I have some things that I need to get off of my heart and off my chest. I struggle with writing posts such as the following because through this blog, it’s hard to know how much to share and I don’t want to sound rude when writing the harder posts, but I want to give a real depiction of what cancer treatment is like.
To answer the question: “What’s wrong with her?” that my friends sometimes receive from others: I am currently fighting malignant melanoma. My treatment plan is a full year.
It hurts my heart so much to know that because I haven’t completely lost my hair, people think that I’m not that sick or my chemo must not be that hard on me.
It hurts my heart because I have never been so sick in my entire life as I have been since starting chemo.
If you think I’m not that sick, please talk to my parents who have been looking after me and caring for me essentially 24/7. Talk to them about their broken hearts of watching chemo take over their 20 year old daughter who was once full of life. Please talk to me about how many nights I have spent on the bathroom floor. We might as well talk about the fevers of 104 degrees and chills and body aches. We can talk about my fatigue and nausea. Let’s talk about the nights I’m up crying my eyes out because of how sick I am. Let’s discuss the heartbreak of handfuls of my hair falling out of my head.
Wouldn’t that be fun to talk about?
That’s only the beginning.
I do injections of chemo three times a week. That doesn’t mean that I’m sick/feel sick three times a week, it means I feel sick immediately after and for the rest of the day and the following day. And then the cycle starts again.
I don’t remember the last time that I felt healthy.
Not all chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. It depends on the chemo you are doing, how often you receive chemo and the dose of chemo that you receive. Some chemotherapies cause hair thinning, hair loss or baldness. My treatment causes hair thinning/loss. If you only knew the heartbreak of losing hair from cancer treatment, maybe you wouldn’t say: “Oh she still has her hair, she must not be that sick.”
Whether or not I have my hair is no indication of how sick I am.
Think before you speak.
If you know nothing about cancer and chemotherapy, watch what you say. It’s not always like it’s depicted in the movies. Actually, chemo is entirely different in real life than the movies. Don’t rely on films like My Sister’s Keeper and The Fault in Our Stars to explain and depict what chemo is truly like. It’s not the real thing.
I don’t feel that I should have to justify how sick I am but hearing that people don’t think I’m sick because I’m not bald (and thank God I’m not) really hurts.
Have a blessed week,