Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Drawing Battle Plans

So we are a few days since the C bomb hit again and where exactly am I? Well I think I still marooned somewhere between shock and denial. I still have yet to shed a tear over the news but I am feeling a whole spectrum of emotions and feelings. Firstly I have been so tired - having nightmares most nights and waking each morning feeling so tired that I feel ill. It scares me to feel this way because it reminds me of what is to come. Secondly I have been so bloody mad. I get mad at everything - how I am too cold in the house my husband finds too warm, at the person who got stuck in the intersection and made me miss my green light and just silly things like how crap this is all going to be. I have been looking at myself alot in the mirror and looking really hard at this person I can see. I take in the length of my hair, my shapely eyebrows and long mascara extended eyelashes - all things that will disapear in a few weeks. The brightness of my face and the healthy colour of my skin - all signs of my youth which also, like all the hairs on my body will slip away. Of course none of this will be permanent - it will maybe be more like the way winter comes in and kills everything but then when spring arrives and everything comes back. But I just don´t want to do it again. I got the tshirt thank you very much and the horrific memories. And let me tell you - shaving your head once is thrilling but twice? Completely unneccesary. I have to start thinking about wigs and head scarves again. Am I going blonde? Bobbing it? Wearing more scarves this time? So many things to think about. Last time I had about two months to process and prepare for the C-spa experience and boy do you need it. Doing chemo is like going to war and you cannot go in without your arsenal. Aside from the obvious hair challenges - I need eyebrow pencils, hats, summer clothes to shield my sensitive chemo skin from the sun, hypoallergenic products, comfy clothes, and foods I hope will go down easy, And you need to get your teeth cleaned, get a manicure and pedicure (this is all due to risk of infection during treatment), and then there is the whole mental aspect of it. I feel like I was so much stronger last time and had the time and energy to do my yoga, visit my acupuncturist regularly, practice mindfulness, do physio and just relax. And I was much more naive the first time. I remember telling myself that this would be the first and last time I would ever do this. Oh how life fucks you over sometimes? Now I wasn´t sure whether being an experienced chemo veteran would help me out. Sometimes not knowing can be better and of course you are terrified but you are still optimistic and hopeful. Now I am battle worn and know what a total hellstorm this can be so I am again terrified and also know what it will be like. But like a dear friend said to me a few days ago - You need to welcome this poison into your body because it will save your life. You cannot hate it. You have to love it because it is the best weapon i have got against my enemy. Interesting concept really and I do see the point of it and the power of positive thinking. But I still secretly hate it. And the more I read about the scarier it gets. Apparently many people nickname it - "Sickplatin" which I am sure I dont need to explain further. I guess we will just need to see how I respond and if it sucks, I will do what I did last time and count out how many actual days through the whole process I will feel horrific. It was 14 last time in the first 3 months which is manageable I guess. Everything is manegeable if you break it down into itty bitty parts. Time to get just that much tougher. Bring on the poison and let´s save a life along the way. And at the end of the day, I want to do nothing more then fight like hell to be here...for a long time.

So I am still waiting for my PET scan day which is imminent. I am scared of that too and don´t want any more surprises. I have had more then enough for quite a long time thank you very much. So right now i am spending my time buying lots of toys for my daughter, enjoying our new home and trying to just be with the people I love. We are hoping to go on a holiday in the sun before my treatment begins because I need to. Delaying it a week wont kill me but not having a break and enjoying myself, might actually so we need to do it. And considering stupid cancer already caused us to cancel our Canada trip and now will exclude me from our Turkey trip in June, we need to do something fun as a family.  My doctor actually thought it was a great idea. So lets hope it happens because I am freezing! Norway has not heard that it is Spring as there is still snow on the ground and sub zero temperatures.

Love to everyone and thank you so much for holding me up when things appeared very bleak.



  1. I am starting over. At first I was angry reading your post. I hate cancer. You have just gotten bad news and it is taking you over or so I think. You are letting cancer run you. You need to run things. Push cancer aside. I have been on the cancer bus a long time. First of all, you are number one, then your family, then at the very bottom of the list is cancer. You should not cope with this alone. Fine a support group, a friend who has been through this or going through this, a therapist - or whatever it takes.

    It is not easy what you are going through but its mind over matter.

    And go on vacation. Just before chemo my husband and I ran away to the beach for a few days by ourselves. It wasn't long, it wasn't far. But we needed it. Take your family and leave cancer behind someplace warmer - it doesn't matter if its a lodge with a fireplace and a sauna or a tropical beach. Just go. And plan something else for two months from now. And then two months later. And two months later. And two months later.

    Big hugs and hang in there.

    1. Caroline - Yes you are so very right. Too often cancer becomes the headliner of our lives, my life. It is so easy to let it happen when it feels like a giant black hole sucking everything you are and all that matters in. I will definitely remind myself where it stands. The holiday is now booked and I plan to leave my cancer baggage at security. I like your idea of planning - important to not be afraid to look forward. I need to get better at that. Hugs, OBB

  2. It is good to see you have picked yourself up and is stumbling along. Happy for you.

    Yes the appearance thing. I used to think people with cancer went around only in flesh and bones with grey skin and dark rings under their eyes.

