The Side Effects

You know how I said I felt okay? Well, scratch that. By 8pm on the night of my first chemo I was under a blanket on the couch alternating between chucking my guts up into a grey plastic bowl and wailing to my mum that "I can't do this". I remember saying the same to her when I was in labour with both my children and her reply was "you are doing it". And now here I was "doing" the side effects of chemotherapy. Me. Chemo. Cancer. It hit me like a giant wave and I let myself be swept away by it. I was inconsolable. I honestly didn't think I could get through it. How can any one person endure this for six months? What if I do all this and it doesn't work? What happens at the end of the process? Will I always feel this way? Will I ever be the person I was again? The enormity of it was just too much to bear and it was really difficult to explain to a non-cancer patient exactly what I was going through. There was no release, no end to it, just hour after hour of aching body and disturbed mind and, I have to say, it was the most frightening place I'd ever been.

Eventually, after a couple of days, the dark clouds lifted enough for me to breathe and try to bring some rationality to my situation. David would tell me that a positive attitude was important and that he had a good feeling that I would fight this and we would grow old together. He later told me that,when I first found the lump, he thought it was more sinister than just an abcess and so I was taking some comfort from his "premonitions". Although I warn you David if you're wrong and this thing kills me i'm coming back to hide the remote control every night and generally scare you shitless.

The extreme vomiting and nausea had passed by the next morning and, had I the energy, I may have done a fist pump that I had got through the first chemo.

However, worse symptoms were to come....

Latest comments

20.12 | 20:45

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the kind words.
I did indeed work in North Cyprus back in the day - Turkbet?

18.12 | 11:06

Hi Donna, remarkable, uplifting and inspiring read.
Did you ever work in North Cyprus around 10 years ago?

15.10 | 17:15

Hi Donna, you are so inspiring. I have just had my 2nd mastectomy 8 days ago out of choice, first one was 5 months earlier as small cancer found.well done you

30.09 | 15:12

well done for finishing EPI!

I can't send a longer response on here but would like to share my experience of CMF at or the forum on macmillan.