Search this site
Please login to your my.Macmillan account.
If you currently have an Online Community account, you will be asked to create a my.Macmillan account the next time you try to login.
Don’t have an account? Create one now.
What is my.Macmillan?
inspiration, side effects, chemo, ovarian cancer, hair loss, arts, crafts, music, friends, help
My name is Claire and I have never blogged about my cancer experience before...
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2009, a few months after my 30th birthday and well, as anyone who has been through this will know, it was a shock (to put it mildly!). Since then, I have had 4 surgeries (3 of which were debulking) and I am currently having my third round of chemo (in my case each round consists of 6 cycles of chemo lasting 3 weeks each).
In 2010 my consultants told me the cancer was now officially incurable and it was just a question of buying me time (they were talking 3 to 6 months). One year and a half later, I am still here and loving life, for however long it lasts. Each day is precious as far as I'm concerned, the goods and the bads...
I still tried to get back my old life after round 1 of chemo, but I have now realised and accepted that my life has been changed by cancer forever. The surprising thing though is that I can honestly say that I am happier now than I was for the first 30 years of my life. Don't get me wrong, cancer is not my friend and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it has given me the opportunity to learn what makes me happy and understand better what I want from life.
I used to always be busy doing things, socialising, seeing friends, travelling, working (a lot!) but because of the side effects of chemo, I have had to discover new hobbies to enable me to continue enjoying life without exhausting myself or going insane.
This is what I would like to share with you, the tips and tricks that have made chemo more bearable for me, the activities which bring joy to my life and inspire me to keep going. This sounds terribly arrogant, but over the last 3 years, I have come across so many "non cancer affected people" who have found these new hobbies inspiring that part of me can't help thinking I should share this with the people who are going through the cancer treatment like I am, in the hope that maybe one of my tips might bring some joy to your day or a smile on your face. Even if it is just for a few seconds, it will be worth it...
hey there, good on you for having high spirits! my fiance has incurable cancer and he skydives to take up time! thats pretty extreme though haha... he feels really unwell chemo days though so as soon as he feels ok he does anything and everything he can... do u have a good support network? xo
Hello Clair B. I would love to hear about your activities that help you through treatments.
May I say there is such positivity and good vibes shining through on your blog which quite honestly could have been a depressing read. You made it quite the opposite and you are a strong, positive character. You're reading is an inspiration and I wish you all the very best that life can bring you and long may it continue.
We would love to hear your hobbies and your continuing journey of life.
You sound a lot like me, but farther along the road. I'm only (only!) ten months into diagnosis and treatment, but my chemo doctor said from the start they couldn't cure my cancer - peritoneal, in my case - only keep it under control. Truthfully, I'm not sure they can even do that, but you can't give up, can you? I read a lot of posts on the site about people going back to work after cancer, or even with cancer, and I don't know how they do it; I barely have the energy to get through a day at home, even sleeping for most of it. But I still want to do the things I love - going to concerts, the theatre, visiting historical sites, going out for nice meals - and get frustrated when I can't.
Which is all to say: Hurrah for finding other ways to fill your time, and if you have any hints, I'd be happy to hear them!
Thank you all for your fantastic comments, I'm finding it very inspiring and encouraging as it is the first time I have written publicly. Your support means a lot :) I still haven't worked out how to respond to comments individually though so it will have to be a group response for the moment!
Skydiving! that sounds great, did he already know how to do it pre chemo? I once tried to attend a yoga class where I was told I could only attend if the teacher was "cancer insured", so I never even thought about sky diving... I think I will add to the list of things I want to do (as a kid I did dream of doing a skydive jump with a snowboard attached to my feet and landing in the snow as I used to be a snowboarder....) - how exciting!
I have found crafty activities really helpful as I can have a go at my own speed and according to energy levels, but it is a real discovery as I never did art stuff at school so I have zero knowledge. I am going to check if there is an arts blog on this online community, it seems quite a few people are interested and maybe we could share tips? The other day I tried painting using materials a friend had lent me and only realised at the end that I had mixed acrylics and oils + some weird whitish stuff. The results were a bit odd but I had fun!
Clair,a very interesting read..
I have liver cancer and been told that because of the amount of lesions,there is no treatmant for me. Im luck in so far as ive been told it could be months or if slow growing i couold have a few years left. aia hve decided that i must go out and get some acytivities done and your post has encouraged me to do so.
If you have any questions about our organisation our Macmillan team would love to hear from you
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2010
what are these?