Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chemotherapy: A Blessing in Disguise

Chemotherapy refers to -as a quick Google search indicates- the use of medicines or drugs to treat cancer; yes, as plain and simple as that. However, regardless its simplistic definition, Chemotherapy actually means so much more and/or so many other things for many people.

I would say about 99% of the people hate it, and not only people who have actually undergone a chemotherapy treatment, but also people who have just heard or read about it, that much of an importance it has in modern medicine, I guess, that even non-patients seem to have a strong opinion about it.

Today, however, I am here to talk about my own personal experience with chemotherapy. And, just so you know, I am not writing this to try to change your mind, regardless what this one is, I am here simply to tell you about what happened to me, what I think about it and that's it, facts, basically and my opinion based on those facts, of course.  

Even though I was already familiarized with Cancer since my mom passed away from RCC (Renal Cell Cancer) over 4 years ago, I wasn't familiarized with chemo because my mom's cancer was much too advance to even be able to receive it -they skipped straight to an emergency surgery and then radiotherapy, but that was it. After I was diagnosed, my doctor explained the course of treatment to me with an odd tone in her voice, still not sure if it was produced by fear, nervousness or pity for having to say all those terrible things to someone "as young" as me. (I was 32yo at the time and my cancer -Esophagus- isn't a very common one for someone my age, or gender for that matter). After she explained that I would need to get 6 chemo sessions and then probably a few rounds of either radiotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy, I promptly -and in a very calmed way, I must say- asked what was the purpose of the treatment since my cancer was already Stage IIIB and I had already been told surgery was no longer an option for me. "To give you a better quality of life", she said. I had been given 1 to 5 years to live after my prognosis. 

At the very beginning of all this, when I was recently diagnosed, I was installed in the mindset that I would not be taking any treatment; first of all because my sister and I had agreed on that (after what we went though with my mom, neither of us felt like going through something similar ever again) and then, because if I had so little time left to live, I wanted to take advantage of it and do things, you know, live life like a normal person, instead of spending that time in a hospital bed, looking and feeling like crap only to end up in the place: dead. However, I'm not even sure how or when, but things changed and both (my sister's and mine) our minds changed and we decided I should give it a shot and do the treatment. First of all -I guess- because my biggest fear (or one of them, anyway) was to end up connected to tubes and having to eat drink, breathe and basically live out of them; I simply couldn't bare the idea of going though that so, if only to avoid that or put it off for as long as I could, I decided I'd do it and my sister also said that if I had been given the option, then I should do it, so I did.

To be quite honest, that day after talking to Dr. Lee was one of the very few times I cried. I cried because I had just been officially been declared terminally ill and I wasn't ready to die just yet. I was afraid for my sister, for myself and for what was about to come for both of us, given that we live in a foreign country and we're each other's only family.

The very next day they started prepping me for chemo, I would need to take it for 5 days a month, then rest 3 weeks and then back again, like that for 6 months. They gave me 5FU (Fluorouracil) and Cisplatin. They started doing it 24x24, which is when they infuse the medicine for 24 straight hours and then stop for 12hrs and then again another 24hrs of medicine, though you are connected to the IV the whole time and those 12hrs you just get a saline solution, but you are basically "plugged" the whole time. Before connecting you to the IV, they give you a shot that I'm not sure what it was but it has a really particular smell and it was HORRIBLE, I still get a bad sensation even just thinking about it, I felt tiny little electroshocks all over my body and felt like I wanted to escape my own body, so I would just go into fetal position and try to sleep it off asap. Then, I'd be connected for 4-5 days straight. What happened to me during those days wasn't so bad really, especially compared to what happened to me after those days. Usually I'd just get really exhausted, nauseous, appetite loss, a metallic taste in my mouth and constipation. Still, not fun at all but, again, nothing compared to what was in store for afterwards. Most of the time I was at the hospital, I'd try to sleep as much as I could, you know, so that time would go by "fast" so I could feel almost as if I was sleeping it off.

