Tagged: AC

Hair and now

So, as I keep alluding to, my fuzz is coming along great guns. It’s also being rapidly joined by eyelashes and eyebrows, to my great relief! It looks to my eyes like it’s growing in a sort of gunmetal grey colour, but I could be mistaken.

What amuses me about my fuzz is how people respond to it. In general, women claim to love it, men seldom acknowledge it, and then once in a while someone wants to pat it. This I understand completely – a fuzzy head is awfully nice to pat. I have befriended a number of (high camp) local gentleman who yell out Babe, love your hair! as I walk on by.

As to how I feel, I’m not quite sure. I’m ecstatic to have hair at all, but I can’t quite adapt to my face as it is now.

So, kitandkabooble brains trust, what do you think? Here are a series of photos – before, during and after chemo.

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This photo was taken about a week into chemo by my very talented photographer friend Fi. I was miserable and nauseous, but I feel in retrospect the photo shows great strength. What long thick hair I had!

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These two are photographic evidence of the wig and painted on eyebrows I wore to the very lovely Kylie and Ian’s wedding. Fun fact: that’s another wonderful friend named Fee in the photos. Love my Fionas. Thanks Kylie and the talented photographers for these photos!

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And here I am now. Is the transformation as big to everyone else as it feels to me?

x

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Christmas wish come true

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Every year it gets a little harder to answer when someone asks what I’d like for Christmas. I guess that’s what getting older does, every year you need a little less. Well, this year, I had no answers at all. Having cancer, and being in the midst of chemo, is one big want killer. All I could say, when anyone asked, was Have you got a time machine to take me forward by three months so I can finish chemo?

After my reaction to the Taxol, which it seems was a fully blown anaphylaxis, I was left awkwardly hanging there. My oncologist showed new depths, both of emotion and also professionalism, by taking a week to consult with her peers and weigh up all my options. It was an uncomfortable week, but an important one.

And at its end came some staggering news, which you’ll all cheer about, but I have to admit left me feeling a bit… lost?

The final decision was to end my chemo early. Three months early. My Christmas time machine had arrived. No more Taxol. No more Red Devil. No more anti nausea drugs, no more laxatives. Instead, a little white pill named Tamoxifen.

A little white pill that will be my daily companion for the next five years.

I knew that hormone therapy awaited me. That when chemo was over, that I’d be taking a little pill that blocked the estrogen receptors of all the cells travelling around my body, and that would mean that I’d need to be kept in a state of early menopause for five years. I knew it, I did, but I filed it in my bulging later folder.

And suddenly it was staring me in the face, and I was in the Survival Phase.

Another consideration pushed the decision to end the chemo. My friend the elephant. He’d made it clear that he wasn’t leaving me as long as I was on chemo. My body was… is… too weak to fight elephants right now. Taking me off chemo gives me a fighting chance to kick the cellulitis once and for all.

So, simultaneous to the arrival of the time machine, was the arrival of the Baxter Bottle. The Baxter Bottle is attached to my chest, via my port, and will be delivering me IV antibiotics 24/7 for the next six weeks. This saves me having to be in hospital (big hurrah indeed!) but means I must carry a bag or wear a bum bag (fanny pack for my American friends) at all times to hold my bottle. I have some interesting tubes hanging out of me, which draw stares when I’m in public.

But that wasn’t all that happened prior to Christmas.

We also had a call from the IVF clinic. The genetic testing on our three Judes was complete. And two out of three Judes carry the bad cancer gene.

It’s a lot to take in.

So I must apologise for my extended silence. I’ve been thinking, and reeling, and trying to readjust to having been whisked three months in to the future.

I know the news is good, provided the cancer stays away. And I know that compared to chemo, Tamoxifen should be a walk in the park. So why am I feeling like I’ve just been sent out to sea in a leaky boat?

I guess this is what happens when the future sneaks up on you. This next week or two I’ll let it all sink in, and then take stock and see where I am.

Stay with me. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and yours…

x

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Ginger cakes for all the lovely folk at St Vincents and the Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

Protector of mankind

I’m beginning to realise that this journey of mine is going to take a little longer than expected. At first, when I had a funny lump in my breast, I thought… That’s OK, it’ll take half a day to go and get the ultrasound.

And then when the lump turned out to be cancer and I met my surgeon for the first time, he said to me… You give me six months and I’ll give you the rest of your life. And I thought… Yep, six months is OK.

