compelled to write them down here before my C-brain forgot.

So I have been bravely riding out the Hurricane C that has been pounding me with its giant waves and strong winds for the past two days. Deep down I kinda knew I wouldn’t get a free pass from the side effects as I have always been what one would classify as a delicate flower. And I know I have heard the studies that tell you the more positive you think the less side effects you will have but I think this is one area I was being more realistic then pessimistic. For those who know me well, you have either witnessed my pregnancy that put me in a state of extreme nausea for 4 months (I think I threw up in every main London tube stations) or been with me after a big night out and seen one of “my migraine state” which also involves extreme nausea and other fun symptoms. So in some ways I am no stranger to being ill and clearly don’t have a fear of vomiting (and not in that eating disorder way!). However I was not entirely prepared for this experience and it is especially hard to deal with when you know it will be rearing its ugly head again in three weeks time. Ughh!!!

The actual process of getting the chemo is not the hard part except maybe the waiting room where I completely lost it and started bawling like a 2 year old. I think the C-spa is the one place where people don’t bat an eyelid when they see you lose it completely because I am sure almost everyone here has had “that moment” when you just plain get upset about the crappiness of the situation. Well I think I did get the attention of the nurses as a half hour later I was riding the big white Valium unicorn through the clouds and was blissfully unaware of them attempting to find a vein to pump the pac-man guys in to eat all the bad C gang thugs (thank you to my Brystkraft women for that empowering image). It was all over in less than an hour and I was ready to go home.

I think it was a few hours later when I noticed a change in the weather and it did not let up until pretty much this morning. I literally spent 16 straight hours in bed and subsisted on little drops of water. It was tough going people and I also desperately missed my gorgeous little daughter who was with her grandparents. If there is one thing I want to avoid it is letting my daughter see her mother so ill so we have an arrangement for her to be away one or two nights every treatment cycle. It is far from ideal and I have been looking longingly at her toys and empty bed and have those familiar heart aches. But toughness is required when fighting the Big C and every choice I make it is for this best so this Amazon keeps her head up!
Now for all those of you who have wondered about my hair – it is still the same. The woman who sold me my wig (and who had been through this herself) told me it was easier o just do it in one go. Funnily enough now that I am literally on the clock (10 days till Sinead pops up), I woke up this morning with this innate desire to bob it out today so I may see if someone in the neighborhood can fit me it. Pics will follow peeps!

Well let’s see what I have learnt in the last two days:
I am tougher then I thought.
I can do this.
I have an amazing circle of love surrounding me across oceans and mountains.
Being afraid is okay and doesn’t make you any less brave.
Hair grows back.
Apple juice and seltzer water are the best.
I have some very special guardian angels watching over me – I love you Dad.
And Cancer is not the end of one’s world. It is a new beginning.

Much love from OBB


  1. It's amazing to see what you have learnt in the past 2 days which most people probably don't even learn through a lifetime.
    Thank you for sharing, you have given me perspective and a new way to look at life and its challenges.
    Yes you can do this, yes you are though, yes hair grows back and yes you have support from all around the world!

    love Sarah B

  2. Katie, I watched in awe as you met the challenge of the first C spa visit! You are a quick learner and courageous and it is a body cleanse to health... and yes there is a great deal of love, caring and cheerleading circling you from across the globe... wisdom too and you are generating your own. You well know about the grit needed for training to be a competitive swimmer; this is a different kind of challenge but you still need the grit and vision to get through it all. You have both and "being afraid is okay and doesn't make you less brave" and "hair grows back" and you are entitled to ouch days. It also doesn't hurt to see the ridiculous and to laugh. Hugs and prayers

  3. Then again, you hit the right keys to make me, and I'm sure I lot of people, feel how strong you are. You amaze me and I officially but the great OBB in my all time Super Heros' list. Much love from down south ;)