Thursday, 17 October 2013

17th October 2013....And my chemotherapy is over.

I feel exhilarated, drained, happy, sad, lost and overwhelmed.  I had this date in my diary since the start of this first hurdle.  I can't believe I am finally at the end of it.

I sat in that chair today looking around at all the women.  Most of them were new.  They looked scared, asking so many questions to the ladies next to them.  Living the unknown.  Just like I was 3 months ago.  Scared and anxious, fearing the future.

I couldn't quite believe I was walking out of that door today saying goodbye to the hardest time in my life.  I burst into tears, I could not help myself.  My mother just held me and patted my back.  She felt it too.  She has been with me through every chemotherapy session.  She has experienced it all with me.  The pain, the tiredness, the anger and the hope.  She has been through it all.  She definitely felt it today.

And yes it has been.  The hardest 3 months of my life.  I can only think of one other time that drained me so emotionally that it took time to recover.  Something I am still to this day trying to over come.  This hurdle is no different and I fear that for the rest of my life I will remember what I have been through.

Not with sorrow or pain, but of strength.  If I can get through this I feel I can get through anything.  I feel strong, successful and powerful ready to start the next chapter.  Clive is ready to leave.  I feel that he knows it too.  He has lost the fight and is going down with no power left.  I have won.  This round anyway.

My operation is set as you all know for the 18th of November.  So I get to enjoy the next 5 weeks of chilling out, working hard for our charity event and also an event that is being held in my honour and for our charity at the Slug and Lettuce in Weybridge on the 16th November.

There are good times ahead.

So what I would like to share with those of you who have just started treatment, or for those who are going through it and are struggling a little.  My advice for all of you, the ways I coped and kept me strong.  They will not work for all of you but maybe a few will stick.

1.  Drink.  Water, water and more water.  At some point it will lose all taste.  I suggest adding fresh lemon to it to give it a sweeter taste.  Drink the day before the day of and the day after chemo to wash out all the toxins and to give your body cleanliness.

2.  Exercise.  I went to the gym 5 days a week for the 2 weeks that I felt ok.  I did not always do hard core workouts but I did cardio and some weights.  It helped to clear my mind, make me feel strong and helped me mentally.  To feel like I was fighting and staying the same as I always was helped me a lot.

3.  Try not to lose who you are.  Still go out, still socialise, still maintain normal day to day activities.  Remember, Cancer does not control you, you control the cancer.  The moment you let it consume you, is the day it wins.

4.  Like number 3 if you can still try and work.  I only worked towards the end, 3 days for 1 of the weeks, but it kept me living a normal life.  Yes I am a cancer patient, but I am still Alex.  I never wanted to lose my identity as a strong lady ready to fight.

5.  Try and get up when you feel ready after the side effects have worn off.  I got up and dressed everyday.  I put make up on every day.  I colour co ordinated my scarfs with my outfits.  I made cancer fit to me and not the other way around.  I, to the outside world did not look like a 'cancer patient'.  Something I never wanted to be.

6.  Stay positive.  Stay focused.  I knew from day 1 that this would not beat me.  I listened to my gut.  To the pit of my stomach and I knew that I would live.  Cry when you need to but stay strong.  Life will carry on and so should you.

7. Eat well but do indulge.  After a while you will unfortunately lose your taste buds as I did.  I ate what I wanted but still ate fresh vegetables and fresh red meat and protein.   I also took Vitamin D tablets once a day for my immune system.  They, I felt worked.  Maybe it is the power of the unconscience mind but who cares.  If you believe something is woking it will.  If you can maintain a healthy weight it will make you feel better.  I have put on 6 lbs.  I am annoyed but it could have been worse.

8.  I used the cold cap but I did shave my hair off.  For those of you scared to go bald, even though bald is beautiful do try the cold cap.  It hurts and it is uncomfortable and you look like a total prat but give it a go.  I lost my hair but managed to keep my root.  It is worth it.  (Even though I cant go near a freezer or air conditioning in fear of feeling how I do at chemo!)  My doctor was the one who persuaded me to keep it going even when I was ready to give up.

These are the things that I stuck with.  Sometimes it was a struggle.  Sometimes I wanted to lock myself away and cry but I couldn't and I will not.  Maybe when it is all over, but not yet.  Not until I know for sure that Clive has disappeared and never to return.

Lastly let your friends and family help.  I have had the most overwhelming support and I never quite knew how much I was loved until I needed it the most.  Nor did I quite know how much I loved until you are put in this position.  Love is a very powerful thing, embrace it.  It helps.

So now I am being over sentimental. I cant help it.  I am not jumping for joy right now but I have a feeling of relief.  And I am so tired I could sleep for a month.  I obviously won't.  But I will allow myself a week of pain like all my other side effects but know it will be the last time.

Everything after this will be a breeze so I have been told.  I hope so.  Chemotherapy is no walk in the park but I do feel I have got off lightly.  I believe that positivity in life is the key to success.  That has helped me get through this and it will continue to do so until the day I die.

Life is funny, it throws you a curve ball and you just need to know how to react.  Like I always say, everything happens for a reason.  I think I know why this has happened to me, I just won't jinx it yet.

As I heard a few months back, God only gives you what he thinks you can handle.  I must be one strong lady!!



  1. wow.. I'm so relieved / happy for you :))
    I wrote to you a few weeks back when I was going through a nasty month of serious illnesses, hospitals, blood tests, and the worst imaginable pain..
    I remember reading through your blogs when I was at my lowest and they gave me such strength :)
    I can only imagine the hugs and great karma going through your household and I have such a smile on my face for you and your family. (I'm sure I know your mother - I can't remember)
    funny I lost the post I wrote to you - I remember saying the same thing. God only gives you what he feels you can handle. I do think it's true even though I've had so many questions for him over the challenges he's given me the past 6 yrs ;)
    Anyway, Alex thank you for sharing your world. I do feel very fortunate to have read your sometimes crazy funny and very emotional blog.
    I do hope you share details of the charity events and dates and continue making a very healthy recovery.
    You are strong and you are blessed

    Dee x

    1. You are very welcome and i'm glad on some level I could help you. Sometimes it takes someone else's positivity and strength for you to find yours.

      My crazy sometimes humorous blog is just an insight into my world. We all need laughter, it is what keeps us human!

      I know for me I had someone helping me along the way. No blog, just a phone call and messages but it did really help. We are all in this together fighting a tough fight and i am so pleased that my blogs have helped you.
      I hope everything is going well for you and no more bad sickness. Keep me posted on your progress and I of course will continue to update my blog accordingly. I still have a way to go xx

  2. Great Piece there Alex, I have to say a lot of it makes sense for anybody's general well being anyway - imagine how good you'd feel. Keep going and stay strong.
    Take care.
    Tom G

    1. Thanks Tom. Yes I guess my blog can be related to anyone who needs a bit of positivity! It does not have to be just for those with cancer.

      Someone else told me that recently so hopefully it is helping others too.
      Thank you for all your support during this time and for being a very trusted follower xx

  3. No worries, also you happen to wrtie in a very good way you should think about doing some writing you construct things very well.
    Tom G

  4. Congrats Alex I am so happy that you came out of this still with a positive attitude as you didn't let "clive" take that away ;) you can only live for today and tomorrow will be a new day as for now that's all we have...yesterday was yesterday!!! Thank you for sharing, keep strong and remember you always will have support :) keep your head up high and be proud hun!!! xoxo


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