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Jo Lauchie Ben Smiling family day

Three rounds of chemotherapy down… more to go.

This week marked the end of my third round of chemotherapy, and also my third dose of Keytruda (“pembro “).

There isn’t a great deal to report medically. I am tracking ok. Few side effects, no nasty autoimmune effects from the Keytruda – taking the brakes off my immune system can lead to my immune system attacking just about anywhere.

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August update on cancer Treatment

The first time I had chemotherapy, I cried. I had to sign a consent form that I understood just what was going to happen to me. Of course, I couldn’t read it. Most of that day was a blur, and my eyes were tightly closed. But the finality of consenting to literally poison being pumped

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Chemotherapy is over

Chemotherapy is over. Officially since mid February. This means I am seven weeks post chemo. My hair is growing back. First my legs have tiny blonde hairs of only a few millimeters. I notice it here first around the tenth of March. I luxuriate in feeling for stubble and hold them up against the light

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I feel like I’m in a cage

I feel like I’m in a cage. A cage with no key. There is no escape. I will always feel the bars. My sister visited. She is perhaps the only one who acknowledges that the odds aren’t good. Everyone else is buoyed with optimism. “You will beat it”, “The odds aren’t good” I say. “I’m

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Hair

My hair is falling out. In drifts and tangles it comes away. Settling on my pillow, in my hair brush, on my collar, like autumn leaves. My head still has hair but it is frizzy and lifeless. The exodus cannot end well. Despite the dreaded cold cap, I am now succumbing. I have finished 12

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Surgeon

The surgeon is patient and kind. “We’ll sort out your breast cancer” he says. I am a bit perplexed thinking “but I don’t have breast cancer”. At least I didn’t this morning. We don’t have the cytology results, so I still cling to hope that all the Doctors so far are wrong. Let’s not forget

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Pillows

Two years ago exactly I was swollen and tired. Each night I’d arrange pillows around my body, huge and expectant with my long wished for second child. My body was ungainly. I was exhausted and grumpy. I was 20 kg heavier than now. And yet, I was so anxiously waiting for my new baby. I

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Ode to Joy

What music do you choose when you are meeting your oncological surgeon to find out how bad things are? I sit in the waiting room and furiously google Ode to Joy. It seems curious to choose this piece. What joy is there to be had now, of all times? I find the piece of music

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Squeaking

When I walk I hear it. A faint squeak squeak … reminding me I have unwelcome jewellery. A needle with attendant plastic tubing dangles from my portacath. This is the pathway to my veins, the pathway to my heart as it sits just near it, in the largest vessel returning blood from my body to

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I want to live long enough for Lachy and Ben to have meaningful memories of me.
Joanna Griffith