Chemo or not to chemo; that is the question

Bad day finalAnd so the lecture my focus today is perspective, or to put it basically, get a flippin grip!

*lecture commences*

If I hear one more person describe their day as bad, awful or nightmarish I will scream. You’ve been warned. It’s not that my days are worse than yours, it’s just that wherever you look or when you chat to people there are always folks in more difficulty or struggling with genuine far reaching problems than ours.

I know that it’s about perspective and that a small hiccup for one person can really unsettle them and send them spiralling into a deep depression or angst that takes a while to shift. But honestly?! Get a grip on those #firstworldproblems. If your ‘problems’ are about things that represent how blessed or fortunate you are, get over it. Would you swap them for someone else’s issues? Probably not. So make your choices and get on with it.

*lecture ends and Rosemary returns to #TeamPositive house rules*

My own context is NOTHING compared to some people’s current challenges. Just as when you decide to make a major purchase – a new car for example – you see your preferred vehicle everywhere and you suddenly notice all the adverts and so on, when cancer comes into your life you seem to hear about it more and people’s conversations appear to refer to it over and over again. Cancer is a graduated and calibrated beast; for some people it touches their lives and for others it crushes hopes and opportunities before they’ve even started. It’s like most things in life – there’s a continuum and at any one point you’re somewhere on the line. I’m thinking about people who are at the steeper end and wishing them healing and love.

I do now have an appointment to see my new Oncologist next Monday, to plan what path we’re going to take from here. Currently there is a conversation taking place about the benefits to me of having Chemotherapy. It was a shock to hear these words once we knew that my cancer hadn’t spread through my lymph nodes. Our thinking was fairly straightforward:

Lymph nodes infected = Chemotherapy, then Radiotherapy and Hormone therapy (no hair)

Lymph nodes not infected = Radiotherapy and Hormone therapy only (hair)

So to hear another alternative was a surprise. The reason is because the tumour was bigger than expected and its size has tipped over a threshold that is used to determine whether in my particular case Chemotherapy might be advantageous to keeping it at bay, so it’s a preventative intervention. My planned Oncotype DX test will be used to help make this decision as it can help to indicate whether this route is beneficial.

I know that this is the reason why Steve and I feel that just yet although the news is mostly positive, we are now having to consider what lies ahead in a slightly different context. We’re hoping that by this time next week it will all become clearer and whatever the decision is, plans can be made to move things forward.

My Mum bless her, when told about this possibility immediately suggested she shaved her head too and is hopeful that when her hair grew back it was all white rather than a mix of grey and white #firstworldproblems 😉

Have a good day! #mindset



10 thoughts on “Chemo or not to chemo; that is the question

  1. The sharing of your hopes and fears takes me back to painful poignant moments in my own life. Devastating and fundamentally life changing. The resonance that this must bring about relies on the nature of collective human experience, the basis of empathy and understanding. I am with you in your aloneness. And the sharing with loved ones. Deep connection Rosemary. It’s where love resides. Xxxx


  2. He’s a sneaky b@stard that Mr C but the experts are on the case & a big team are after him/supporting you #teampositive #thelovelyEvelyn #isthatEltonJohn xx


    1. Terry, thank you. You’re absolutely right, I do have a big team supporting me and the Elton John reference did make me laugh as it captured the fun we had that Christmas and one of my current goals- the forthcoming concert with you both. Yeah! xx


  3. Thank you for this… you are right. The moment aiman was diagnosed with cancer, we kept hearing about other people’s struggles in fighting cancer. Some come as good news while some as bad, and the bad ones that made us think again if we are going to make it to the finishing line.. not only I am struggling to stay positive and strong for aiman in order for him to be strong, I find it difficult to maintain my focus on anoum. There are many times that I felt like I’ve ripped her life from her. Suddenly there’s no more school, no more swimming classes, no more mummy sleeping with her most nights, no more going out with mummy having fun. There are even times when I can’t even be near her or let her touch aiman due to fear – fear that aiman will get infected with cold, flu, cough or whatever infectious diseases as his ANC is zero after chemo. I do wonder myself, am I on the path of loosing both my children??! This is NOT me! I’m not born to live a negative life! So, I clicked on my ipad (it’s full with tiny fingers marks and snot by the way – a new bad distracting tool it had became) – online shopping! I am going to be the prettiest mum on Eid in the cancer ward and we are going to sing and dance for the children! Then, me and anoum stand for good half an hour by my in – laws front gate waiting for the ice – cream guy. Once I heard from a distance the ice – cream song, I sang it out loud and jump – stunted anoum just follow innocently yet enjoying it! The thrill of looking forward for something fun, like how we were when we are young – that brought my life back.. aiman started giggling and playing more as soon as my life is back. This is MY way of fighting this battle, ‘f#@*’ those who keep on pouring bad news on how others failed in their battle. No one loss their battle, they just moved on to the next exciting level which many of us have no clues about. Do cancer change my life? Yes, greatly and excitingly. And I’m grateful for that. You will win your battle too as you will now learn so many wonderful new things that will make you gain a PhD in MOL (Meaning of Life) – hang in there for all the exciting “first”. I always believed that we are the chosen ones to experience all this, for a very good reason unknown. So, looking forward to seeing you at the finishing line!

    P/s: I don’t think I’ll shave my head for you as I wanna look pretty in my new clothes! 😂


    1. Ling dearest, as ever your writing is as poignant as talking to you. I miss that greatly. I think you’d look beautiful bald, especially if you did a ‘Ling look’ as you know that always makes us laugh and I intend to work on you rethinking about shaving your head……………
      I bet that the Eid celebrations were amplified by your presence, ice cream, your inner and outer beauty and your new clothes!

      Do not worry about Anoum, this can only enhance her already big character and whilst your perception is about the things that you feel she’s lost, her perception will be focused on the other new things in her life, she won’t have a sense of ‘loss’. She’s spending time with her cousins and nearest family and that will be a joy and children are simply amazingly adaptable and resilient, we can learn from them.

      I love your comment about ‘your way’ of coping. I can see that and the interesting way that people expect us to react and behave; I guess we’re all on a chapter in our lives that we weren’t planning for (or even trained!!) When we graduate with our PhD in MOL shall we celebrate?

      Love to you, Adam, Anoum and Aiman and your families.


  4. Dear Rosemary,

    You might not remember me however I remember you during your time spent in the Academy. Just like Ling I pray that the needle stays left during this trying time! Hopefully by the time your moms hair grows back you would have defeated big bad Mr C. Xx


    1. Dear Miriam thank you so much for popping by and it’s so lovely to reconnect with you. I’m thrilled with your message and definitely have Mr big bad C in my sights! He’s going to lose 😊xx


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