On My Heart/To Clarify…

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 chemotherapy drugs 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,

11 thoughts on “On My Heart/To Clarify…

  1. Amen to that Mikayla. You have depicted so many feeling that I could not put down on paper. You are brave. And your feeling are not rude, they are real. Keeping a strong face and a big smile are difficult at times. And some people will seem like they are afraid of you. They just don’t know how to deal with reality. Be yourself and take care of yourself. That is what matters most. Hugs to you. Lenore

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mikayla concentrate on those that love and support you. We know what you are going through and some people speak before thinking. It does feel good however to unburden you thoughts and make room for positive feedback. I know how much you love your parents and they love you. I also had a great mom and dad and we are so lucky to have those loved ones in our lives!!!!!!
    As I said before you inspire me with your determination and your great faith. Keep on fighting and remember you are loved!!!
    Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie for the dose of perspective and for the comment that makes me remember how loved I am. I appreciate it!
      ❤ Mikayla

      Like

  3. Wisdom, strength and courage – it has taken me over 50 years to begin to develop these qualities, which you already possess and live. You rock!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have left me speechless, and u know that ain’t easy to do! I am so sorry you have to go through this on top of having cancer. I read this to my mom and we both think you have gift for writing. This blog tells it like it is, how u real feel. I’m glad you were able to voice it. No one has the right to question how sick you are because of how u look, or anyone else for that matter! When I see you at work I still see your spirit, your personality, your will to fight, and thank god you have not lost that. But I can also see in your eyes, the pain, how hard your fighting, how much u want this to be done. And I see how frail your body is, not your mind or spirit just your body. Makes me want to hug u and take it all away, and I’m just a friend. I can’t even imagine how your parents are handling this fight. You have a strong support system in your faith, friends and family, lean on them. The people who think you have to look sick to be sick are not worth your time and are more just being nosey then really giving a #%*^. You need to focus on u, be good to u, and ignore the rest. When you are through this hell, then take them on, let the know the reality of cancer! As always I’m here for u and always will be at anytime!

    Luv Care☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So brave and well spoken. It’s a blessing and a curse to not lose your hair. I went back to work a year after my treatment and because my hair was thick to begin with (even though I too lost most of it in clumps around month 3 of interferon treatment), most people assumed I didn’t have treatment during that time.

    A blog is a great way to share your story and I really feel like I’ve put my experience out there, so I don’t get frustrated anymore if acquaintances don’t understand my story.

    Keep being strong. Life is so darn sweet after treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sam – thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad that I found your blog through YACC’s Facebook page. I am so encouraged by your blog and I love reading your posts. I keep coming back to your posts that detail your experiences with interferon.

      I’m on month 3 of injections right now – when did you find that your hair started growing back/when you stopped losing so much?

      I can’t wait until this will all be a memory and thanks again for your comment!

      – Mikayla

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      1. Hey Mikayla – so glad to be of any help!! I really appreciated YACC’s blogs during my time in treatment.

        I stopped losing my hair around month 4 of treatment. My hair started growing back in about month 5-6 of injections – a totally different color and texture. It has just now started growing back my old color and texture 2 months after treatment finished. So I have this ridiculous mix of old/new/old hair in lengths from 1cm to 5 inches. It’s a mess. But my hair is curly so it hides it a bit. And I remind myself every day that I don’t need a wig. So all is good.

        I was showing my husband photos and you officially win for the best looking on interferon treatment! You probably feel absolutely crummy, but no-one would every know by looking! It will be a memory soon enough.

        Like

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