Coming into 2018, I was ready for a new start, came in with a positive mind set(despite all the shit that was going down towards the end of 2017). This was my year. I was determined to take control of my life, get my ducks in a row and work towards all the things I had started and not finished in previous years. I had it all planned out , listed in my little pink book. I had been having issues with my reproductive system (ovarian cyst - the works) for about two years straight and finally it seemed all the drama was over but... surprise - along came Cancer!
So, what i failed to mention in first blog was that Im undergoing chemo (yes a glass of wine is fine during chemo), five weeks in and had one more to go. But i haven't really wanted to be public about that until i got my head wrapped around everything thats going on. Ive barely even told some of my closest friends (Sorry Y'all, its been quite a trip).
After months of regular check ins with my gynae and surgeon, two (of what i assumed were) successful surgeries I just didnt understand how they could've missed a 4cm big burst tumor in my tubes?!
(Doc, what have you been doing down there all these months?)
Fallopian Tube Cancer (AKA Tubal Cancer) is one of the most rarest forms of cancer and symptoms of the cancer are similar to any other gynecological problems. I was always bloated, suffered from lower back pain, had the brutal cramps - like any other woman going through her monthly cycle I assumed. Nope! I was very misguided! Cramps persisted making for a few nights in the E.R not knowing what was wrong, we ran and re ran tests - no signs whatsoever of this being more than just very persistant cysts, until one fine day (and it really was a fine day until I got the news , it was in the 70s in January in NY - unreal) ,the doctor rang me up to come in to see him for results. Fast Forward a bit - got the diagnosis, started treatment within a week of finding out, same week I was suppose to move into my new apartment, same week I was to approve photos for a big publication I had landed and a few weeks before my good friend and I were to go to the Super Bowl and do some appearances- yup, all that had to change.
I try to be a very positive person in general, I always look for a positive in any negative situation. I kept telling myself this 6 weeks would go by very fast, its only one day a week after all and I'm an outpatient, Id have a legit excuse to smoke way to much pot and stay in bed binge watching reruns of The Bachelorette. You'd think this would get easier week by week, it hasn't - each week i feel weaker and weaker. I have my days were I look and feel great,Ill try pick up on day to day living ,see friends , check out my gym and pick up some groceries and you'd never tell that days before i was pale and laid up in bed. I look forward to those days, they are short lived but Ive truly appreciate those 4/5 hours a day I can be normal again.
With great friends and family for support, a fantastic Gynae.Onco and nursing team Ive slowly managed to get grips on whats going on inside my body, understand my emotions (which have been all over the show may I add), handle the excruciating pain and deal with the loss in taste and smell. I had started talking more about my current situation and being more open about how i feel, I had one more week to go after all, i could already see the light at the end of the tunnel....
*Pours another glass of wine*
Surprise, surprise... this temple of mine has failed me yet again... Found out yesterday there has been no visible progress , my body is rejecting chemo. At this point, surgery is unlikely to be an option I have been told I need more chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. The problem with both of these is that although they kill cancer cells, they also kill healthy cells, but also because chemo causes healthy cells to start giving out a chemical that accelerates cancer growth.. And because these treatments are so toxic and so destructive to the immune system – the body’s only defense against cancer , they may act more like cancer fuel than cancer foe.
Whilst undergoing chemo I lost my taste and of course had a mouth full of blisters, but for the past week I had been feeling great- my appetite was back and mouth sore disappeared so of course the first thing I did after hearing the news was head over to my good friends place- we ordered large fries and he poured me his finest scotch. Im not a scotch drinker but today i wasn't drinking for the enjoyment, I was drinking for the effect. I wanted to feel numb, I felt like feeling nothing. I wanted to be black out drunk and hopefully wake up from this nightmare to a new day.
That didn't happen. He's a great friend, he didn't let me go down that road but damn did that little bit of scotch go down well. In no way am I encouraging drinking and eating unhealthy during treatment, but we all process things different, "enjoy" the moment and move on - dont stay in that moment, don't stay couped up in your head with your emotions. Surround yourself with loved one and let yourself cry it out. I did all this last night.
Sometimes some situations call for something a little stronger than wine and last night that little "kick" was very much appreciated. So heres to yet another round of chemo and kicking this cancers ass!
Until next time...
PS: I apologize for my shitty spelling and awful gramma , id blame chemo brain for this too - but my high school english teacher would probably tell you otherwise LOL!
PSS: If you've currently been diagnosed with any sort of gynaecological cancer/undergoing chemo or worried about any sort of symptoms that may make you believe you need extra tests and looking to talk to someone who has gone through it all - I will be teaming up with a good friend who is an Ovarian Cancer survivor were we will go in depth about the process, the feels, the pains and try refer you best we can to the right people/specialists to take further steps. We will be focusing mainly on Gynaecological Cancers