And then, I waited two months for the surgery. And four weeks for IVF and recovery. And then I was told I’d need six months for chemo. So… nine months… that’s OK too… I thought.

And then the cellulitis kicked in, and my breast reconstruction had to be undone, and I once again lost my left breast and then my right. And I realised that after chemo was done I’d have to take time out to heal, and then start the breast reconstruction all over again. So… one year then?

Then I really started thinking. About what happens after I finish chemo… When my reconstruction is completed for the second time. What then?

In the early stages of breast cancer, everything happens so quickly. IVF in particular was surreal, because it took me in the course of three weeks from the 30 year-old who’d filed children in the “Later” category to the cancer patient desperately fighting to freeze an embryo or two, safe out of chemo’s reach and preferably not carrying the bad cancer gene to boot. Suddenly, I theoretically had three cracks, maximum, of conceiving a child in the future with my DNA.

But then, as I was getting my most recent chemo, I realised something. Something that I guess I knew in my heart of hearts the whole time. It was a landmark chemo. My fourth AC cycle. I’d never have to see the Red Devil again. Hell, I’d never be able to see the Red Devil again. Six doses is where serious risk of coronary arrest kicks in. It marked the halfway point for chemo. A landmark of sorts.

It should have been means for celebration, but I suddenly started thinking… What then?

When this is all over, the real waiting begins. The waiting to see if the cancer will come back. The waiting to see if my body will come back out of chemo-induced menopause. Some doctors say you should wait five years before contemplating starting a family, because the implications of having a kid and the cancer coming back, it’s too horrible to contemplate.

While my peers are having babies, I’ll be waiting, waiting, waiting for some sign that things are going to be OK, long term.

And it’s sad, this change in perspective. It feels like the final thing the cancer takes away from you is your chance to plan, build and dream.

So in the midst of all the surgery, and the chemo, and the cellulitis, I decided that it was time to invest in something for the future. To stop being so fatalistic… pessimistic and say… Screw you, cancer. I’m enjoying the here and now, and you can’t get me here. This is the one place you can never get me.

So we adopted a puppy.

A big-pawed, blonde, mystery-hound, Heinz 57 Varieties sort of a puppy. And I named her Saskia, which means “Protector of mankind”. Which is expecting a lot of a creature who still can’t stand and scratch herself at the same time, but I think she’s up for the job, long-term.

And when we go out, Saskia and I, I forget that I’m skinny and pale and bald and weak, and just become a regular human being again. People don’t notice my strange hats, or at least they don’t ask, because they’re too busy patting my small(ish) golden hound.

My protector. The protector of my future. Meet Saskia. She’s delighted to meet you too.

x

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The elephant returns

I know how you all like stories about elephants. Many of you have told me so, which is flattering indeed and makes me feel like a Writer with a Capital W.

Sadly, I’m not sure I like stories with elephants any more.

I’m writing this from a rather small but blessedly private hospital room. I say blessedly private, because no-one deserves the punishment of sharing with me and my elephant.

Despite the two surgeries following the mastectomy, the elephant never really left. I thought I’d seen the last of him as I finally went off antibiotics a week and a half ago, but then he started sneaking back in the dead of night.

He developed an unquenchable appetite for pills. Every two hours he’d trumpet for something. I had my work cut out for me tossing Panadol, Nurofen and Endone his way (Side note about Nurofen… It turns out Ibuprofen is really not good when you’re having chemo. I wish I’d known this before the elephant developed a taste for it!). I’d try to buy him off with heat packs and he’d snooze happily for twenty minutes and then yell MORE! just as I was falling asleep.

And then he started spurting pus everywhere. You know a room mate has to go when he spurts pus. That’s the deal breaker right there.

As per usual my crack medical team under reacted. He’s not the biggest elephant we’ve ever seen… they commented. Well, he’s the most painful I’ve ever had… I countered. And it’s true. At night he sits on this nerve under my shoulder blade and it’s bloody agony.

And of course, as tradition dictates, as we suddenly found ourselves four days away from chemo with a wildly out of control elephant on our hands it was “to hospital to hospital jiggity jig” all of a sudden.

