Feeling like a fraud….

Occasionally, I have thoughts about my cancer that I find hard to understand or communicate, even after all I have been through, I m starting to feel like it isn’t real anymore. So much happened last year and there was so much to take in but now my appointments are quite spaced apart, it feels strange to say “I have cancer”.

I guess I have been thinking more like this after starting back at work. They are still unaware of my illness (my line of defence, they haven’t asked). How do you explain to someone that you have cancer which is incurable, but you don’t feel or look ill? How do you reassure people that you are perfectly fine to carry out your job even though the big ‘C’ looms over you?

When people hear cancer (and I’ll admit I felt the same), you think of someone being very ill and they either go into remission or die (sorry if that seems a bit of a harsh word). No one really talks about or knows about how many people are out there living with it and could be living with it for 10, 20 or many more years. There is plenty of advice out there about how to cope after cancer and how to ‘live’ with it (i.e. diet, fatigue etc) but nothing out there that talks about day to day life, how to actually live with it or how to look to the future. I love planning things to do, places to go etc, however sometimes I worry about how far in advance I can plan. I am hoping by 2018/2019 to finish my degree and graduate but is this planning too far ahead? Is it worth it? I guess if it were to happen within 5 years of diagnosis, they would have at the very least hinted at the possibility. However when I was first diagnosed I was told it could be 5, 10, even 20 years and that was before the chemo worked better then expected. Or was that my hint?

Anyway I’m disgressing slightly, the point of this post was to talk about how I feel a fraud when I tell people I have cancer. I have no visable signs of illness, I’m not in any pain and I have no side effects from my medication (yes, I know I should and I do feel incredibly lucky). However, this is what makes me feel like a fraud, there are so many people out there (too many in my opinion) who are suffering terribly and I am sat here feeling nothing. I feel how I did when I started this horrible journey, when I was first diagnosed I couldn’t bring myself to say I had cancer because it didn’t feel real, like they had made a mistake. This is exactly how I feel now.

I feel like I am stuck in limbo at the moment, trying to find out what the new me is like and how I fit into this new world.

And so this isn’t a completely depressing post, I thought I would end on a positive. My blood tests have all come back fine today so tomorrow I will be having Herceptin, Perjeta and Demosumab! (I am about 10 weeks overdue my demosumab)

Maybe fourth time lucky?

Yesterday the nurse came out to take bloods ready for my demosumab (bone strengthener) injection today. Sadly when I was expecting the nurse to arrive, I got a phone call telling me that the calcium levels in my blood are too low so I won’t be able to have treatment.

It’s been 8 weeks since I last had this injection and I am due it every 4 weeks. The oncologist has told me to increase my calcium intake so instead of 4 tablets daily, I now have to have 6. Hopefully, when they come next week to take blood ready for my Herceptin and Perjeta, my calcium should be high enough to have the demosumab.

On a bright note my chest infection is clearing up and, although I am quite tired, my new job is going really well.

I’ll let you know how I get on next week (please keep your fingers crossed for me on Monday)

I got the job!

After completing 2 work trials, I have been offered a job! And more impressive was the fact that the two places were fighting over me (which I can’t complain about, it’s quite nice to be in demand)

On the otherhand though, I have an a cold which started over the weekend and has now developed into a chest infection. Fortunately, I have already been to the doctors and picked up a prescription. So by the time I start my job on Saturday (yes this Saturday) I should be feeling a bit better. Isn’t it always the way that as soon as something is about to start, be it a job or holiday, you always get ill? I’ve been off work for ages and when I started getting interviews, I get a bloody cold! Oh well.

It’s going to be strange starting work again and coping with everything else that is going on such as my family, coursework, treatment etc but I’m sure it will be fine once I get into a routine.

Well, here is to the next chapter!

On the job hunt

I’m back!

And I have so much to tell you.

Firstly, I have been applying for jobs! I have already had two interviews and completed my first of two working interviews today. The job isn’t the most exciting one in the world but it’s a job. I was a little nervous to start with as i haven’t worked for 4 years and not had an interview for 5 years.

I was also nervous (& still am) about how to discuss my illness to them. I feel really good in myself & feel more then capable to work. However, I didn’t realise how nervous I was about it until I dreamt about arriving for my working interview and being asked to fill in some forms where I had to devulge my medical history. I did so and handed them back, the manager looked them over and started screaming at me to get out! She said that because of my illness they wouldn’t employ me and I shouldn’t even be looking for work. I woke up more nervous then ever, was I doing the right thing? Will they turn me down because of my illness? What if I wasn’t up to the job?

I decided to give it a go anyway. I guess the only way I can have all my questions answered is by giving it a go. If it doesn’t work out, I don’t think the world will collapse or hell will freeze over, I guess I will just have to look for something else.

Got my second working interview tomorrow and should find out by the end of the week whether or not I’ve got a job

I also promise to come back more regularly and keep you up to date.