    However, my education improved when my friend got cancer. She is 41 and looks so much better now that (post-diagnosis) she is following all the diet and exercise mandates. Her skin is translucent and she is svelte and fit. She believes she has never “looked hotter”. Under the clothes, of course, are the relics of surgery.

    She says if she stares at herself long enough she is able to dismiss the facts of cancer, and wallow in a bit of fool’s denial … until the next scheduled tests compel relations with reality.

    Sometimes she talks about the possibility of a ‘mistake’ because she only became ill after the diagnosis and from the cancer killing treatments. Mistakes have happened before. Suppose the doctors and their tests are wrong and she has put herself through double mastectomy and chemo and radiation for nothing?

    I wonder the same thing because really I cannot understand why a disease so deadly, has to be so sneaky – cells going mad but for years trying to pass themselves off as normal.

    I don’t know but there is something so ‘not right’ about BREAST cancer, so unjust, dishonest, deceptive and unsporting. It seems to focus on people least deserving of its attention. Good people, careful people, productive people and those just on the brink of the first happiness in their lives. I hate it as if it was a complete sentient entity and not just bits of tissue. Hate it like if it was a living evil person – a serial killer or pedophile. And the hatred is only the more enraging and enervating because of its pointlessness.

    All the best and enjoy your vacation to the utmost.

    1. I do relate to the many things you mention regarding your friend but I find it hard to feel hot these days! A double mastectomy has just really knocked it for me but i will work on it. I do still love clothing and always make an effort to look nice. I would not leave the house without concealer. :) And I do agree with the whole breast cancer thing. I know so many wonderful women and none of them deserves the suffering or the complete theft of their lives. It is ruthless and indiscriminate. I so hope this beast will be slaughtered by the time my daughter is a woman. I will most definitely enjoy my holiday and thanks for reading and supporting me. OBB x

  3. dear kate,

    i am so sorry for all you are going through. grieving for losses that you've already gone through and are now faced with again totally SUCKS - BIG TIME. i hope that each time you write through all the emotions you struggle with, it gives you some measure of relief. do for yourself what you need to do - rage, rant, and swear like a longshoreman. there are not enough expletives to express how unfair, how devastating, and how scary this sonnafabitching development is.

    do what you want, go where you want to go, treat yourself with whatever gives you comfort and happiness. tell those goddamn nightmares to fuck off!

    good you are surrounding yourself with those you love, enjoying your new home, and excellent you are planning a holiday before treatment begins. please know that hugh and i are sending you and teamobb our most powerful vibes to lift you up and get you through whatever the battle plan ends up being. know you are not alone, and that we, your fearless friends, will be here for you - always.

    love, XOXOXOXO

    hugh and karen

    1. Always a pleasure to read comments from you. You empathise so well with my plight and I am most definitely using every word I know to tell cancer where it can go! I do find it amazing the actual emotional roller coaster we travel through this process. I am in a better place but it changes daily, sometimes hourly. I hope I can allow myself to have a holiday where i can actually stop thinking about it and lose myself in the moment...in a spectacular way. Love, OBB

  4. I truly admire your courage and good thinking amidst your struggles and nightmares. Despite the fact that you are actually marooned somewhere between shock and denial,your battle plan and reflection in your blog entry is a good strategy to settle down your emotion. It's also a good sign of determination!

    You have every right and justification to vent out your anger, don't suppress it. But I hope when you look at the mirror next time, simply tell yourself "I am a brave warrior, a conqueror, an experienced chemo veteran, the undefeatable!". A strong will power will help you combat all challenges. You are not alone Kate! Think of yourself as just one of the recurring patients in the BIG HATED C-WORLD who still have to complete some more purification before you will ultimately attain complete survival.

    Your friend's comment is interestingly encouraging: "You need to welcome this poison into your body because it will save your life. You cannot hate it. You have to love it because it is the best weapon you have got against your enemy." This is such a novelty concept,but for sure, very positive thinking!

    Planning a holiday with your loved ones before your chemo treatment is a great way to revive your spirit. So just do it, whether it be a week, a day, or just a short break. Go for it! Relax in the sun, run around crazily with your loving daughter,laugh and have fun! Hopefully, you will be charged with refreshed energy and inner vitality to enter the fight.

    Lift up your heart Kate! Believe in yourself and the Higher Power! Bear in mind that you are always surrounded by love and support, somehow, somewhere. We are with you, every step of your battle!

    Hugs and Prayer,

    1. Thanks for the fighting words. I am getting more used to my new existence but the emotions shift all the time. I am afraid of the new chemo - because of how I will feel, whether I will get an infection this time and just how this story will evolve. So much to be afraid of but also so much to be brave for. Quite the juxtaposition. Look after my mother for me. I know she is afraid too and finding it hard for her baby to be sick so far away. I feel you guys with me...step by step. Love, OBB

  5. Bring on your holiday!! Hugs to your daughter and strength to your husband. Peace and HEALING to you.

  6. Oh the holiday has been booked Thandi and I cannot wait! Thanks for the healing thoughts. x