Chemo holiday

Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for because it might just come true.

In my last blog post, I wrote that momentary I considered giving up but soon afterwards I realised that I wanted to continue. How ironic.

I’m now on a chemo holiday. It wasn’t my choice to skip treatment. This is an enforced break.

Last time I listed all the chemo cons. Well, there was one that I forgot to add. I had a nasty rash on my arm that itched like hell. It looked like a big patch of eczema, something I used to get as a child. It didn’t seem too serious. But when I turned up at hospital this week, my doctors thought it was.

Looking at it with them I had to admit it did seem quite red and angry. They don’t know what caused it to suddenly flare up however they’re sure there is a chemo connection.

After putting up with all the awful side effects I can’t believe that a stupid rash has postponed my chemo cocktail. Hopefully it’ll be better by next week and I’ll be able to have the five remaining sessions.

I should feel happy that about my chemo holiday but I’m not. I’m very disappointed.

Mentally I was all ready for another dose of the toxic drugs. I just want to complete this course of treatment. I’m so annoyed at the delay. Ever since the start of the year I’ve been working towards the end date in mid-May. I thought I had less than a month to go. My chemo has now gone into extra time and the final date has moved a bit further away from my grasp.

Also I don’t like my routine being disrupted. When you have cancer your life is changed for ever. At times it seems to spin out of your control. There are big question marks against all the things you thought were certain.

And yet there is one thing you can reply on. The regularity of your treatment. The chemo sessions and all the other associated appointments are comforting. Having a medical schedule gives your life shape and it gives you back some control.

After wondering whether I wanted to continue with the anti-cancer treatment, I’m more sure than ever that it’s what I want. Thanks for all the messages of encouragement and support, sorry I’m too tired to reply to everyone. I loved the way that after saying that I’d briefly thought about giving up, there was a massive noooooooo from the internet!

This chemo-cation has made me even more determined to carry on. When you’re told you can’t have something it makes you want it even more. I know that I’m lucky to still have options and I want to make the most of every moment. I’m more confident than ever that I have the strength to continue.

13 thoughts on “Chemo holiday

  1. Oh Helen, so sorry to hear you are having some enforced time-out. I know from personal experience how it can really throw you when something like this happens – all psyched up but with nowhere to go.

    I hope you are able to use the next week to be kind to yourself, rest lots and try to keep as positive as you can. Sending lots of love and energy to you down the broadband line!

    R x

  2. Oh Helen, please stick with it. I have tried to get hold of your mum but perhaps she is down in London with you. I am sending out such good strong positive thoughts for you and love. Jeannie Marshall – Witney

  3. So pleased you are carrying on, Helen. Sorry you have to take the break but I know you’ll fill the void with purpose and positivity. I wrote under your last post that although I did not know you, I loved you. It may seem stupid but I do and I send you all my love in your battle. I have been overwhelmed by the love I have received since my wife passed last Friday. I cannot put into words what it has done for me. I hope you can take the love here for you and find some strength from it. Look forward to reading your next post, much love x

  4. You are truely inspirational Helen. You keep in there and continue to fight. You must have hundreds of people wishing you well and sending you their love and strength. I went through the blooming chemo thing last year and feel for you having a session put back – it’s a real bummer but you can do it!

  5. Helen – so pleased to hear that you feel confident about having the strength and will to continue with your treatment when you can: that is such good news! With much love Fiona

  6. I can understand how disappoining this must be for you. It is all about routine. At present my family and I live our lives in three week segments. There is Mum’s bad week, Mum’s improving week and then Mum’s good week and then it starts all over again.

    On the plus side since your last blog, I thought of another pro – chemo is excellent at removing facial hair!


  7. I loved this last sentence!
    “I’m more confident than ever that I have the strength to continue.”
    I read it and said. “Yay!”
    And I think you should just enjoy the chemo-cation. Love the postcard up above.
    All the best,

  8. the breaks can cause depression and fear in an otherwise postive person. What if my body is saying I cannot have more chemo? What do I do then? But they are temporary and I am thinking it is a good thing for you. Even though it was from the rash, the thoughts of giving up on the chemo probably came from simple exhaustion and not feeling well. Think as a rejuvenating spa break for your body to get strong to take on the next rounds!

  9. I know how difficult it is to delay chemo when you are ready to go. And also know the feeling of – “can’t do this any more I’m done.” Taking the time to clear up the rash is a good thing- have you seen a dermatologist? Hope the break gives you some much needed rest and get ready to go back to the chemo bar.

  10. Well Helen you must be the only person desperate to get back to work after a holiday.
    But chemo work is vital work – it’s like you’re a spy with a mission to complete and nothing will stop you. Go for it! X

  11. Relatively new to your blog Helen and, having been somewhere similar, find it really inspiring as I’m sure that many others do. Hang in there…maybe it’s your destiny to inspire others? Take care and good luck x

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