Chemo is tough. Not many people would argue with that. But imagine facing chemo on your own. Fortunately, this is not the case for me, however I have become increasingly aware of people who do not have the same tremendous support that I have. The reason they face the situation they are in ranges from lifestyle choice to quite often a cruel double whammy, where not only cancer has dealt them a blow but nature has taken their partner or other family members away from them.
It is a comfort to have someone who can accompany you to the hospital for treatment. My blog followers will know that I get through my sessions with my husband, who is ready to chat, entertain, fetch drinks and generally lighten the mood. If he were unable to accompany me for any reason, there are an army of family and friends on standby. But it’s not just the treatment itself which makes chemo hard to face. The after effects are debilitating both mentally and physically, and it’s through those times that support is equally invaluable.
Since my last treatment, I have suffered from nausea, tiredness, terrible moods and I cannot decide what I would like to eat and drink from one day to the next. Many things I enjoyed during my last cycle of chemo now turn my stomach. This makes planning incredibly hard and means having to buy things almost on a daily basis to accommodate my everchanging tastebuds. It might not sound like such a big deal, but when you’re zapped from energy and you struggle to just walk around the house, the thought of having to go out to the shops can be just a bridge too far. Again, I don’t face this situation but cannot help feeling increasingly concerned for those people who are left to deal with this on their own.
It was my birthday this week and as with everything else, cancer and chemo threw a massive spanner in the works. For me, it meant cancelling some theatre tickets that I had booked ages ago as I couldn’t risk sitting among lots of people when I have no immunity. It then left me wondering what on earth I could do instead as my normal choice of eating out or having a take away was also not an option this particular week. Even the weather was genuinely unhelpful with Storm Gareth tormenting the UK. However, as it turned out, my day had many special moments thanks to my amazing family and friends.
First of all, my new baby niece arrived into the world 10 minutes into my birthday. What a lovely surprise and surely the best present! Then a friend who we’ve known since our school days arrived with a lovely home made cake, along with a very tasty dinner for our evening meal. How kind and thoughtful. The day continued with a steady flow of messages, post, flowers and gifts which left me feeling truly spoilt. My parents came over for tea and cake, with more lovely presents and by the end of the day I felt I had a good birthday after all.
So as ever, I am truly grateful for the support, generosity and kindness from my family and friends. Never a day goes by without a message or offer of help. It means the world.
Thank you all.