Thursday, May 6, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Crappy New Year

Once the egg harvesting was done, I had a few blissful weeks without any painful medical procedures. It was Christmas and I had managed to regain some independence and was back living in town. I had my long hair cut to shoulder length, so I could manage to wash it with one hand whilst cradling my traumatised boob with the other. I am a fan of long hair and absolutely hated the 70's Carol Brady the butcher of a hairdresser gave me. I should have been more specific when I said 'shoulder length with layers'. Those few weeks were not easy, but I was happy to be able to have some time alone. I had my mobile on silent for about a month as there were so many phone calls and messages. I felt incredibly supported by family and friends and I don't know how I would have survived that first month without them.

It was the festive season and everyone was fired up for Christmas - me, not so much. My parents had a houseful of relatives, which gave my mother something else to focus on other than what was ahead of us. I remember those weeks over Christmas forcing a smile on my face. I thought if I faked being happy, then it would happen. I would lie awake every night and cry, thinking about 2010. My friends had rallied around me and had organisd to go to a ball for new years eve. I am not a fan of nye and would happily stay at home on the couch and sleep through the forced merriment. I hate having to pay entry into bars which are usually free, wait 34 hours to buy an overpriced drink and having to wait 4893349834589 hours to get a cab home, by which time you are sober and couldn't have driven yourself home anyway. This year was no exception, however my friends would not allow me to stay home alone. I admit rather than my cheery 'I am not out on nye' night at home, I may have wallowed, but that would have made me happy. NYE came around and I found myself being frocked up for a black tie ball. My good friend was staying over and had arranged for a girl to come and do our hair. It was nice to spend the afternoon with french bubbles being pampered. The ball was fun, but as midnight rolled around I felt myself developing a feeling of dread. The more people that said 'happy new year' to me, I kept thinking that 'crappy new year' would be more accurate. I found that my smiles were wearing out and tears were about to flood my face and ruin my make-up. Not being a fan of crying in public, I said very quick good-byes to my friends and power walked home, with friends in tow. Once in my apartment I remember getting in the shower, so then I couldn't tell which were tears and which was the water from the shower. I didn't want to allow myself to cry, because I thought if I started, I am not sure when I would ever stop. I was glad not to be staying alone that night, it felt good to have my friend give me a big hug. She didn't tell me that things were going to be ok, she was honest and realistic and said that 2010 was going to be shit, but we will all get through it.

I was very worried about the next stage of my treatment - chemotherapy. I knew it was going to be the longest and hardest part of my treatment. It was six months of chemotherapy and then a further 12 months of a drug called Herceptin. I remember when my brother had chemotherapy, he was so sick and weak all the time. I was only about 8 when he got sick, but I remember that the house smelt like a mixture of cleaning products and vomit. I remember him being pale, bald and having black rings under his eyes. I didn't want that to be me. One thing I didn't do at all was google anything. I didn't want to hear about horror stories and statistics, I thought I am me and I will cope with what ever was thrown at me in my own way. I had faked being brave with the operation and with the egg harvesting, but the thought of chemotherapy scared the crap out of me. I was not afraid to admit that I was scared. Barely a week into the Happy New Year - I was back in hospital to have my portacath implanted, ready for the six months of intravenous domestos.

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