health

My Cancer Hates Christmas

This time of year is hard for me. My beloved grandmother died in the first few days of January 2016, after being ‘nil by mouth’ for over 20 days. A slow and undignified death you wouldn’t subject an animal too. Horrific by all accounts.

I was diagnosed with stage four cancer one year later in January 2016.

New Year 2017 my cancer was in remission. A short break…or time to process the previous trauma…depending on your outlook.

December 2017 I was emergency admitted to hospital with a collapsed lung. I spent New Year in hospital and welcomed 2018 with the news that my cancer had returned.

I spent 2018 dodging countless cancer bullets. Refusing chemo. Paying for private treatment. Starting an immunotherapy trial.

Days before Christmas 2018 I had surgery and I spent Christmas in pain, exhausted and vomiting. A few weeks later, in January 2019, I was told my cancer was now in my lungs. Two little tumours reminding me that my cancer just loves the festivities.

Now, December 2019, I’ve received the news that my trial isn’t working, that my cancer is spreading, that I face more tests, more treatment, more uncertainties.

Christmas and New Year used to be my favourite time of year. It’s why I got married in December. But there is only so much trauma one person can receive at the same time of year – year after year after year.

My life feels like a cyclical journey of cancer that punches me in the face every winter.

I can’t bring myself to put up a Christmas tree this year because every time I look at one I think about my cancer. ‘Is this my last Christmas?’ I think or ‘wow, I cant believe I made it to another Christmas.’

This is the reality of living with late stage cancer. There is no ‘recovery’. There is no ‘end of treatment’. There is only getting through one day after another and hoping that the side affects aren’t too bad while navigating the loss of those you’ve met since your diagnosis who haven’t made it.

It’s fucking bullshit and I’m fucking sick of it.

There is only one thing I want for Christmas and that is to no longer have cancer.

I don’t want the latest gadget, or a new outfit, or jewellery or any other materialistic bullshit you can buy in a shop or on a website.

I just want to live.

Is a Christmas without pain or fear or anxiety or hospital appointments or cancer really too much to ask for?

Fuck your cancer right in your fucking Christmas hating ass!

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