After one stunningly sleepless night where the elephant terrified a night nurse with his constant trumpeting and unreasonably frequent demands for heat packs, suddenly everyone in the hospital was treating my elephant with far more respect. We even got to meet an elephant specialist (his business card said he specialised in palliative care but he was at pains to reassure the elephant and I that we weren’t dying quite yet… Well, me, anyway, watch this space Mr Elephant). He came up with a “pain plan” whereby the hospital has to give me pain control whenever I ask, which felt like a bloody miracle and made the elephant dance a happy jig.

And my surgeon announced that what the hell, let’s go for surgery number four which seems to involve washing the elephant out from the cavity left behind by my now deceased right breast.

So once again the elephant has been issued an eviction notice and I await yet more surgery. I must admit all my optimism and enthusiasm is a little on the wane at this point. I hate the following things about surgery: the stupid socks you have to wear afterwards, the horrid anti-coagulant shots they make you get in your thighs which then bleed at the drop of a hat, the scarring, the queasy feeling post-anaesthetic, and the occasional really weird dream. They also cover you with stickers which you keep finding days later which kind of feels like the medical equivalent of those “kick me” stickers that people thought were hilarious in late primary school.

However post surgical pain is seldom, perhaps never as bad as out-of-control elephant pain and as such once again I’m giving my consent for a little more body violation.

On the plus side, I have something very exciting to look forward to this weekend so by hook or by crook the psychopathic pachyderm has got to go. All will be revealed, it’s going to be awesome! I figured I owed myself something wonderful and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

See you all on the other side of surgery number four… Sans elephant of course… And with nice news attached.

Much love, as always.

x

Playing dress ups and losing eyelashes

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Another long silence…
And where have I been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.

No, not quite true.

I went to the “Great Lakes” (remember, this is Australia, people, so our “Great Lakes” perhaps aren’t quite so Great… They don’t have their own tides, anyway…) for a wedding. More on that soon.

Round three of chemo was mostly uneventful. The main thing I can gather is that every time you think you’ve got its measure, chemo trips you up and laughs in your face.

In this case, over the first weekend (days 3 and 4) I felt all very jolly and ate my way through the nausea. “Ho ho!” says I… “Ha ha!” says the chemo and socks me for days 5, 6 and 7. I believe I lived on white beans, grapefruit and peanut butter. Yummo. And then my eyelashes and eyebrows started to fall.

I wish I was the type to wish on eyelashes. I would’ve had so many wishes that I could’ve wished myself clear into May next year.

It wasn’t until I was putting on mascara before the wedding that I realised just how many of my eyelashes had jumped to their death. I’m used to having quite thick lashes and needing to treat mascara with respect and caution so that my lashes don’t turn into hairy spiders crouching on my face, but that is definitely not an issue right now.

The wedding was on the very lovely Boomerang Beach, which sits between Smiths Lake and Forster. Despite the fact that we were well into November, the wind sprung up and it was quite cold and so I decided to premiere my wig.

If our neighbours caught sight of my preparations (a very bogan family with a son named Tyson!) they would have been perturbed indeed… And possibly lynched us.

First my fake breasts went on… Then my wig… Then my contact lenses… Then I pencilled my eyebrows back in… And outlined my thinning lashes… And bronzered my cheeks to bring back a little colour… And popped a hat on my head for good measure (wouldn’t want the wig skittering off down the beach!)… And then the woman within was released.

I should really hunt down photos.

What was quite gratifying was that one ex-workmate who I hadn’t seen for a few years was entirely fooled by my charade! He was quite shocked when I told him I was entirely bald and undergoing chemo.

We had a wonderful night. Thanks so much to the talented and lovely bride and groom for putting on such a gorgeous wedding. I even danced a bit (Gangnam Style!!! My HOAC friends would’ve been impressed I think).

For a day or two I was entirely released from cancer world, and it was blissful.

But all good things must come to an end, and as our trip wound up I felt an all too familiar pain in my breast. My cellulitis had returned.

I’ve been doing a lot of “reading” recently. I say “reading” in inverted commas because it’s actually “listening”. I have a subscription to audible.com which I can’t recommend highly enough. The big advantage of audiobooks is that when you’re in pain and unable to sleep in the wee small hours, you can “read” for hours without disturbing your other half.

Well, I can’t help but notice an alarming trend in what I’m reading. First Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (epic) and now the Hunger Games trilogy (please don’t judge?). It seems that I’m drawn to books where people find themselves, or exist within, alternate worlds where they are trapped and must find their way out… with or without violence.

