Thursday, 15 December 2011

Last chemo today

It's just gone 5am and I'm up eating promite toast and drinking chilli hot chocolate while the rest of the country sleeps - except the dairy farmer next door who's been up since 4am getting in his cows.  I know this because I've been awake since midnight.  It's not the 9000% humidity, nor is it the snoring family in bed next to me.  It's not the 'chemo munchies' - although that is why I'm eating at this hour.  It's because I feel sick already and I haven't even left my own house.

The whole of chemo has been a nightmare.  Every time I go people say 'it'll get easier'.  God they're so wrong.  And today is the worst, already.  I've been lying awake at night thinking about it for days, and in a weird way looking forward to it because it will means it will all be over.  But I so don't want to go.  To the point where I find myself rationalising not going.  How can just one round make the difference?  I don't really believe I need it anyway.  Maybe I could do radiation instead?  Surely one dose less is ok...?

But no.  I'll go and I'll cry, and my stomach will turn and I'll try not to spew, and I'll probably freak out everyone else - again.  But there's no point in putting my body through it at all if I don't do the whole recommended regime, right?

Why is this so hard?  I've thought and thought about this and still really have no idea.  I think a little bit is because every time I go it's a slap in the face with a big bit of wood that has 'I have cancer' burnt into it. Facing it like that can be hard, and to see the other people there - most of whom look awful - and realize that I am one of them is hideous.  I'm not in any sort of denial though.  I am reminded a thousand times a day, every time I get dressed, shower, hug my children, feed Bastian, have sex with my Husband (not often at the moment, I'm a shrivelled up menopausal prune) or look in a mirror it's there.  But going into that room and being part of that 'club' seems so much worse.

I think a big portion of it is that I am filling myself up with poison.  At the same time as I am searching for recipes to make my own washing powder (what is borax anyway), thinking about how to recycle my grey water and washing my bamboo and cotton nappies that I made myself out of my old flats, I am killing off my body's cells and hoping that they can regenerate faster than the cancer ones.  Rather oxymoronic I think. 

Every time I go and cry I apologise to my body.  It has served me so well all these years with minimal attention, it just carries on.  Growing me perfectly and growing and feeding 3 beautiful babies without me consciously doing anything.  Every breath is circulated through, delivering oxygen to every cell so every muscle can work.  Each heartbeat sends life coursing through veins that are expanding and contracting in response to every demand I make.  Every single nerve ending sending messages to my brain telling a story of the moment.  My eyelid blinks to keep my eyes clear, my hair grows to keep me warm, my tastebuds tell me whether food is safe to eat, scratches heal over, bacteria on my skin replicate to protect me.  And I don't need to ever think about any of it - until one day one little bit goes wrong.  Can I reasonably be angry at my body for making such a small mistake in the billions of things it needs to do every second?  I don't feel let down by my body at all.  I marvel instead at the incredible job it has done and continues to do - even while I try to poison it.  Is this how I say thank-you?  By saying 'I don't trust you to get it right anymore' and giving it another job. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a stoic believer in the the body's ability to do what needs to be done.  We live and breathe because of the most intricate machine ever imagined. 

I have developed a new respect for my machine.  An understanding of how to look after it - what to feed it how to exercise it.  Maybe this is a reason for that one small mistake.  A reminder that my machine is after all just that. A machine.  It needs looking after in order to work properly.

Have I just been putting petrol into my diesel engine?

Too late now.

My Mum told me the other day that she has been able to read this blog for the first time.  I haven't been able to do that yet.  It is weird to think that people know my private inner thoughts so much, but kind of relieving to be able to write things that would be hard to voice.

I love you Mum and Dad.


  1. This is beautiful, and heartbreaking. Kia Kaha, go well today and all days.

  2. I feel so useless being milk-less and being too far away to help - but please know you are always in my thoughts - and on a practical level (cause thats what Im best at!) here's the homemade cleaning receipes I use for us (due to the dreaded ezcema!) No borax required !!!


    Mix together: 1 litre water, 200ml white vinegar, 40ml dish detergent, 40mls eucalyptus oil and 2 desert-spoons washing soda crystals.

    Put into a spray bottle and use - or add 60mls to a bucket of water and use on floors or for general cleaning. Also makes a good stain remover for clothes.


    125 gram Bar of Laundry Soap
    1 kilogram washing soda crystals

    Chop bar of soap into about 6 pieces with a knife and then powderise in a food processor. Add washing soda and mix together in a food processor. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

    (This even works on Davids greasy overalls in a cold wash!)


    Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to final rinse to whiten, soften & deodorise


    1 Cup Washing Soda Crystals
    1 Cup Baking Soda
    1/4 Cup Salt
    1/4 Cup Citric Acid

    Mix together in a food processor until powderised. Use 1 tablespoon per load


    Use White Vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser.

  3. Arohanui. Loved this post Jaynie.....

  4. many blessings and much love,

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