Been a little quiet this week, but it’s been a really tough last few days. I don’t often battle with the mental rigours of treatment, but I really struggled on Monday, when my new course of treatment started. I guess a combination of anxiety over putting myself through it all again so soon (only a week after my last course finished) and the pressure I put on myself to train all the hours God sends put me in a tailspin.
I felt very positive when I woke up in the morning and was relishing starting treatment again. Last week before I got my scan results (positive- they showed my cancer hasn’t grown or spread) I was desperate to have good results and to start treatment again. I was so eager I booked my next treatment appointment only a week after my last course had ended.
In hindsight I probably should have given myself a little more time to get my head around it all. Finishing a course of treatment, going for scans and waiting for results is a huge rollercoaster we go through every 3-4 months. Starting treatment is a different challenge all together and a very tough one at that. I know treatment does me good, but no matter how great the benefits it still makes me feel very ill. Knowing this and going for treatment anyway is the toughest thing I do. Much harder than any session at the gym or miles run in the street. Very occasionally (in fact just one other occasion in the last 3 years/ 4 doses of chemo) I’m reluctant to go for treatment.
I always try and fit in lots the morning of a treatment appointment. I know I’ll be ill for a a few days after so I always do my best to run and get to the gym. I know my training and level of activity helps me fight cancer and tolerate chemo, so I’m really dedicated to exercise. Sadly the trouble is that dedication can sometimes cross over into obsession. I was determined to go to the gym and run before treatment. I got so stuck in when I got to the gym I ended up taking too long and couldn’t run to my chemo appointment without being late. It sounds really silly now looking back after almost a week, but I had a bit of a wobble. I was reminded just how much chemo sucks and how little control I have over my cancer.
We pack a lot of life around treatment and I work hard to achieve a good balance in my life. We do this to try and quieten the spectre of cancer and treatment so my illness doesn’t don’t take over and spoil the time we have together as a family. But on Monday morning that spectre raged back into existence, took over that morning and hasn’t really left me alone all week.
I was really grateful for the patience of my wife, Louise, and the nurses at the Rosemere Unit, who were amazing and helped sort me out. I often write about how wonderful the nurses are, but they were especially great that day, especially the Ward Manager Sister Biltcliffe and the ever lovely Nurse Mand. In the end I had treatment and it was thanks to them and the care and reassurance they gave me. Louise has been amazing all week. I really ought to write this, because her efforts really deserve to be praised. I’ve been a bear with a sore head all week and she’s been kind, understanding and even dogged in dealing with me. Thanks love!
I know I’ve done this to myself. I got myself tidied up in knots by putting myself under pressure to train, which left me vulnerable to worries over my illness. I can’t let this happen again, so in future I’ll be more disciplined in my training. I’m putting together a proper schedule for gym sessions and running and cycling training. I won’t stop training the morning of treatment it really helps me settle into a chemo day, but if I schedule less demanding sessions for those mornings I can fit it all in better.
I feel very lucky to have treatment options and I’ll never take chemo for granted, but this week has been tough and I feel cross with myself for struggling emotionally when so many people would love the chance to have treatment. I guess there’s no rulebook when it comes to living with cancer and constant treatment. I guess all we can do is muddle along the best we can and learn from our mistakes.
Thanks for all your support and the wonderful messages you send. I’ll do my best ti make you proud! 🙂
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