Chemo has a way of sneaking up on you. This is my off week of cycle 4, before 5. The fact that one day you feel good, and the other you feel horrible is an understatement. This morning I was woken up drenched in sweat, to shooting pain all over my body around 2am, to the point where it’s so unbareable that it actually almost makes you physically sick. My chemo off weeks are usually the worst weeks, where I’m in the most pain. It’s crazy, because I was speaking with a girl from Thialand the other day, going through the same journey as me. But on the other side of the world. She asked how I tolerate all of the pain, but at that time I had none. And now I do. The other day, I was out shopping with one of my girlfriends, living a relatively normal life. Now I’m counting down the days until cycle 5 starts, so I can get more chemo. This is what makes you love and hate chemo. You can complain about it, but when you’re off of it, you want more.
So how I deal with this pain is an easy answer. Unfortunately my doctor doesn’t prescribe me pain medication, because he’s against it. I’m going to actually thank him for this, because he’s helping give light to my journey. The pain that I experience on my off weeks makes me feel more alive and more invincible, and I use it to empower me, rather than bring me down. I could sit here and cry, which I will never do. You will never see me cry when I’m in pain like this. Ask my mom. Never.
So, I take my temperature at 3AM to make sure that I don’t have a fever, and carry on with how I deal with it–by telling my story to help other people. I believe that my story can help save someone’s life, but silence about my story can contribute to someone’s struggle. I don’t post pictures, quotes, and selfies on my journey for attention. I got a lot of attention before my cancer, and trust me–I don’t like attention, I used to run from it. I’m private. I’m confident with myself and know who I am. I don’t need likes or followers to help tell me that. I want to genuinely help other people who are going through the same thing as me, know that they will get through this. And I want to raise awareness, because it’s so easy for your life to take a 180, and cancer is real.
Cancer fighters and survivors are the most dangerous people out there, simply because they know that they can survive. In a way, it’s scary to me. I used to care about trivial things, and now I think if I’m ever to go through a break up, a friendship loss, a job loss, even a divorce in the future, it won’t phase me as much. I know how to survive now, which is dangerous to the rest of the world. I’ll be able to carry on, simply because I know that I can. And that’s what Lymphoma has taught me. You still have emotions, but at the same time, trivial things no longer affect you, and in many ways you just don’t give a f*ck. I can’t see myself putting up with unacceptable behavior from anyone or anything here forward. Obviously going through Cancer, you have a lot of realizations. I’ve carried on with my day without a second thought about things that would have upset me before. Lymphoma, you’ve kind of created a monster!
There is a hashtag on Instagram called #noonefightsalone. And it’s absolutely true, no one fights alone. There are days when you feel mentally and physically weak. You look in the mirror and can’t even recognize yourself because chemotherapy has destroyed who you once were on the outside. You cry and let yourself be down for a bit, ask God why this is happening to you, then you move on with your day. No one fights alone. Although there are days when I have felt more alone than I’ve ever felt in my life, there are millions of people going through the exact same physical and emotional journey as me. At this point in my journey, I’ve connected with so many people through social media, experiencing everything that I am experiencing through out this crazy cancer journey. You are not alone. Cancer connects people in a strange way through out the world. I hope my story helps you with your struggle.
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