When I went home, I was happy because just being home and out of the hospital makes you feel better already, then, the real side effects would come. For the 1st round, it was not THAT bad, I lost my appetite, got really nauseous and disgusted by a lot of food, especially Korean food -and it's hard to be disgusted by it when you live in Korea and it smells like food everywhere at all times. After the 2nd round I got all swollen, not my feet nor hands like I'd read so much on the internet, but basically my face, one day it got so bad I went to the ER, but just wasted my time coz it was a "normal thing", part of the side effects, but nor the doctor nor anybody else had mentioned it'd happen so I had no idea what was going on. It's important to say side effects are accumulated, I mean, on top of the one I got at the hospital, I got these others ones, it's not like they switched, no, I had them all at the same time.

Dr. Lee said they'd be monitoring the chemo's results by making tests every 2 sessions and so, after the 2nd one and just before beginning the 3rd one, she told me the first 2 session had reduced the cancer 10%. I thought it was good news, I mean, it is a small percentage considering the stage I was in, but still, you have to be happy about winning little battles, you know?

For the 3rd round I got mouth sores, OH-MY-FRIGGING-GOD! Those things are horribly painful, that was another time I cried (only the 1st one after the terminal ill declaration cry). Pain was EXCRUCIATING. I couldn't even open my mouth because it'd hurt like hell to even try to open my jaw, let alone drink and much less eat ANYTHING. Pain was real, I don't think I had EVER felt that kinda pain in my life, I truly did suffer so much with these ones. For the 4th one, I got a lot of vomiting, A LOT! And also lots of headaches, plus the little ones (side effects). And just right after that 4th one -and almost overnight, I must say-, the 2nd worst one happened: the hair loss. For many people it's "just hair", I know, but you cannot say something like that until something like this happens to you, you know? I remember it hurt me a lot seeing my mom lose hers and she'd always had short hair so the difference wasn't THAT shocking, but it hurt and I felt bad for her but tried to comfort her and tell her that I rather having her bald but alive...then I came to find out that helps but not too much. 

Even though it may seem like something really shallow and vain, losing my hair was definitely one of the biggest hits I got from cancer, that is just something I am dealing with even to this day and pretty much everyday, and now I have hair again, short but brand new and healthy. Some days, I couldn't even bare looking at myself to the mirror because all I saw was a monster. I was all sick-looking, swollen and bold. I HATED looking at myself so I'd just avoid the mirror everytime I went to the bathroom. Needless to say I didn't want anyone else see me like that, I didn't even want my sister to see me like that but she had to be there to take care of me, so there wasn't much I could do there. She was very good and told me I didn't look like a monster, but I know very well I did.

When I came in for the 5th session was horrible, they did the tests they did every 2 sessions and they took too long, then there was a mistake with one of my blood tests, my red cells were too low they did a transfusion and even after it the readings were still low, but it turns out it was because they were reading the results from the tests done right before the transfusion, when they read the one from after they were okay; so the transfusion did work -obviously. Anyway, I was there about a week and after so many tests Dr. Lee told me she was being transferred to another department and I'd get another oncologist, Dr. Ro -a very old man, but a good doctor. After knowing the results from all the testing, Dr. Ro said I was now eligible for surgery (Ivor Lewis surgery, that is). I didn't wanna get surgery because the one surgeon that performed that particular surgery was one that had misdiagnosed me earlier so I didn't trust him, but Dr. Ro said he "strongly recommended" me to get the surgery and that that doctor (Dr. Park) was the best surgeon to perform that particular surgery. So we thought about it and agreed to it. 

To make a long story short -since this post is mainly about chemo, not my whole cancer history-; I got the surgery a few days later, then I got 28 sessions of radiotherapy and the CT done during the very last one came out all clean. So, basically, it was all because of chemotherapy, o at least, that's what started getting rid of the cancer, in my case.

