Life’s too short for feeling like you’re trapped in a car on a boiling hot day with windows that won’t open.
I didn’t realise how stuffy I’d allowed my life to become until I let a bunch of stuff go and was able to breathe again. Since I fired my oncologist for a replacement, I’ve relaxed a lot more.
I’ve been singing (into a mic, to a teacher – over and above the usual in-the-traffic singing). Creativity is so important. I think when you’re taught something – like how to do a job or pack a suitcase – nothing happens except brain activity. When you push out creativity, it’s different. A piece of your soul pours out into the world; not to be lost but as if you’ve shared it and now you’re totally vulnerable to whatever reaction you get. It was really odd how scary I found hearing my own voice over the mic. Now I can’t wait for Tuesdays and I just belt it out!
Giving out an honest, pure, raw piece of myself (that absolutely no one else can replicate) made space for some magic effervescence. I wish I’d realised this sooner. It would’ve helped my spirits during the darker days.
Realising the extent of my funk, I also tried out hypnosis. That’s another post on its own which I’m excited to write about soon.
So I’ve been off chemo now for 2 months and my hair’s stopped falling out. I had a pin-prick DNA test in July, the results of which take 6 weeks to arrive. We haven’t been through the full report yet but one issue is that my oestrogen levels are far higher than they “should be”. Duh, I’ve been on HRT for over 20 years. No one thought to check on that before. The levels were simply maxed so that my bones wouldn’t crumble in my 20s. I’m not metabolising the stuff so it needs to be tapered off. To what level, is the issue. At 18, they were hardly even established and they cannot be matched to anyone else’s levels. You know how the hormones they feed cows to produce more/better milk stay in the milk and cause cancer in the people that consume it? (That’s a very over-simplified statement so don’t go kicking your lactose habit over it). Oestrogen could be causing my cancer cells to grow and negating the effects of the chemo. Sigh.
Further down the rabbit hole
So, with that, the dr’s recommended an oncology-specific genetics test. The results will state which chemo is likeliest to work and to which my genetic make-up is resistant. It’s like customising brand-spanking new window-opening specs for your specific make of car! I find it fascinating. I’m not panicked much; I know my tumour’s not aggressive and frankly, I’m happy to go without treatment a bit longer if it means more research is necessary to pinpoint what will work.
With this stress-free attitude, I did have a recent scare, though – complications with my inoperable gut. After some days of flushing out, an ultrasound, and a CT scan, it seems to have calmed down but the worrying internal pulling (as if I’m stretching out intact stitches) hasn’t disappeared. I don’t think it’s serious because my follow-up appointment was made for tomorrow – a week after the scan. But that’s tomorrow’s concern and for now, with the wind blowing through my growing hair and a song on my mind, I’ll drive off into the sunset.