Wednesday, 5 June 2013

So who's in charge of the universe, anyway?

I'd like to know, as I have a complaint I'd like to make. Well, actually, several complaints.

I got the awful news yesterday that a friend of mine, Claire, who has been fighting bowel cancer for the 2nd time is losing her fight and is slipping away. She has been incredibly kind to me over the last 9 months, offering help and support despite her own battles and I know that she has done the same for others too. 

It's such a stupid thing to say, but life is just so so cruel and unfair, and I'm really beginning to get angry about it. I know it's pointless, but still, I'm fuming inside.

Yesterday was also the day that a very good friend's friend started his treatment for cancer. They have a son who is a similar age to my youngest, and again, I just can't get get my head around the unfairness of it all.

Cancer shouldn't happen to nice people, but it does, and I hate it. I hate feeling powerless and out of control, I hate not knowing what minute choices in my life might make me more or less likely to get it again, I hate the fear that I feel for myself and my friends, my children, and my family.

God and I haven't spoken for a while, not properly, and whilst I have never been a hugely religious person I have always felt some comfort from going to church and all that entails. I've even said a few prayers at home, but at the moment, the words won't come. Everywhere I look, bad things seem to be happening to nice people and I'm struggling with it.

It doesn't help that I'm starting Herceptin tomorrow and I'm bloody scared. There's a huge long list of side effects, but the two I'm really worried about are heart issues and joint pain. Actually, I can handle pain. It's my heart I'm most worried about.

I know that they wouldn't let me have the drug if they thought the chances of me having a problem were high, but I wasn't allowed into a clinical trial in case my ejection fraction drops too low (which effectively means that they only let the healthiest people in) - if that had happened they would have had to have taken me off it and I wouldn't have been allowed any more, so better to stay out of the trial and have the drug for as long as I can and hope nothing goes wrong.

I really hope I'm worrying about nothing. I only know two people who have had Herceptin. One is fine, and the other had heart issues and had to stop after 9 sessions, and she had no prior heart issues.

It's incredibly selfish I know, bearing in mind that Claire is lying in her hospital bed knowing that she can do no more, but still, I'm scared.

I have to get a grip, because I need to be brave not just for myself, but everyone else, so I'm trying to think about what Claire would say or do. I'm pretty sure that she'd be thinking "Fuck Cancer" and put a big smile on her face regardless.

Fingers crossed I can do just that.



  1. It's easy for me to sit here and say, but with the Herceptin, just go with the flow. Don't borrow trouble by worrying about the what ifs too much. Take each session as it comes, deal with just that session and move on.

    I am so, so very sad, and cross with the universe about our lovely Claire too, without the very recent and still raw personal brush with it that you have had. The universe can seem so cruel and heartless to take someone so kind, and caring, and so very full of love and life - but it's not The Universe - it's that fucking evil bastard, Cancer.

    Well, nobody messes with The DW Mafia and gets away with it. I am going to make it my bloody business to cheer you on, every single baby step of the way. I pledge to cheer your victories, to soften the blow of your (minor) setbacks, and to bloody well help you pop the cork on that champagne bottle when you are celebrating sticking two fingers up at The Evilness (© Claire) in one, two, five, ten years' time.

    Keep on keeping on. I'm here - we all are - to keep on keeping on right there with you.

    Big hugs.

    Rach xx

  2. Thank you so much Rach. The DW Mafia rocks.

    R xx