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  • Writer's pictureAja McDonald

Chemo Round 4

My fatigue has grown more and more over each treatment I have received since starting chemotherapy. It was known that my ongoing unresolved neck issues that caused my chronic fatigue would not make this any easier moving forward. Luckily, this past Friday I had my last treatment of the four hard hitting chemos planned set over a course of eight weeks. I will have completed that round in ten days when I start my 12 weekly treatments of the next chemotherapy to follow.

I have not had much energy to write about my experience and update my blog. I am naturally driven to have a goal and purpose each waking day, it’s how I am wired and I like that about myself. But I have also accepted that this is my time to unlearn, reformat and become the me I want to be by breaking down old habits and questioning what is really important to me now in this time. Just feeling good being me is all I care about and truly protect more than ever, I will do what I have to in order to harness all of the hard work I’ve put in over the years.

Being home and not being able to work has been a blessing but also one of the hardest things I have had to balance out. I am at peace that I can continue to create and not stress until my savings runs out. I put focus on my Patreon to give me a sense of consistency and drive while helping me build up my focus on where I want to be as an artist; slowly helping me chip away at some of those personal creative touches I’ve always wanted to add to my merchandise. Some may say I don’t rest enough, but this is all a learning process and I’m still trying to figure it all out while each day continues to change.

We all get lost in a sea of distraction. These days it tends to be all at the reach of your hand via internet, social media platforms, Netflix binging, whatever it is you favour. Me, I like to get lost in the woods and listen to the trees and birds and let them guide me to where it is I need to be. Finding treasures, creating new adventures, letting the path take me wherever it takes me. But I do not have that energy in my body to bring me there, nor do I want to depend on someone to assist bringing me there. This is a sacred time for me to be alone and recharge without distractions. I just keep pushing each day knowing that 4 out of 14 days I may have a window to explore and recharge before the next round of chemotherapy begins.

As a result to this process, I’ve found I’ve needed a space to be alone and just feel ok; be me for a while with no worries of how it will effect anyone else. Create and let it all out on canvas, healing naturally the way I’ve always known best. I have had increased mood swings from the steroids when I am on them and I feel horrid when it effects those close to me. I guess that’s why I am so focused on finding a way to get my wee painting studio shed built asap in order to get through the upcoming months. Patience is not on my side in this area, but that could be the current steroids taking.

While there are times during the fortnightly chemo treatments that my hands are not steady enough to draw or work on fine details in my many creative projects, I have spent time studying, researching and also breaking down a routine that works for me now and where I want to be in my future. I have spent more time on the internet than I would care to admit. I had always tried to avoid getting lost at sea in the social media world. But being home and not having consistency, I have found myself depending on the internet and social media to connect and push forward. It has had it’s positive moments, but I do know it has definitely had it’s negative moments play on my menatal health. Too much information for one human mind. We are not computers and I truly feel that humans have been forgetting that.

I at least have my garden and try my best to get outside and find a space to rest amongst it all. Each and every waking day I feel different. I try to accept what I already know, I am sick. I am fighting cancer. I am healing. But the fact is, having a body part removed, receiving chemotherapy, steroids and hormone therapy all play a number on your mind. That and then the many people checking in on you, specialists you have to answer to, and protocols to follow to get you through. You may have all the answers and already be at peace with what you will go through, but the whole process will rewire your senses. For me, the fatigue has taken it’s toll on my mind and body.

This may not be as cheery and as uplifting as some of my past posts, but I want to put it here with everything I am going through. This is my truth and my reality. It is here for those that care to read on and those that want to learn what it’s like for one human on this massive planet full of chaos and beauty. And by reflecting on my personal chaos and beauty, I can only hope I can find peace with the fact that I have gained so much weight from the steroids that I cannot feel comfortable with body nor my shaved head – it is for a greater purpose and this will one day only be a memory.

I was fully aware in the beginning of this part of process revealing itself; it’s necessary. I am carrying more than I would like to accept. I know it is all “temporary” but at the same time, it is really hard to find peace when you are trying to lay your hammock overlooking the garden sanctuary you are building, only to realize the neighbourhood children behind your house have been staring at you from above, standing on a staircase leaning over and staring at the bald lady that has no energy because she’s just trying to stay protected in her cocoon.

I am healing.

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