The title says it all. I honestly feel like I am just plodding along through life and I feel lost. Each day (during the week) feels the same. Poor Dr Hands is really struggling to cheer me up and I want to cheer up but I can’t. I just feel down. I feel nothing. I don’t feel happiness.
I thought I would feel this through the recovering from surgery phase. I didn’t.
I thought I would feel it through chemotherapy. I didn’t.
Yes, there were times that I struggled here and there through each of the above but the feelings were so far and few between.
Recovering from surgery was ok because I was inundated with such lovely visitors, love, flowers, gifts, medication etc.
Chemotherapy I had Sam feeding, drugging and watering me. People (my mum) visiting and the neighbours caring for me. Medication to make me feel better and there seemed like a kind of purpose to it all.
Now, I am having radiotherapy and I am all twisted in the head. Is it possible that radiation brings you down? I have struggled with anxiety disorder for many years and I wonder if the radiotherapy has cancelled my medication out?
Or, is it the drive to and from the city each day, sitting in a waiting room that is depressing and full of very old people that brings me down?
Maybe it is the Radiotherapy clinic I attend that brings me down.
The oncology unit I went to for chemo was always upbeat and all of the staff knew me and smiled and hello’d me. Some would ask me about my blog and if Sam wasn’t with me they would ask about him by name.
The radiotherapy unit is different. The receptionists (except one) are grumpy and not at all friendly. The patients in the waiting room are all elderly and so frail looking. I want to feed these people and make them smile but they wont look at me let alone talk to me.
There is a big difference between oncology and radiation.
And another thing. Have I told you that I have lymphodema? Well, I had my first lymphodema massage two weeks ago and oh wow, it was amazing. I loved it. One hour of left arm and left side massage was incredible.
Well, I had another of these appointments today and it was shit. There was no lovely massage but it was some kind of laser therapy. I dont want that. This laser thing just flashed and beeped for an hour as the lady ran from room to room changing all the laser thingies on each of us but it sucked. I wanted my massage. Where was my massage?
The massage/laser lady said that there had been a slight improvement in my elbow crease but the rest of my arm had remained the same. All of my own personal massage and squeezing of the memory foam thingy had done nothing. I want my massage back.
This laser therapy was so much like having my car tuned. I pay a fortune but can’t see or feel any difference.
Then, I had my radiation appointment which was 2 hours and 20 minutes after my crap laser therapy so I took myself out for lunch which was amazing. I went to a city cafe and they made me a gorgeous, gluten free and tender chicken tenderloin salad with a hint of sweet chili and balsamic salad. Amazing!
I had been told that the whole of South Terrace (where my clinic for radiotherapy is) would be closed off today so I made sure I had at least an hour and a half to find some where to park (imagining a two block walk) only to find that the entire of South Terrace was not blocked off at all. The work men had resurfaced the road on the weekend instead so, I ended up parking right in front of my clinic in a two hour spot and at my appointment one hour and twenty minutes early! FFS.
Blow me down with a feather but they had a free spot that someone had cancelled (it was hot today so the patient couldn’t come in) and I went in and was zapped in no time. Quick hello to Professor Borg (he is monitoring my treatment and wont let me lose any weight until after radiotherapy) and I was on my way.
Driving home I said to me,
“Me, I think you should have an alcohol free day today”
I was home for 10 minutes before getting back into the car to drive to the local bottle shop to get some bubbles. No, I do not think I am an alcoholic. Yes, I love the bubbles fizzing on my tongue hehe. AND it is nice on my sore radiation infected throat. It is medicinal!!!
As anyone knows, I do not like the words side effects but use the word ‘feelings’ when it comes to something that has occurred during treatment.
Here are my feelings with radiotherapy.
- Burnt throat. It feels like tonsillitis. When I eat or drink it hurts and feels like the liquid or food has to go through a big lump in my throat to get down. The Professor has recommended taking two pandadol before each meal. This is silly because apparently you are only supposed to take a maximum of 8 panadol a day. Has he seen the size of me? Obviously I eat more than three times a day!! Not anymore.
- Redness on my shoulder, front and back. So, I am being zapped not only on the ‘bomb site’ but also my collar bone and shoulder because of being HER2 positive and the cancer being known to pop into these areas. The bomb site, where my lovely leftie boobie was taken from, is slightly itchy but nothing too bad.
- Depression. I’ll work out why that is occurring and will get back to you.
As usual, Dr Hands is on call for cuddles, kisses and love. He is worried about me, I can see this and I am trying so very hard to make this easier for him but it is hard. He has known me too long and can see straight through me.
If you are new to this blog, Dr Hands is my fiancee Sam and he doesn’t read this blog (Phew).
The recent highlights are
- My gorgeous and amazing daughter, Accalia-Jayne, came with me to my herceptin appointment and radiotherapy appointment last Thursday. We had coffee between appointments and after appointments. This girl of mine (22 years old) is an amazing person and can make me laugh, can hold a conversation and has amazing social skills and manners.
