Wendy Woolfson

Treatment and Recovery

It’s been almost four weeks since they first put the Chemo into my arm through a PICC line, which is a permanent line inserted into my upper arm so they can administer repeated doses without wrecking the veins on the back of my hand with a canula every time. Showering is tricky as I can’t get it wet and we don’t have a bath.

It’s been almost four weeks of vomiting and nausea with one emergency hospital visit and a home visit from the GP who finally prescribed anti-sickness tablets that worked, although I was still sick a few times after that, and as recently as this morning.

It’s been almost four weeks since I saw my Oncologist who I saw again yesterday, and she told me that they had in fact only given me a fifty percent dose of the Chemo, and showed no reaction when I told her of my horrific experience of the last few weeks as I sat in front of her barely able to lift my head as a sudden rush of sickness, exhaustion and flu type symptoms had come over me that morning but I didn’t want to miss the appointment.

It’s been almost four weeks since I said yes to the Chemo treatment even though I’ve spent my whole adult life saying I would never have Chemo if I got cancer. But something told me I should get it and so I followed my inner guidance on that, it’s never steered me wrong. By the time I was four days into the treatment and sitting in the ambulance I insisted on the chemo being removed as soon as possible.

I felt like I had a parasite on my arm. You see they attach the Chemo bag to you so you can take it home and you don’t have to stay in hospital. How convenient, although patients do fare better at home. I could not wait for it to be removed and by that point I was absolute in my feelings about Chemo and I knew I would not be continuing with the treatment. The following three weeks were nothing short of torture, and I hadn’t even been given the full dose!

I’m glad I had the treatment though. Now I have more of an understanding of what cancer patients go through and just how debilitating and hard it is. I lost at least five kilograms in weight as much of the time I was either vomiting or feeling nauseous, so could barely eat. Being in hospital was mostly a horrible experience during that emergency visit and I may write about that another time.

I believe I had to go through that experience in order to understand the pain and suffering but I also believe I don’t have to continue it. In the last twenty years I’ve tried to avoid putting chemicals into my body, apart from alcohol which I’ve been clear of for six years now, another story for another time. I’ve always leaned toward natural and organic methods in my cooking and lifestyle. So, flooding my body with what can only be described as a poison is counterintuitive to all my beliefs.

It’s difficult to tell people this but I do have a plan, and I am following a strict dietary protocol and have found other more natural ways to support my body and get rid of this tumour. I feel much more confident and positive about this and I look forward to the Chemo symptoms going away, although the information they give you says that some symptoms can last for up to a year.

I must stress that this is a decision that’s right for me and has always felt right but I still think Chemo can be right for others, and I personally know people who have had Chemo and it’s cured their cancer. It’s just not for me, and I have every respect for those who take it. I strongly feel we have to do what feels right for ourselves. I know people may think I’m crazy but I feel the opposite, and I think it’s interesting to find that I’m following my initial belief that I would not have Chemo if I got cancer.

It’s been almost four weeks since they put a needle in my arm and flooded my body with poison and I’m still vomiting. I won’t be doing this again and I’m excited to see what results I get from these other methods. I’ll write more about them some other time.