I feel the same way about the cancer, the chemo, and the cellulitis. I’m stuck in a world that I never wished to be a part of, and all I can do is slowly grope my way out as best I can. I’m out of breasts to operate on. I just have to hope that the oral antibiotics will work at long last, and that I can kick the cellulitis into next week (no… further!) without having to go back to hospital.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

x

Chemo radio silence

It’s been a week now since surgery. I kept trying to write sooner, but honestly I didn’t have it in me.

On Thursday, I was released from hospital in yet another comedy of errors.

Both the oncologist and surgeon agreed that I could go home from hospital, but neither actually informed the hospital of their intentions. I was meant to have chemo as an inpatient before being released, so I spent Thursday in a state of increasing hysteria as hospital life went on as per usual, with no sign of chemo or any indication that I would be discharged from hospital.

It was 3pm by the time I figured out that the hospital hadn’t heard that I was to be discharged. It turned out that they were awaiting a bed on the chemo level so that they could transfer me and my treatment would continue as an inpatient, with me staying on in hospital.

I hit the roof.

You can’t tell someone they’re going home from hospital and then say “oops, no, you’re just getting some chemo in a whole new ward and staying on” and expect it to go A-OK.

Anyway, to cut a long story short (I’m boring me), I was in my new hospital bed for a whole three hours before successfully escaping the hospital and returning home.

Thank. God.

I think with all my hospital rabble rousing and hysteria I gave a close family member the impression that I wasn’t just planning on skipping the hospital, but my chemo and future treatment and future livelihood as well.

Let me assure you that if I decide to skip out on my treatment, I won’t be returning home to Darlinghurst, five minutes away from the fricking hospital.

I will be booking a one way ticket to deepest, darkest Africa, or maybe sun kissed Mauritius and you will be hearing nothing from me. Not a thing.

So here’s where I’m at.

I’m bald. Really really really really bald. The shaved head was cool. It had street cred. My new mannequin head is not cool at all. It’s freaky. I’ve been looking at it for a week now and it’s still freaky.

I’m also nauseous, and exhausted. The latest round of chemo really hit hard. Evidently the last round was insufficiently vile and so they upped the dose (true).

I also only have one breast. So any remaining body confidence I had is now a distant memory.

The chemo also brings with it depression, so I’ve been alternating tears and rages, favoring the tears. Pity, because I actually think rages are probably more fun, but I’m just not really the raging type.

Cancer, you’ve really got me now.

I honestly spent a week trying to figure out a positive way to present this, on this, my happy blog.

But the simple truth is, sometimes you just have to say it like it is and say yes it sucks.

I managed to avoid the cancer feeling for a really long time. I was diagnosed on June 8. I had the bilateral mastectomy on August 8. I went through IVF and then started chemo, and then lost my third breast on October 8. So really I’ve done pretty well to go this long before going and now I really feel like I have cancer.

Superficial I know, but I think it was the baldness. That’s the point where I ceased to even feel comfortable in my own home. I keep a hat on standby at all times in case someone comes to the door and avoid open windows on to the street.

So, in response to the concern that I might run for my bloody life, all I can say is, it’s too late. I had ample time in the first four months to bolt when I was healthy(ish) and looked like everyone else.

No, I’m here, and hanging in here.

The side effects of round two are lessening now. Hopefully within another few days I’ll be back on my feet properly.

I’m sure I’ll get my head around the hat/wig/scarf thing as well, but I think it’ll take some time.

Currently I’m shunning the scarf thing because it looks too cancer. It sounded like a great idea in theory but in practice I just look tiny headed and sick. The wig is pretty hot, and as it’s headed for summer here I’m not sure I should get too dependent on it.

It seems that caps and hats are the go, so I’ll be building my collection rapidly.

I’ll also need to get myself a fake tit (charming) which I’m sure will make for an interesting blog post.

So bear with me. Allow me my space to whinge and mourn and tell the truth and I’m sure things will be on the improve soon.

Much love.

x

Observations from the chemo ward

Another “waiting room” post. So much waiting! I thought I’d put down a few things I’ve observed in my many hours in the waiting room so far. Interestingly, it’s not the chemo patients who act bizarrely, it’s their companions.

“The Cougher”. The Cougher coughs loudly and theatrically throughout his time in the waiting room. Let me explain for the uninitiated. You do not cough on a chemo ward. If you need to cough, you walk away to anywhere but here and cough there. And don’t come back. Do you not see the stricken looks on all the other chemo patient’s faces? Coughing around the immune suppressed is really not cool.

