1. I had no idea that it was the chemo that caused side effects like loosing your hair. I actually thought it was the cancer itself that caused hair loss. Now I feel silly.
2. I was afraid of Chemotherapy as movies from the 90’s had given this image of cancer patients suffering, being frail, skeletal and constantly throwing up. But in my case or perhaps due to advances in research since then, we have anti allergy drugs and steroids to boost you so you actually look surprisingly good on the outside. And you even gain weight from the steroids making you famished.
3. I’m still afraid of radiation as I have no clue about it and perhaps would rather not know the scary bits before I start.
4. I had no idea that when the hair started falling my scalp would be so sensitive and hurt as if the roots were being attacked.
5. I thought that being in remission meant you’re free of cancer, and I had no real idea about recurrence and the need to be vigilant with blood tests and scans after. So you’re never quite done with it.
6. That I would actually be grateful that I had a port inserted into my chest so that I wouldn’t have to be stuck in the arms with needles and that excruciating pain as my veins are too fine and the chemo drugs are toxic causing them to collapse and all those resulting bruises that take weeks or months months to fade.
7. Never knew that one person could have two totally unrelated cancers at the same time.
8. Had no clue how alone this would make you feel until you met other women online who decided to share their journey.
9. That you would be able to handle what has been thrown at you. You the scaredy cat your whole life.
10. That the cancer could actually be a blessing stripping down life and showing you with clarity what is truly important.
11. That the gene test taken by Angelina Jolie would be relevant to you.