So yes, chemo does destroy you in so many ways, it makes you feel the most unhealthy you've ever felt, the ugliest you've ever been, it drops your self-esteem to the floor, it scares you because of the many things going on with your body that you don't know about and therefore are so scared of, it makes you sad, it makes you weak, it makes you feel powerless, useless and so many other things no human being wants to go though, yes, but at the end of the day, it is only because of all of that that you get to feel better, stronger, healthier, more confident and just good. So if you as me, I would say it is 100% worth it. You know when they say "no pain, no gain"? I think they're pretty much referring to chemo. And I know a lot of people are against it because it is bad and it kills a lot of your good cells and it makes you unwell (like, really unwell), yes, but...BUT...it is also killing the bad cells (the cancerous ones) and, slowly, little by little the good cells can regenerate and your body can go back to normal and get rid of the bad ones. And like I said at the beginning of this post, this isn't something somebody told me, or I read somewhere or overheard it, no, I lived this experience, I went through all of this myself and I am now alive and way healthier than I was before chemo, thanks to it.

So, I would say, if you're in that position or time where you need to decide whether you do chemo or not because of its "history", I hope this helps you decide and gives you -at least- a little bit of hope and lets you know that, in order to become a stronger person, you first need to put on a fight, a really good one and show that you can go through it and survive it and end up kicking ass. Ultimately, it is that "small" sacrifice that will lead you to a better place.

Also, if you are in that situation, ask your doctor ALL the questions that come to your mind, no matter how stupid you may think they are, you need to get all the weapons that you can get and information is an important one; information is power and this case is no exception, the more you know, the better prepared you'll be for what's to come and the better you can fight it. If you already asked your doctor all the questions they could answer and still feel hesitant and want to know more information first hand, feel free to ask me, I'll be glad to help :)

In conclusion, yes, Chemotherapy is definitely a blessing in disguise.




Friday, July 15, 2016

70 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

(Hmmm...actually, you might know a few of them already, but still, read away!)

I bumped into this on my MySpace page and it is kind of old (from back on November 30, 2005) so I read it because I was curious to know how much I've changed in almost 5 years...or if I have...turns out...well, read on and find out yourself!


1. DO YOU SNORE? 

2005 - Nope

2010 - I do when I'm exhausted--for some odd reason



2016 - Only when I'm too exhausted.

2. ARE YOU A LOVER OR A FIGHTER? 

2005 - Definitely a fighter, I mean, a lover...well, what would one be without the other? haha So, both.

2010 - A lover of who/what I like and a fighter for who/what I want.

2016 - A lover.

3. WHAT'S YOUR WORST FEAR?

2005 - Not being able to make a living outta what I like (photography)
2010 - Not to find happiness--which has a lot to do with what I said before.


2016 - Not being able to show my sister how much I love her and how much she means to me.

4. AS A KID, WERE YOU A LEGO MANIAC?

2005 - Not really
2010 - Same

2016 - Nope

5. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF "REALITY" TV?
2005 - Love most of it, it's crappy but entertaining lol


2010 - I barely watch it now but I still find it entertaining

2016 - Love it -sometimes, the trashier, the better lol

6. DO YOU CHEW ON YOUR STRAWS?
2005 - No, why would someone do that? 



2010 - No, I think only (my friend) Gaby does that

2016 - No

7. WERE YOU A CUTE BABY?
2005 - Well, yeah...and there are pics to prove it!



2010 - Same

2016 - Yes

8. IS THE SINGLE LIFE FOR YOU?
2005 - Fun as long as it it by choice



2010 - Same

2016 - I rock it!

9. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR KEYBOARD?
2005 - Grey, with black keys
2010 - Same actually, thou now I have a nicer computer

2016 - Same as last time




10. DO YOU SING IN THE SHOWER?
2005 - I sing everywhere



2010 - Same

2016 - No

11. HAVE YOU EVER BUNGEE JUMPED?
2005 - Hell no and I would NEVER do such thing--I'm acrofobic (afraid of heighs for those who don't know what I just said)



2010 - Same!

2016 - Never have, never will!

12. ANY SECRET TALENTS?
2005 - Yeah, I am actually a good cook, I just don't like to cook, that's why I don't mention it hehe



2010 - No, they're all out in the open now...haha jk!

2016 - Can't think of any right now

13. WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL VACATION SPOT?
2005 - Dubai!!!



2010 - There are SO many, however, these are on the top: Japan, Santorini (Greece), Morocco, and Istanbul.