“The Tragic”. This is almost always the teenage daughter of a chemo patient. The Tragic manages to whip herself into such a state of teen hysteria that she looks considerably sicker than her mother. And thus her mum worries about her. Honestly, life as a chemo mum looks bloody impossible. What is interesting is the transformation when mum goes for treatment. Then The Tragic returns to merrily texting her friends and listening to tunes on her iPhone.

“The Perver”. This charming man uses his time in the waiting room not to support his wife, but to check out all the young girls in the waiting room. The young girl is normally me. Must I dress like a monk when I come in for treatment to entice you to pay attention to your wife?

“The Impatient Spouse”. This person, usually female, errs on the side of over- rather than under-indulgence of their spouse. They rage that everyone seems to be getting faster/better treatment than their spouse. They stand at the reception desk and complain while bald chemo patients queue exhaustedly behind them.

Again, what interests me in all of this is how well behaved the actual patients are! No coughing, groaning, complaining or perving. Perhaps there just isn’t enough energy left over for drama?

x

Shits and giggles in Chemo World

Oh dear, I think I scared you all with my string of Grumpy McGrumpy posts!

I’m sorry good people, chemo hasn’t permanently disabled my funny bone, it just put it out of joint for a week or so.

Today I had a day that was weird and funny all that the same time, so I thought I’d put it down for my own amusement.

I was called back in to hospital this morning, my temperature was happily bouncing between 36 and 39 degrees and I was alternating shivers and sweats (The wrong way round… How weird are fevers?). I tried to walk to hospital and wound up sitting on a low wall gasping for breath and then hailed a cab and offered the cabbie ten bucks to take me the 400 metres to the hospital.

Anyway, I returned to my friends in HOAC (please google the acronym if you’re curious, I still have no clue what it stands for) and they lost no time in sitting me beneath a TV in a recliner I was too weak to recline and taking blood straight from my chest. I love the Port. So futuristic. I feel like I’m in Star Trek whenever they “access my Port”.

OK, now the amusing part. As I mentioned, I was seated under the HOAC TV, so I had the entire cast of HOAC sitting amphitheatre style, all plugged in to their drips in their recliners, watching me and the TV above me. HOAC looks a lot like Double Bay (for those uninitiated to the pleasures of Double Bay, it’s where everyone is well-heeled, Eastern European and has high hair).

What was playing on the HOAC TV was a broadcast of various dancers doing their versions of the Korean Pop sensation PSY’s Gangnam Style music video (again, please google… I’m blogging on my iPad and I’m not sophisticated enough to add a link).

Anyway, what with me living under my Chemo rock and all, I had no idea what all this Gangnam business was about? I couldn’t see the TV and could only watch the rhythmic head bobbing of HOAC in time to the music.

Thankfully Double Bay housewife number 1 was able to explain to HOAC very succinctly what a “meme” was, what “going viral” means, and what a big deal “Bieber’s producers are asking questions” is. Cue many grey heads nodding sagely.

Oh, I couldn’t wait to get home and watch that clip, and I was not disappointed. It seriously made my week! If you haven’t seen it, do hunt it down.

So I did my time at the hospital, and proceeded to Strange But Amusing Activity Number 2, my chemo haircut. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it?

Well, it was not, thanks to my hairdresser who is pretty much the most low fuss person in the universe. She was moving fluidly between cutting off my weighty tresses and doing the most amazing perm on a cross-dressing Asian chap who was wearing the best (ladies) shoes, and lectures in business studies. Only in Darlinghurst.

He was ecstatic with his perm, he had a buzz cut to his ears and these unreal curled tresses reaching skywards above it. He looked like the front man from The Cure and kept giggling “ooh, I need a tiara!”.

This was the perfect environment to lose about 30cm of hair in. It was so nice not to be in a “cancer space” and just to revel in the sillyness of it all.

I came out with a shaggy little pixie cut and feeling considerably younger again (thank god!). The final sweet point was when my lovely hair dresser refused to accept any payment for the cut. We hugged and I promised to return with whatever weird regrowth I come up with in six months time.

