With my treatment coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on my experience the last 5 months. You might be thinking “how can there be any pros to having cancer?!” Well, to the naked eye there might not be but once you dig deep enough you can find a few. Plus, I find it extremely important to find the silver lining in things and that’s not always easy. It’s something I even have to work on to be honest.
Pros of Having Cancer
- Losing hair in the right places. Since I’m doing the cold caps, I’ve been fortunate enough to not lose much hair on my head. I have no idea how but I also have not lost any eyebrows or eyelashes either. However, I am known to have quite hairy arms (I’m full-blooded Italian, what do you expect?) and they’ve thinned out immensely. I also don’t have to shave my legs nearly as often as I used to and the hair above my upper lip is basically nonexistent.
- Having an excuse to bail on plans. Admit it. We all have made plans at one point or another where when the time comes we just don’t feel like going anymore. I’m the type of person to never cancel any commitments even if I don’t want to go, but for the last few months I’ve had the best excuse in the book. No one is going to question me. One would say this is using the “cancer card.” One would be right.
- Extra attention. I don’t usually like being the center of attention, but I’ve been enjoying all this attention from so many different people. It’s really nice to see how many people are worried about me and truly do want to know how I’m doing. Let’s just hope I don’t get too used to this!
- Realizing how much love and support is around me. Going through a trying time like this can make you feel extremely lonely and like no one understands you. The truth is, no one does understand unless they’ve been through it. But, that doesn’t mean that they’re not supporting you and rooting for you to succeed. I’ve been so touched by so many people these last few months, by both old friends and new. And sometimes, it’s from the people you would least expect it from.
Cons of Having Cancer
- Undergoing chemotherapy. This is obviously a given. Although chemo is what’s saving me and killing my cancer, it’s terrible what it puts your body through. My immune system is so much weaker and I have to be extra cautious with germs and being out in public. It also makes me extremely tired, so I am unable to live my life normally when I never know when I’m just going to crash from exhaustion.
- Being nauseous and having no appetite. I used to be the type of person who had the biggest appetite and ate everything in sight. I just love food and love to eat. One of the hardest things has been not wanting to eat and not being able to eat as much as I would like. I also wake up nauseous about every day which sometimes leads to throwing up.
- Countless doctor appointments. I have at least two appointments every week, whether it be for chemo or to just check my blood counts. I don’t know about you, but I definitely HATE going to the doctor. Before chemo even started, it’s unreal how many appointments I had to go to. One time I think I had 7 appointments in one day. I also had a few surgeries and procedures done as well. By far the worst thing I ever had to do was a bone marrow biopsy. It literally felt like a screwdriver going into my bone. If you ever have to get one, just be prepared for the worst. After this is over, I never want to see another needle in my life unless it’s to get a tattoo.
- Not being able to live my life to the fullest. Before I had cancer, I never had a free moment. I was always out and about exploring, traveling and making fun plans every weekend. It has been extremely hard not being able to live my life the way I truly want to and being stuck laying low for a while. It’s just not in my nature. I didn’t think giving up alcohol would be this hard, but it’s been 5 long months and I miss being able to just sip on a cocktail with my friends, not so much even being drunk.
I’m going to be honest, it was definitely harder to come up with pros than cons and I still have more cons I could even write about. But this is all almost over, so there’s no point in focusing on every little negative thing. 🙂