2016 - Greece and Bora Bora

14. IS JAY LENO FUNNY?
2005 - No, not really...



2010 - Same

2016 - No

15. CAN YOU SWIM?
2005 - Yup--not very fond of it thou

2010 - Yes

2016 - Yeah


16. HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE "DONNIE DARKO"?
2005 - Nope but you can ask me about "Kill Bill" haha


2010 - Yes and I love it!

2016 - Yes

17. DO YOU GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE OZONE?
2005 - Yes, that's why I no longer use hairspray--didn't know my hair would still look good without it lol


2010 - Yes and now I do use hairspray from time to time but it's one that doesn't damage it.

2016 - Yes

18. HOW MANY LICKS DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE CENTER OF A TOOTSIE POP?
2005 - What am I? The owl that's the only one on earth who knows? Well no, so I don't know!



2010 - I'm too impatient to even try to find out, I just know I'll bite it after a little while.

2016 - I guess I'll never know

9. CAN YOU SING THE ALPHABET BACKWARDS?
2005 - Nope, but why would I wanna do that?
2010 - No.

2016 - No



20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON AN AIRPLANE?
2005 - Yes
2010 - Same

2016 - Yes




21. ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?
2005 - No
2010 - Same

2016 - No -thank goodness!




22. DO YOU PREFER ELECTRIC OR MANUAL PENCIL SHARPENER?
2005 - Don't care really, as long as it works



2010 - Same...though I don't even use pencils anymore really.

2016 - Don't care

23. WHAT'S YOUR STAND ON HUNTING?
2005 - What would you wanna know that?



2010 - It's boring, not to mention illegal.

2016 - Same, I guess

24. IS MARRIAGE IN YOUR FUTURE?
2005 - Do I look like a psychic to you? I really don't know, I guess we'll see, won't we?



2010 - I don't know about marriage per se but I do hope I find someone to share my life with.

2016 - Still don't know

25. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
2005 - No, it's awful!
2010 - Same...though it's actually worse now as I don't practice it.

2016 - No




26. WHAT ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO?
2005 - Stress haha no, seriosuly, when I get too stressed out I get these rush on my forearms.



2010 - Same--happening at the time!

2016 - Nothing

27. last time u said I LOVE YOU?
2005 - As in "love you-love you"? or just love you...coz I do love a lot of people, ya know?



2010 - A few months ago.

2016 - I say it as often as I can

28. IS ELVIS STILL ALIVE?
2005 - Don't think so, but if he was he'd a creepy old man by now.


2010 - Same

2016 - No

29. DO YOU CRY AT WEDDINGS?
2005 - No, weddings are s'posed to be fun! 



2010 - Ahem, I did cry at the last one...it was really beautiful!

2016 - Not generally

30. HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS?
2005 - Scrambled are okay I guess
2010 - Same

2016 - Scrambled and sometimes sunny side up with the yoke cooked




31. ARE BLONDES DUMB?
2005 - Some of them, I don't think it depends on the hair color if someone's dumb or not.



2010 - Same

2016 - Not necessarily, I think anyone can be dumb

32. WHERE DOES THE OTHER SOCK END UP?
2005 - Right next to its lil sock partner lol

2010 - Same

2016 - In the drawer



33. WHAT TIME IS IT?
2005 - 5:49 pm



2010 - Same...haha kidding! It's really late at night and I should be sleeping!

2016 - 11:22 pm

34. DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?
2005 - Dayana, Dianation, Dianis, Dianuchis, Dianaster, perro, slothy, Indy...
2010 - Same, +: loser, G...a, O.P., Dianasaurio, Davaya, Trampy, and maybe others I don't remember

2016 - D, Perrow, Dian, Dianish


35. IS MCDONALD'S DISGUSTING?
2005 - Of course not, why would you say that?



2010 - Abso-fucking-lutely!

2016 - Not always

36. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE IN A CAR?
2005 - Few days ago I think.



