Author: Gillian Date Posted: 8 August 2018
8.8.08 The date is etched into my veins. The day I started my chemotherapy to "mop up" any rogue cancer cells which may have left my breast. I can remember that day in vivid detail along with the emotions that came with it.
Even with all the information beforehand, I had no idea what to expect as I watched the drug enter my arm and imagined it racing through my veins knocking out any cancer cells along the way. I had been seeing a pyschologist who gave me techniques to visualise cancer cells leaving my body and showed me how to create a happy place where I could close my eyes and relax. My happy place was used everytime a needle had to be inserted especially when with each chemo my veins became harder to find!
My first chemo went well. It was strange waiting to see what would happen and how the drugs would make me feel. On the first night my family gathered around me and presented me with my Happy Hat - now that I can never forget or how it made me feel!
5 more rounds of chemo, each given on the scheduled date due to my blood count being healthy. I celebrated those little things, actually I celebrated most things, any excuse to escape the negative thoughts and what ifs which would crowd my mind.
8.8.18 Ten years on. I still go to my happy place when I need to have my bloods checked as the only option now is to use my hand and that can hurt!
The smell of certain hand washes or visiting a hospital take me back to my chemo days and emotions arise which I thought had long gone but I acknowledge them and either cry or laugh, depending on the day.
Everytime I look into a mirror I see my "chemo hair" it came back different, changed and it took me a while to embrace my new silver look!! BUT it is a reminder that I also came back different, changed. It may have taken a while to embrace the new me. A me I love, warrior scars and all.