It has been over a week since my last entry and I have lots to catch up on. Oh where to begin? Well I was fortunate enough to have another visitor with me last week who came over from London. She came at the perfect time as I was experiencing abnormal bouts of exhaustion and fighting a cold and provided a much needed helping hand. Friends can really be the best medicine and it was nice to catch up and chat about the old days. When you are having cancer treatment, your life can easily become drowned with this cancer business and it becomes all you think about it, all you feel, and all you know. So these visits from the outside world really help break up the monotony of treatments and also bring back some of the normal again.
I had to have my C-spa one day early last week as I was attending this National Breast Cancer Gathering over the weekend. Considering I was hanging onto this nasty cold and was getting light headed from small walks, I really thought there was no way my white counts would be strong enough to get treatment. And to be honest I again had absolutely no desire to have it either. So you can imagine my surprise when the nurse came to me and said that my blood work was absolutely fine and had actually gone up from the week before. Our bodies truly surprise us sometimes! I met with the doctor to double check my cold was just a cold and ensure I was physically strong enough to manage chemo. Again she told me it was nothing to worry about and that the best thing is to keep going and stay on schedule. So I pushed my reluctance and fear to one side and grabbed a chair in the C-Spa! Things went ok – we did miss a vein this time and it is hard not to hit a vein that hasn’t already been used. Because chemo is so toxic, it can be tough on your veins and often they can grow hard as a result and be tougher to get with a needle. One nurse told me the veins recoil back when a needle comes a looking for them after chemo. Oh great – like I need more vein anxiety! Well we managed to get a vein going and the process began. It was round 7 and I was getting closer to the end but to be honest 5 more treatments still sounded long to me. I am now in my 19th week of chemo and I am feeling it from my head all the way down to my toes. Every treatment now feels like a throttling and can be related to being thrown around in the sea repeatedly by giant waves just coming down over and over…I am not losing sight of my finish line of course but instead of running towards it, I may be adopting more of a crawling style. I have already starting planning my last day of chemo and plan to have a cake, sparkling cider and a true celebration with me and my nurses! Let them eat cake I say!
So instead of taking the weekend easy as I tend to do after the C-spa, I got in the car with two of my friends and we drove south to the old fortress town of Frederikstad for Landssamlingen. Now for those non Norwegians this roughly translates to a country gathering as in people from all over the country coming together – in this case it was young breast cancer survivors. I didn’t know what to expect and was worried about whether I would understand anything or whether anyone would talk to me. However my fears were unnecessary as it was a truly wonderful weekend. Women of all shapes and sizes, some with both breasts, some with one breast or others with none at all in wigs, scarves or with their own hair – came together to laugh, learn and share over the one thing that united us all – breast cancer. It was so comforting to talk to women my age who had been through this and who could understand everything I was feeling. There is such comfort in knowing one is not alone in a battle like this and it also inspired me towards recovery as there were so many women there who were now healthy and living normal lives. My Norwegian also got quite a workout and I think I managed alright and definitely expanded my vocabulary.
Now I am back to reality today and still trying to shake this stubborn cold. Two week colds tend to be standard in chemo town so such is life. So it is another week, another treatment and another x to mark off on my calendar. And then there will be cake!