2010 - Today

2016 - Today

37.DO YOU PREFER BATHS OR SHOWERS?
2005 - Showers, but then again, I don't have a bathtub so that may influence my decision haha
2010 - Same

2016 - Still no bathtub *sigh*

38. IS SANTA CLAUS REAL?
2005 - What are you trying to imply? He obviously is! lol
2010 - Same! haha

2016 - I wish!


39. DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR NECK KISSED?
2005 - Do you need to know that?



2010 - Same

2016 - Same

40. ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?
2005 - Not anymore, only when I was lil and watched the Thundercats--that Munra guy was scary as hell!



2010 - Only when I watch pretty scary movies--my mind is very suggestible.

2016 - Not anymore

41. WHAT ARE YOU ADDICTED TO?
2005 - Internet, Music, design, and now...feeding my iPod!



2010 - Blogging (in case you hadn't notice), shopping, chocolates, Lightroom.

2016 - My phone and movies

42. CRUNCHY OR CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER?
2005 - Crunchy all the way!



2010 - I actually find peanut butter gross.

2016 - Crunchy

43. CAN YOU CRACK YOUR NECK?
2005 - Yeah, wanna hear?



2010 - So loud, people hate me when I do it.

2016 - Yup

44. HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN IN AN AMBULANCE?
2005 - Nope, luckily for me



2010 - Same

2016 - Yes

45. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BRUSHED YOUR TEETH TODAY?
2005 - Once...



2010 - None, considering the actual day started 2 hours ago (it's 2am).

2016 - Once

46. IS DRUG FREE THE WAY TO BE?
2005 - Yes
2010 - Whatever works for you.

2016 - To each its own
47. ARE YOU A HEAVY SLEEPER?
2005 - No
2010 - Same

2016 - No

48. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR EYES?
2005 - Light brown

2010 - Green...duh, of course the same!

2016- Same



50. DO YOU LIKE YOUR LIFE?
2005 - Some parts of it I do, some parts I don't.
2010 - For the most part I do, I think I can say I've had a pretty good life!

2016 - Lately, not so much, no
51. WHO'S BETTER?
2005 - You do realize after such sentence you must write "than...whatever", in order for ppl to answer, right?
2010 - Same...better than what or at what?

2016 - That's subjective

52. ARE YOU PSYCHIC?
2005 - Like I said before...do I look like one? Well, save your answer, I'm not. lol


2010 - Same

2016 - No and I wouldn't wanna be

53. HAVE YOU READ "CATCHER IN THE RYE"?
2005 - Nop
2010 - Still no.

2016 - No




54. DO YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?
2005 - I wish! I just scratch my guitar from now and then

2010 - Same
2016 - No


55. HAVE U EVER STOLEN MONEY?
2005 - Would you take me to jail for that?



2010 - No

2016 - No

56. CAN YOU SNOWBOARD?
2005 - No, we don't snowboard in Mexico



2010 - Same
2016 - No


57. DO YOU LIKE CAMPING?
2005 - Heck no, it sucks big time and whoever says the opposite...is a dumb boy/girl-scout lol

2010 - Same
2016 - No


58. DO U SNORT WHEN U LAUGH?
2005 - No but I laugh @ ppl who does...



2010 - Same

2016 - No

59. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?
2005 - Not sure...
2010 - I believe the hand can be too fast for the eye!

2016 - No




60. ARE DOGS A MAN'S BEST FRIEND?
2005 - Depends on every man I guess, it'd be sad if it was true thou...I mean, really sad!



2010 - Worst, I've come to learn (for some WEIRD people) dogs are like their own children!! WTF is wrong with them? Seriously...

2016 - NO.

61. YOU BELIEVE IN DIVORCE?
2005 - More than I believe in Santa! haha
2010 - Same

2016 - Yes




62. CAN YOU DO THE MOONWALK?
2005 - No but I can make the robot dance if that counts.

2010 - Same lol
2016 - No


63. DO YOU MAKE A LOT OF MISTAKES?
2005 - Who doesn't?



2010 - More than I wish yes, but sometimes without even realizing I am.

2016 - A lot!

64. IS IT COLD OUTSIDE TODAY?
2005 - Heck yeah and it's all foggy and london-ish haha



2010 - More like very fresh really.

