27 August 2012

Eff you Cancer

The days I walked out of Auckland Hospital Cancer and Blood Service building saying goodbye to the day stay staff on ending chemo and then radiation staff a couple of months later and hoping I don't have to see them again weren't the happiest days of my life. 
For starters the last day of chemo was incredibly difficult and I was full of tears and nerves. Before I even got out of the car the nerves and expectation alone had me on full nausea. The staff were always calm, friendly and incredibly kind and lovely and tried to make it as easy as they could. Owen and I had used up every last emotion and the nerves made us edgy with each other. It was tense, it was horrible. I was just tired and pleased to leave and go back to my bed. I remember writing it felt like a very very hard day at the office.

Radiation finishing wasn't nearly as emotional and dramatic. Just painful. The last week of radiation had finally broken through my skin and left me sore and tender. But it healed fast. 

A few weeks later though, after the business of Christmas had calmed down I was hit like a ton of bricks with doubts and fears, feeling like I was drowning in being so ABSORBED in cancer. 
Perhaps a touch of PTSD? 
Whatever it was its apparently very normal for people to feel post active cancer treatment. 
Thoughts like will I ever stop thinking about it everyday? Am I okay? How do I make life normal again?
It probably didn't help that every three weeks I still had to enter the Cancer and Blood Service Building for my IV infusions of Herceptin until June 2011.
Then they gave me my new drug, which didn't require going in to receive it, rather take six little orange oblong pills every day. And a couple of extra pills to deal with the side effects. But yet more drugs. 

But now?
Almost two and a half years on and I'm finally, finally, finally able to walk away from drugs and give cancer the big middle finger. With joy, relief and a big EFF YOU CANCER! This feels quite triumphant to me, much more so than ever before. I've dealt with the depression, I've dealt with the fears, which occasionally come back to slap me, I've dealt with the exhaustion. I now know how to deal with it and I honestly don't think about cancer everyday anymore.
And the only time I have to go back to the C and B Building is to see the oncologist and answer some questions until the day they can finally say goodbye...please NEVER come back. That day will also be very exciting. Its only 2 1/2 years away!

Every milestone, every year ticked off is a reminder that life is precious. So so precious.


Andrea. Basil. 22. said...

What an achievement Monica! I too am giving Cancer the finger for you. Congratulations lovely - You are a superstar. x

jacksta said...

♥ love ya.
thanks for taking us on this journey with you.
We stand in agreement Piss off Cancer!!

kimberly said...

Amazing post - and poignant photos. Well done Monica.

Simoney said...


Little Gumnut said...

I honestly don't know how you did it Mon, it sounds horribly horribly sucky! I can imagine it would leave you with PTSD. I can't wait to read your blog post when you're finally able to say goodbye forever and given the all clear! Lots of love to you!!

SprinkleBakes said...

Yaaay! You are a warrior goddess, Monica! Hooray for no more drugs!


Pamela said...

Doesn't it feel so good to say that! EFF YOU CANCER!!

I still hate every single follow up appointment but I guess it is part of the dance.

You have made it and it is time for you to roar! And I personally love the roar you have chosen!


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Hootnz said...

Congrats on another milestone, you have come so far... I hope that life normalizes itself more and more from this point onwards ")

Jaz from Treacy Travels said...

Mon I read this with a massive lump in throat. So brave so honest, so raw!!! Thank you for your blogging.
You have helped me. Many big hugs and wishes to you.
Well done Mon. So happy for you I could cry. Have a wonderful fear free week xxxxx Jaz