How can you want something so badly and yet completely dread it at the same time? That’s how I feel about chemotherapy.
I’ve been here before. When I beat cancer ten years ago the chemo was worst part of the treatment.
Now it’s about to start all over again.
I’d already failed once to persuade the consultants I was well enough for it to begin. So a few days ago I was delighted when they said that I was chemo ready.
It wasn’t the fact that I was looking a lot more like the old me; that I’d put on bright red nail polish or even that I had the energy to wash my hair before the appointment.
No, I was genuinely well. I was also mentally ready.
Ironically since then I’ve had some of the worst pain following surgery. Thankfully it’s now easing off.
Next Wednesday I’ll have to go into hospital for my first session of chemo. They’ll hook me up to a drip of drugs that’ll slowly slip into my veins over the course of a day.
I’ll get the maximum dose of the stuff every three weeks and there’ll be six sessions in total.
Having the chemo is the easy part. It’s what comes afterwards that’s hard to deal with. It builds up in your system. As the weeks go by you just feel worse and worse.
Imagine having the hangover from hell, arthritis, the flu and chronic tiredness all at the same time. That’s what chemo was like last time.
It’s not just the sickness I’m worried about. I’m sad too about the chunk of time it’ll take away from me.
On the morning of New Years Day I was live on BBC TV outside the Olympic stadium talking about what promised to be an incredible year. I could never have imagined that just a couple of months later I’d be diagnosed with cancer.
Putting the treatment dates in my diary was pretty depressing. It made me realise that I won’t finish chemo until the Olympics are over.
I had managed to get tickets for a couple of events but they’re a few days after chemo session number five. I doubt that I’ll make it back to the Olympic Park. By that stage I probably won’t even be well enough to watch it on the telly.
Apparently chemo is not so bad these days and the drugs for the side effects are better. Maybe. But still it’s going to be horrendous. I’ve been told that I should be prepared to feel very ill.
And then there’s my hair.
It all fell out last time and probably will again. It’s the thing that I’m finding the most upsetting.
Every time I brush my hair I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to do this for. Worst case scenario is that it’s gone by June.
Despite all this I just want to blast those microscopic cancer cells that are probably still lurking inside my body and so I can’t wait for my first toxic cocktail of chemicals.