2016 - No

65. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
2005 - Ham sandwich

2010 - Frozen coffee and bread.
2016 - Mac & cheese


66. DO YOU WEAR NAIL POLISH?
2005 - haha r u watching me?.. my mum did my nails last nite! 



2010 - No, I can't stand it, it feels like my nails can't breathe!

2016 - Not in a while

67. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN KISSED?
2005 - Yes
2010 - A couple of times, yes. *wink*

2016 - Yes




68. WHAT'S THE MOST ANNOYING TV COMMERCIAL?
2005 - Too many to name them all!



2010 - Any they run every 2 seconds!

2016 - All the Korean ones

69. DO YOU SHOP AT AMERICAN EAGLE?
2005 - No
2010 - Same

2016 - No





70. FAVORITE BAND AT THE MOMENT?
2005 - Interpol but I'm also very much into Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Kasabian, The Killers, etc...
2010 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs--they've been on the top for a while now.

2016 - Same as back then

Well, almost half the answers remained the same for the first 2 times, which means I hadn't changed all that much, which lead me to think it could mean 2 things: 1) either I was already a mature person back then, or 2)I was still very immature in 2010. I realize my 2016 answers are, if not more mature, at least more serious. I was very "witty" back in 2005, but well...early twenties, I guess it's understandable, more than 10 years later...here I am, knowing more about life than I probably should at this point, still, thankful for it and for who I am in general.





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Where does YOUR story begin?

Some would say their story begins at a certain point where something epic happened to them, either good or bad. Not me. As far as I'm concern, my story began the day I was born and developed through the years I've lived and around everything that has happened to me; the good, the bad, the crazy, the fun, the sad, the amazing, the unbelievable, the heartbreaking, every little thing and/or event that occurred to me in my life is exactly what makes up MY story and, above all, who I am to this day.

Massive tragedies have marked my life, yes, but that does not mean my story began from those moments on; it only means the plot thickened and many, many twists were making the story more rich and, somehow, interesting.

When things that change your life forever happen to you, you, somehow, become someone else; sometimes only temporarily, sometimes forever, so it's not only your life that changes but you change along with it.

I recently read a cancer blogger(?) who was talking about her illness and she mentioned her story began the day she was diagnosed, which I found a bit odd, to be honest. It left me wondering, had she had an irrelevant life? Did nothing great, fun, crazy, bad, amazing happened to her before that? Because, yes, I know how big of a shock it is to get diagnosed with cancer (especially when you're not even in your 50's!) but to say that YOUR whole life story begins there...I don't know, it is giving it too much of an importance. And, please don't get me wrong, cancer is important, yes, but not THE most important thing you know? I mean, even if you have cancer, you're still a person, you're still you, who you've always been (for the most part, I also know cancer can change you a bit as a person), except now you're sick. But I really don't think getting cancer automatically erases everything that happened to you prior to that nor that it makes them less important or anything like that at all, you know what I mean? It does shape you into a different person, but not completely; how you grew up, what you experienced in your life up until that point, it still makes most of who you are in life, it is still part of you and what helps create YOUR story.

So, again, if you ask me, my story began the day I was born and it's still being written to this day, adding new exciting, crazy, awful, sad and happy chapters to it.

So, what about you? When does YOUR story begin?

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coming out of the Cancer Closet

It's been 8 months now since I was diagnosed with Esophagus Cancer Stage 3B and I have only told a few of my friends because, for some (or various) reason it isn't something I wanna go public about. When my mom got sick with RCC (Renal Cell Carcinoma), she was very open about it, everybody knew she was sick, her friends, family (obviously), workmates and even just acquaintances. For me however, going public about it is a whole different thing, I mean, it's not because I think it's something that should be a secret or anything but I just don't feel quite comfortable with people knowing, you know? 

One of the big reasons, and I know it might sound stupid, is because I don't want people to pity me, I don't want them to think of me as a victim, or call me "warrior' or such things that would only piss me off rather than actually help me or make me feel better because they feel condescending. Now, I know many people wouldn't do that, but most of them would; and being or feeling like a victim is the least I want or need right now. I just wanna feel like a normal person, who is sick, yes, but who's still normal and capable of having a good life even if it's just for a few more years.