- My team from work’s Christmas Lunch. I haven’t seen these people since April 7 2015. I love that I was invited to the Christmas Lunch and they all had a hug for me, made me laugh and feel a part of the team again. AND, they want me back hehe. I’ll be back at work soon and I can’t wait!
- A trip to the beach with my long time friend Tracey, her son Ben and my gorgeous boy (groodle dog) Brady. We started with a drive to Willunga for lunch and then proceeded to Aldinga Beach where I watched Ben (who is aged 4 foot?? I think about 6 or 7 years old??) encourage Brady into the water with no effort at all. I have never seen Brady in the beach water or, so bloody clean after being in the water! Check out the photo below, Ben took Brady much further into the water but I like to live my life through my eyes and not a camera.
- A lovely and gentle visit from my Mum on Saturday. She always makes me feel calm and relaxed
- Sam bought me a Santa to go with the Reindeer! He is getting into the Christmas spirit (or just suffering for the cause).
- I made a new friend today. Leslie has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and has MY surgeon and MY hospital. She seems amazing (we are communicating via facebook) but I must remember, these early times of being told of having breast cancer are frightening and I must be sensitive. (I am quite blase about it all at the moment and do not want to be like that with a new cancer patient).
- I am still alive.
I shall leave you with a giggle, if you have the giggleness of my neighbour Clare who thought these two photos were hilarious!
Photo 1. Dogs plus reindeer, all happy and awake. Kelly (red staffy x) and Brady Bailey-Wilkinson (white groodle) are kissing in front of Smiley (reindeer)
This is after all the fun and games
Ben and Brady
10 thoughts on “Plodding Along”
It is so shit that you have to go through this. That still doesn’t quite cut it. It always made me feel better when friends would just listen and not try make it better. It is what it is. Exhausting. I’ve starting blogging too – myimpermanentlife.com trying to make sense of it all too. God bless.🎀❤️🌟☀️🌈
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It is nice to have people listen without trying to come up with solutions sometimes. Thankfully I am having more good days than bad 🙂 (am following your blog 🙂 )
I think post-cancer treatment depression is very real. Our lives get put on hold for months and months then we get thrown back into to “normal” life. That’s a hard transition. Time, love and bubbles definitely make things feel better though. I cannot wait until I can drink some bubbles. Cheers!
I think too that with the fatigue coming back, I have not taken to that very well. I thought all of that was behind me and I could start ‘living’ my life again but nope, there will still be days I will be in bed sleeping all day it seems. I can’t wait until YOU can drink some bubbles too! How does one get through life without bubbles I wonder 🙂 Cheers back at you
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I got very depressed at the end of all my treatment and I think it happens to many people but they may not say so… I got to the doctors and just broke down one day… Its like I was holding myself together but could not do it any more … Lymphoedema was the straw that broke the camels back!!! My experience with treatment is to make sure when you make a booking that you say you want a massage and not laser.. Then they make sure they have a therapist free for that hour… … Laser us good if you have fibrotic tissue but at this early stage I doubt you have that… Yes the massage you can really enjoy … Back to the depression I took antidepressants for six months and saw a therapist which helped me start to get things together.. Take care.. I to live in Australia in Sydney… It was a hot one today xx
It is a tough thing to deal with and I think we get on with the cancer fight and forget to really think about what is going on and then BANG, it hits you. I am glad you received treatment and hope you are doing well now. I didn’t think I was advanced enough for the laser.
We are having our hot days today and over the weekend. x
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I felt similar to how you are feeling now after finishing treatments. Many patients experience the same emotions. I think part of that is because we are sooo focused on taking care of the problem and recovering while at the same time not realizing what’s really going on. I remember feeling numb for a while during treatments. I realized what I had just gone through after I was finished with treatments.
I am sorry you are dealing with lymphedema. I hope the therapy works out for you.
There will be better days ahead. Give yourself some time. You’ve gone through so much. xx
It is a horrible feeling isn’t it? I am just thankful that I am more happy days than sad ones.
Thank you for your kind words. You have been an absolute gem through my treatments. xx
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Hi Amanda. Yeah it’s awful isn’t it. I struggle with the mental side of things at least as much, if not more, than the physical. Yeah, radiation really knocked me too, and it took me a while to realise it. I had several meltdowns during this time. All the best, Phil. BTW, during our recent stay in Adelaide we caught the bus up the mountain and stopped off at a couple of smaller towns in the Hills. It was a freezing day there, reminded me of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney; still, a nice reprieve from Adelaide which was a bit hot and steamy
I am so sorry to hear you struggle with the mental side of this. I do hope you are having more good days than bad.
I have been meaning to ask you how your trip to Adelaide was. Did you head up to Hahndorf on the bus?
It is very hot in Adelaide today and will be even hotter over the weekend.
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