Now, final silly thing. I have been ridiculously excited about the new crazy Willy Wonka-ish range of Cadbury chocolate bars. I was once a real highbrow chocolate connoisseur. I am a connoisseur no longer. Chemo has given me a craving for really cheap chocolate and I was obsessed with getting my hands on these new chocolate bars. We finally cracked one open with devastating results. It turns out that the chocolate in question contains space dust (the popping candy that crackles in your mouth). And it also turns out that of all the things that turn feral and weird in combination with chemo, nothing tastes weirder than space dust. It pretty much tastes like nuclear waste shooting around my mouth.

Charlie is now delighting in the fact that he has a full chocolate bar all to himself and is crackling and foaming at the mouth. I will now seek out the non space dust Cadbury options. Or just jellybeans.

So there we have it, Munchkins, I think I’m getting the measure of your strange land. At least it’s starting to amuse me again…

Much love and giggles. Now go and watch that music video! Go!

x

Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

This is one very weird new world I’ve found myself in.

A world where, while everything around me has stayed the same, I’m simply not the same person you saw a week ago.

I’ve aged. My skin is grey and I have black bags under my eyes. I’m suddenly weirdly thin and gaunt looking, and I’m really not the thin and gaunt type. My face and torso are covered in tiny, angry looking pustules. My hands shake and I’m hunched, because my back and chest just won’t stop aching.

Last night, I was admitted to hospital, because I suddenly got a fever that raged up past 38 degrees and then up past 39 as well. I should’ve seen it coming when I climbed a flight of stairs and felt like I was going to be sick when I couldn’t catch my breath.

I was slow to react because I simply couldn’t believe that a healthy 30 year-old could turn into a frail old lady in a week.

Thankfully, I was out of the hospital a bit before midnight. After a whole lot of blood tests, a urine sample and a chest x-ray, the hospital decided that I wasn’t in complete immune collapse and that it was probably a passing virus that had just decided to pop by to say hi.

Apparently the Australian government won’t let me get a white-cell booster shot to perk up my immune system until I prove my immune system is compromised. I’m hoping this is proof enough?

I’m really hoping things will pick up soon. Maybe I’ll meet the Scarecrow, or the Tin Man, or the Mayor of Munchkin City might give me the key to the city or something. I’d like to think that eventually Chemo World might feel a little more like Normal World, even just for a few weeks here and there.

Thanks again for all the lovely emails and comments. I think this post might explain my lack of personal responses to all you lovely people. Be assured that it’s wonderful knowing you’re out there.

x

A letter of apology to the UN door knock appeal guy

Dear UN Humanitarian Aid Door Knock Appeal Guy,

I’m sorry if I frightened you yesterday when you came to the door. It was an innocent enough request on your part, wasn’t it? Your argument was sound. There are indeed a lot of nasty things happening in the world right now, things that with a simple monthly donation I could help you fix.

What you weren’t accounting for was some crazy chemo addled girl in a lot of pain from a breast reconstruction she didn’t really ask for in the first place answering the door.

I tried to make it easy for you. I said “I’m sorry, but this really isn’t a good time…” but you weren’t so easily dissuaded. I agree that it’s not a good time from the UN’s viewpoint, but yesterday, it really wasn’t a great point in my life either.

I thought “the world’s in all kinds of shit but then, so am I, my friend, when my body’s been taken hostage by cancer, and I’ve already surrendered two breasts and quite a few lymph nodes and now I’m on day three of six months of chemotherapy and already I can’t stomach anything that isn’t beige and everything tastes like goddamn chemicals and I’m a week off losing my hair and my ovaries stopping working and I’m not even allowed to shave my bloody legs for fear of an infection that’ll have me carted off to the emergency department…”.

So really, you were lucky that instead of sharing that very melodramatic and under-punctuated train of thought, I just cried, right?

And even my tears tasted like chemo, which you weren’t to know, but it just made things worse on my end.

I’m sorry if I traumatised you, but this might be an argument for door knocking not being the best way to collect funds for charity. When you knock on someone’s front door, you really don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s pretty unlikely that the person answering the door will have their perky public face on, because the point of being at home is that you can let your guard down, right?

It was nice of you to ask if I was OK, before you ran for your life. And I hope that the next door you knocked on had some humanitarian superhero just waiting for your call on the other side.

I’m sorry, world, but for the next little while, I’ll just be fighting for me, OK? I look forward to the day when I can march for your causes but right now I’m just going to cry me some more chemo tears and wallow in self pity for an hour or two. Selfish… but that’s where I’m at…

Kindest regards,

Niccola.