My sister sometimes insists on me going public about it but I am still not sure even after such a long time, I guess I wanna wait until I finish chemo first, once I do and I know more about what's exactly going to happen for me in the next couple of years, then maybe I will feel better about opening up about it.

Another thing is that I am a YouTuber (along with my sister) and even though I am not that famous or anything, I am still sort of a public figure and I don't know how people would react to it, I mean, yeah, I'd get a lot of support from many people, sure, but I know there would probably also be people who's super idiotic and would say some things like "they're glad I'm sick" or something of the sorts, you know? (Internet, unfortunately, allows a lot of a-holes to express their irrelevant opinions on things that don't even concern them at all!) And I don't think I am prepared to do that, at this point, I don't know if I'd have the strength to deal with it, so, that's another reason I don't wanna go public about it.

However, physical changes are happening such as hair loss (one of the worst side effects), bloated face and things that are pretty noticeable, so I am thinking that would be a reason I'd open up about it, though I don't feel quite ready just yet; but also, I don't want people asking questions about these changes, like, why I now wear a hat all the time (which I am completely tired of!) or why sometimes I look like I ate myself and got so bloated or things like that. So, I am thinking I either come out about it or stop making videos, which I don't want to do because it is one of the things I enjoy the most about my life at the time. I have a lot of fun making them and it is something that makes me feel good in general and it's also something to keep me busy (besides work) and keep my mind occupied with good/fun things, rather than sad, awful things like the hospitalization every month, side effects and the general sadness and/or depression a disease like this can cause.

So yeah, I wanted to write about it now because it always helps me write what and how I feel, it's a very cathartic process for me so here I am. Although when this is published, it will probably be at least a couple of months old. Still, I have hopes that this might help someone else who is in the same situation as me or a similar one and they identify themselves with me and feel empathy; I've found empathy to be a very helpful thing in situations like these, even if it comes from a stranger. Just reading or hearing about someone who's been or is going through the same things/processes you're going through can be quite...comforting, as it sort of lets you know you're not alone, that there's someone out there who feels just the way you feel and that is going through the exact same thing and actually understands what you're going through.

So, if you're out there reading this and are going through the same or a similar situation, please, feel free to reach out.


 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Disheartened

Today I need to write because I feel like there’s so much I need to let out. And I wanna start by saying that I am really, really mad at myself for being so stupid and for a moment (a long one) allowing myself to believe I had the slightest chance to survive cancer, to beat it with some sort of miracle or whatever. The results after the 1st round of chemo were good so I felt positive and I guess I just assumed I’d only keep on getting better and better, maybe up until the point where I’d be able to go into remission, at least for a while and I mean, a while longer than the 1 to 5 years the doctors are giving me, perhaps at least 10 to 15 I thought; but no, things don’t quite work like that and the doctor was sure to let me know so today. 

After my doctor’s appointment today I started crying and I didn’t see it coming, to be honest, there was no real reason to cry, I mean, yes, the doctor made sure to make it clear to me (in case it wasn’t)  80% of the patients after these type of treatments have their tumors grow back until the spread to other organs and die but, then again, I already knew it. I knew it from the day I accepted to take the treatment, I knew, and still do, perfectly well that this treatment is not for me to be cured but only to try to make my life a bit longer and to, in any case, improve my quality of life. So, I dunno, I guess I cried because, like I said, I felt stupid that I allowed myself to believe something else or more because I was mad at myself for being so stupid.

Anyway, I still feel upset about it and not at the doctor or the cancer or anything nor anyone else but myself. I already knew the scenario and what has to be done, yet, I let it knock me down again today as if I wasn’t familiar with it from before. Now I know I should NEVER let that happen again. I have terminal cancer and only a handful of years to live so I should be, not precisely worrying about it, but start taking care of my life plan for those years so I, at least, get to live the rest of my life however I want to live it, right now, that’s what’s important and what I need to deal with.