Monday, 15 September 2014

Running on empty

The Breast Care Nurse who explained chemotherapy to me shortly after I was diagnosed did warn me that at this point in the chemo cycle (when I've no more pills to pop and I come down from the steroid high) I would be a misery guts for a few days. It didn't actually happen at this point during chemo #1 but it sure as hell is happening right on schedule now. I hope that means it goes away right on schedule too (when is that? I don't remember, let's hope tomorrow) but for now, I really just need a moan, I'm sorry.

Oh peeps, I feel bluuuuuuuue :-(

I hate cancer. I hate chemotherapy. It takes so much from you. And it hurts.

The vein in my left arm where I had the first chemo has started hurting again. It's hard, and it is sticking out of my arm. I could almost strum it like a guitar string.  Why has it done that? I thought it was better - it had been fine for the last week or two. Not any more.

The whole of my body is sore and I can't tell if it's my skin or my muscles. I keep checking myself to see if I have come out in bruises, that's how it feels. But no bruises. I hate that - when you're bruised, and you know you're bruised, but you don't have the visible bruise to prove it to everyone else. You'll have to take my word for it, I'm bruised all over.

I've got swollen glands and they hurt too. Apparently this is a sign that my body is trying to fight the damage the chemo has done. Good body. But I think it's having to fight pretty hard, and it's struggling today.

The top of my head hurts a lot ("that's your follicles complaining") and the whole hair-falling-out thing is mental torture. At what point do I give up? At what point would you give up? Because the hair loss isn't an event. It's a process, and one where you never quite know what's going on or what's going to happen next. At the moment, I have the dilemma of a parting that has widened to the point of "bald patch" on top of my head, with the rest of my hair having thinned out but still being actually ok. Currently suggests the cold cap kind of worked apart from missing a bit on top. If that's the case, do I soldier on with what is essentially a combover (currently do-able in terms of hiding the offending patch) and be patient for the bit I lost to grow back. Or is it just going to keep getting worse anyway in which case I may as well shave my head now? Completely bald, or hopefully hideable bald-patch? I can't make that call today because I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm stuck.

I feel lonely, and I miss people. I know I need to rest, and I'm not stupid enough to ignore all the signs my body is giving me that that's what I need. I'm also about to go in to the "you're immune system is at it's lowest and if you so much as look at anyone who sneezes you'll end up in hospital" phase of the cycle. So I am behaving myself and staying cooped up indoors and resting. But I'm not happy about it. I'm lonely. I want to be out there, like you. I want your freedom.

And on top of this, it's been one of those days where I remember it's cancer, and I am really worried that I'm going to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to have cancer and I don't want to die. I know this is a pointless and unhelpful question but it's one that's been going round in my head today: What the fuck did I do to deserve this?



  1. Thinking of you - hang in there!!
    Sending lots of love,
    Marta xx

  2. Lots of love. Bad feeling will pass and you'll be telling cancer to do one again soon xx

  3. Ooow Sarah, I'm so sorry you're feeling blue! If anyone has good reason to feel this way at this moment, it's you please don't beat yourself up about it. Allow yourself this much-deserved time to feel sorry for yourself, because I you'll picking yourself up and soldiering on again soon.


    P.S. You said it yourself, you're not going to die're going to beat this crappy cancer!

  4. I'm one chemo cycle ahead of you and completely understand everything you have said.
    I bit the bullet and shaved my head - less soul destroying than watching it fall out.
    You will get past how you feel at the moment. It'll just take a few days. In the meantime, allow yourself to be angry. I'm only 36 and didn't ask for this awful disease, but will do everything in my power to get rid of it and make sure it doesn't come back!
    Stay strong.

  5. Argh I want to give you a massive hug mystery person! Thank you! Cancer can absolutely do one, good luck for the rest of your treatment. X

  6. Apologies, I am a complete novice when it comes to blogs (hence the anonymous!). I'm with you on the sore vein thing - mine are really hurting this time round and I've got this god awful chemical taste thi g going on.
    My head felt less sore once my hair had come out (probably not what you want to hear). I find that once I start to feel better physical, I cope better mentally. I can honestly say that I'm pooing myself about docetaxel in a couple of weeks though!
    Love your blog as it helps me through this god awful process. Keep focusing on the next few days when you'll be out and about again. X

  7. Thank you Katy! And thank you for reading my rants! A lot of people say tax is much easier than FEC. If you aren't a member of the Younger Breast Cancer Network (UK) group on Facebook I really highly recommend it. It's completely secret and closed so private. The support and information and friendship from that group has been invaluable to me. If you aren't a member and want info on how to find it, let me know x

  8. Thanks Sarah, I'll log onto Facebook shortly and take a look. X

  9. Ace! If you go and find the community page at then send them a message, you'll then get instructions on how to find and get added to the closed group (the closed group itself won't show up in searches and things, it's ultra secret and private!) x

  10. owwww Little Miss Sarah. fight on through. Our thoughts are with you and Jenny's kept me up to date on your blog. x

  11. Ahhh Paulo thank you! I am feeling a gazillion times better than I did when I wrote this! I think I was just poorly from the chemo and feeling very sorry for myself. That's passed though now :-) X