okay that should probably be followed by, said no one ever! What I want to talk about is hating chemo. I was reading an article on Facebook from IHadCancer.com and the comments are fairly typical on any commentable article about chemotherapy. There are always people commenting on how chemotherapy is horrible and has ruined their lives. I mean, lets be honest, it is, and it can. It’s purpose is to destroy cells. You are intentionally pumping poison into your veins.
Here’s the thing though, it is still the best way that is readily accessible, to keep you from dying from most cancers. I think that a lot of people go into chemotherapy the same way they would go into a cold pool. They just close their eyes, plug their nose and jump. I know that is how many people prefer to do things, and I am not saying they are wrong. You need to do whatever you need to do to get through your life. What I am saying is that I think that method is more likely to make you bitter about your treatment and hinder your recovery.
In my previous unread blog I likened my approach to chemo like a game. It sounds trite that way but it is accurate. I research, I look for shortcuts, I read other peoples strategies, what has worked and more importantly what hasn’t. I try everything. Every little trick to minimize the disruption that treatment can have while maximizing my chance to live.
I hate the side effects. It isn’t like I don’t have them. I have the headaches, and the yellow skin, and the burning stomach, and the nausea, and the cold stinging toes and fingers. Well you get the idea, I really did get almost every single possible side effect with this last round of treatment, and I just kept reminding myself, “that means it’s doing something”. The first time I had chemo three years ago every time I threw up, or ran to the bathroom with unbelievable insane diarrhea I thought, oh! there goes some more cancer cells! I know it’s crazy, but it is what I had to do to make myself embrace chemotherapy in all its glory as a benefit to me. Eventually I went and researched how cells die and what happens to them and I found out that actually you are breathing out dead cells. So, now I think of long calming deep breaths as literally cleansing breaths.
Of course in the coming months you will see me bitch and whine about every single horrible physical thing that is happening to me, but eventually I will bounce back and remind myself how much I love chemo.