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Warrior or Worrier?


When thinking of having cancer, we often perceive of it as a battle, and the person with it as a ‘warrior’ or we say that they are ‘fighting’ cancer. To an extent, this is true. However, some days I don’t feel like I have the energy or will to fight; instead I experience a depressing resignation and just go with the flow of the treatment and its side effects. So far, in my blog posts, I have been fairly factual about my treatment and how I am experiencing it and I think that’s natural because it’s what I have been focusing on. There is an awful lot to take in; appointments are more frequent than I had expected, medications more numerous and side effects more unpredictable. However, both in terms of what I have been sharing in this blog and where I have allowed my mind to go, I’ve tried to avoid the emotional impact, but this is now impossible for me to ignore. In short, I am in a right mess, both physically and mentally. The physical side is easier to cope with as it's something over which I have very little, if any, control – the bone marrow pain is constant and only made manageable by an increased dose of morphine, I am constipated (most likely due to the morphine) and this is uncomfortable, my hair is very brittle and shedding at an alarming rate (although now it’s so short, the loss looks more like dog hair!) and the bruises appearing all over my body are distressing. As I have no locus of control, I am resigned to these physical reminders of the treatment. However, I am finding it extremely tough to cope with the mental impact, largely because I feel like I should be able to control my thoughts and emotions. Going back to the title of this post, some days I do feel like a warrior, full of determination and vigour to defeat every single cancer cell which is trying to make my body its home. Other days I am overwhelmed by concerns and worries. I worry about my temperature going above 37.5 Celsius, because this would require admission to hospital; I fret about every ache and pain, and I obsess about taking my meds and getting my pain control right. There are days when I just can’t shake the depressing thought of having a year of this and, although I try to think of happier days to come, the positives are fleeting because they feel so unrealistic right now. It's not just the physical side that I worry about, though; my financial situation is dire and living alone means that there are always too many jobs which need doing, but which I am not able to complete, as I just can’t muster the energy and mojo. To-do lists go unticked, and actions only happen when they become urgent and important – this is very unlike the ‘old’ me, as I was a whirlwind of activity and achieved so much every day. I find this aspect of my situation particularly tough as I just don’t feel like myself anymore; stripped of my motivation and physical and mental competence. Just like everyone, I do have good days, as well as bad days, however, the scale of the highs and lows is magnified. I called this blog #BloodyCancer in a tongue-in-cheek way, but it is indeed appropriate! And, whilst I am spending some of my time as a worrier, I am also channelling my inner warrior, fighting against the pain, brain fog and consequences, finding ways to be resilient and looking for the joys in life, which are still there, but just need me to search a little harder!


If you have any advice for me, or any questions, please get in touch. You can comment on my posts and/or sign up to the mailing list. I've received lots of wonderful messages, including recommendations for some very funky beanie hats, so keep them coming!

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About Me

Angela.jpg

Hi, I'm Angela, also known as 'Space Angel ‘, on Twitter and 'Snakey' to my family (both monikers require a long story to explain!). I'm 58 and the proud mum of Charlie, my 26-year-old son. I live alone in my cottage in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, a beautiful village in the Tanat Valley in North Wales, and the location of the tallest waterfall in Wales.

#BLOODYCANCER

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