Diary of a Cancer Patient: Getting Used to Chemotherapy Treatment

22/11/2011 23:29 GMT | Updated 22/01/2012 10:12 GMT

Its funny how you deal with what life brings your way.

I was diagnosed with cancer two months ago, but now I find it hard to remember my day to day life before life as chemotherapy patient. It's weird how you learn to adjust.

Don't get me wrong, it's not fun, I have certainly had my highs and lows but you learn ways to deal with it. I wouldn't say necessarily that it's positive mental attitude, but just learning how to deal with it in everyday life, you get into a sort of routine.Well, as routine as it can be.

My life is planned around hospital visits mainly, oh and when I have to take tablets. I can't plan too much as I never know what any day with throw at me. Sometimes I can function and do things, some days I am low and want to sleep, some days I have low white blood count and cannot be round people.

I have stopped looking too far ahead. Whilst I'd love to be planning a big holiday or things to look forward at the end of it, I have to concentrate on living each day, otherwise I think I would depress myself if I remembered I had another four months (minimum) left of this treatment and then who knows at the end of that.

I am staying positive on the whole - it's actually not that bad, you just learn how to get on with it. I have had pretty bad luck; I appear to have had every side effect going to date. I was hospitalised for a week with chronic side effects, I won't go into the gory details but had a week of staring at hospital walls, barely recognising myself, unable to do anything whilst being hooked up to a drip 24/7 and getting more and more down, but even now I look back and think if that's the worst, I can deal with it.

That's the thing, you take each day as it comes and deal with it, there's no choice really. When I started this journey I was needle phobic. I am by no means going to say I am cured, but currently I have to have injections to boost my white blood count and actually WANT to have them because I know they will make me feel stronger and help me cope. I don't even mind them.

The doctors seemed to throw me in at the deep end in the first month to see how I got on and as it seemed, I had a low immune system and was straight away struck down with an infection before being hospitalised for further side effects.

The doctors listened though and since have refined the treatment plan with booster white blood cell injections and I've learnt that most of chemotherapy is a balancing act. One set of chemicals will have one side effect, but that is countered with another dose of medication, which itself has side effects, which are balanced out by something else. The result is a daily diet of chemotherapy, injections and tablets, all battling with each other, to keep me going.

Emotionally it has been a rollercoaster too, but something you have to learn to get on with. I've had counselling complementary of the hospital which actually made me realise I was more grounded than I thought. I am accepting and dealing with this.

I know my life will never go back to being the same again. It can't. I will want to have 'my life back', but it will never be the same. I will always be wondering if I have picked up an infection or if the cancer will come back. One thing is for sure, though, I will live life to the full. I want to do everything on my never-ending 'to do' list. I always had a love for travelling which will, no doubt, continue, as and when I am well enough. I am also relying on a lottery win of! Surely it's karma, right?

I don't miss going out. As I said, you learn to deal with living in the here and now. I know this won't always be forever and sometimes when I have a good day I am able to go to the shops with support or over the road for dinner at a restaurant. I tend not to go too far though, I can't really. Chemo has given me jelly legs.

I used to take life for granted, that is something when this is all over, I will never do again. My life has been re-evaluated and I am excited in some ways - not that this has happened to me - but what the future may hold after.