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My Cancer treatment

Things not to say to someone with Cancer

I know there are a thousand of these lists tumbling about the internet, but a few weeks ago I had someone tell me that having treatment for cancer was 'a bit like being pregnant - what with the heartburn, feeling sick, being tired, losing your hair'. And as, as I'm not hashtag blessed to have a child, I just had to take with a pinch of salt......
But it's only one in a list of ridiculous things that have been said to me in the last year or, here goes; Things not to say to someone facing cancer (well, not if you like them anyway!)

You don't look sick
I heard this so much during Chemo.
And most of the time I didn't look sick because, at 36, I have learnt how to put on my make-up to some degree of competency (no, no, not counting eyeliner, or contouring, or lipstick - but I can apply a CC cream and blusher!)
The irony is that people think you should look a certain way during treatment because people on the TV with cancer do – they look gaunt and grey. But the steroids I was on did wonders for my skin. Man, my skin looked amazing on the steroids. Yes, sometimes underneath the makeup my skin was bright red from tablets I was on, and sometimes it was an alarming shade of grey too, but it was plump and clear and wonderful on the steroids. Ahhhhhh. Drugs!

But you've got hair.....
Damn straight I have hair. I worked bloody hard to keep my hair. Don't you hair shame me.
The thought that losing your hair makes you "braver" or more worthy is rubbish and needs to be quashed. Losing your hair does not make you instantly sicker or facing something worse than someone who has chosen to try and keep their hair – especially not when there are cold caps to try and even some types of chemo that don't affect your hair!

So it's not serious then / At least it's not a bad one / at least it's only breast cancer.
Oh yes, this, in a variety of forms was said to me in the weeks after my diagnosis, when it was all still new to me and scary as hell and I was kind of freaking out because we didn’t have a full diagnosis.
Yes - I know I am super lucky to have had a treatable cancer but also, fuck off. At the time I just wanted to smash their head into the wall. Sitting there facing a bunch of treatment and being told it was 'only breast cancer'. Nobs.

Are you going to die? 
Probably. But not quite yet. Unless Jim bumps me off for my life insurance - although it's not really worth it for him if I'm honest. He, on the other hand is worth quite a pretty penny to me *mwahahahahahaha* 
But just imagine if it was bad news. How dumb would you feel then? Think about what you'd do if someone turned round and said yes to this question! 

What did you do to get it?
I don't know if people know that cancer is, in most cases, just a mutation of your cells, it's not something that you bring on yourself. I mean I did ask the question if something I did might have caused it and I was told, by a medical professional, that nothing I did could have brought it on - so I dissolved myself of most of my guilt right there.
Nope, not the red meat eating, not the drinking, and most certainly not the cheese I consume. Although the vegans of Instagram have some very vocal views that go against this.

Do you want a kale smoothie?
Do you want a kale smoothie?
Jim kept putting kale in my smoothies for a while. Bless him though, he still puts kale in his own smoothies. I'll happily take a fruit smoothie, but kale. Nope. And I've got nothing against kale really – it’s delicious crispy friend. But don’t you try and make me drink it - it just makes smoothies lumpy and look like dirt.

'Oh, it's trivial, nothing compared to what you're going through
This really annoyed me when friends said this to me. It made me want to shout at them. If something is a big issue in your life then it's a big issue. Your big issues are the big things going on in your life right now, fact! I mean i might roll my eyes when you moan about something for the 14th time, but hell, I'd have done that anyway!

You don't know what tired is. You don't have kids
Yes. People with children have the monopoly on tired. You try having insomnia for the best part of a year and tell me I don't know what tired is. Granted, I get to scroll through dogstagram and read books when I wake up, but, still, I'm awake.

I hear chemo/radiotherapy is easy
Piece of piss mate. Easy. Go try it for a laugh on a Friday night. I mean, straight up gods honest truth, it's not as hard as they make it out to be on TV. Or I didn't think it was. But It wasn’t easy, not by a long stretch of the imagination.

My friend is already back at Spin classes
Bully for your friend. I assume they were mental and doing spin classes pre-treatment! I, on the other hand have never had the stupidity to set foot in a spin class so you're probably not going to see me do one now. Plus, everyone is different. I didn't lose all my hair, but I did lose my stamina. They might have lost their sanity! 

So, there you have it - things to avoid saying to someone who's got cancer. No matter what stage of treatment they're at! 

Podcasts I can't live without

Before we start I should say I don't listen to LOADS of podcasts - I think not being an apple fanboy made me a bit late to the party - for a while it felt like they were only available on an i-something, but I've done some light listening over the years. A few blogging podcasts here, some public interest stuff there.......TAL of course! 

But when I started working from home during chemo (aircon and compromised immune systems do not mix!), I found it a bit lonely with just the sound of my typing for company (and the sound of Flash and Melle arguing as to who could howl loudest!) and I turned to podcasts to keep me company! 

So here are some of the ones I 've been loving. Also, my new meds have given me a lovely bout of insomnia, so I am in the market to widen my listening pool, so hit me up with your suggestions please. 

Mention podcasts near me and I will basically ram AKNF down your throat with such force I might end up being one of their serial killer subjects. But it's with good reason that I love this show so much. 1. Everyone has a bit of a morbid, dark side that's a bit fascinated by serial killers, don't they? (I now know it's not just me!) 2. It's hilarious. Like laugh out loud in inappropriate situations hilarious! Plus, the longer you listen the more you'll just have to know who the ex-boyfriend is! Trust me! Each episode covers a different killer and hot topics such as 90's TV presenters, eels in Chinese takeaways and most recently, pagers.
My friend Kim and I even went to one of the live show - Fan girls much? Basically. Start listening to this podcast! 

Anna Farris is Unqualified
"Not-so-great relationship advice from @annafaris & completely unqualified Hollywood types." What's not to love about celebs chatting about the most random things, taking part in crazy role plays and dishing out terrible advice to the members of the public who've called in! 

Generation Why
Another kind of morbid one - but not so much serial killers (although they do feature) more just unsolved mysteries.
The guys that present this one are kind of annoying in a 'we're going to make huge wide sweeping assumptions about this and pass it off an knowledge' way but the stuff they cover is fascinating and, well, we've established I like a podcast about a good bit of murder haven't we!

It's from the guys at This American Life and Serial (which I know we’re all listened to so I didn't include here) and follows the life of a guy in small town America. It's a series, like Serial, so you can binge listen to it - which I did over a weekend in the garden. It's compelling stuff and you'll not want it to end - just like Serial, you'll want to know more. And you’ll want to make a maze in your garden too! 

Right, now I've shared my podcast faves - what should I listen to next?