Soup for the Apocalypse

Kalou Koefoed
Jan 18 · 3 min read

Notes from the final two weeks of anal cancer treatment.

Wednesday 1 May 2019 — day 3 of second round of chemo

Day 3 of chemo (of 5), day 21 of radiation (of 30). Feeling the chemo poison in my body. A lot like last time, sort of weak, heavy, breathless, sore arms and chest. At least I know what to expect this time. I can ride it out. More prepared. As long as I move slowly/stay still, it’s not so bad. Anti-nausea tablets are working. I’m trying not to feel so useless. So many things I wanted to do this week, my week off, but I just need to rest. And to be okay with that. I should be easier on myself, probably.

Saturday 4 May 2019 — post chemo

Bath. Mid-afternoon. Sunny outside, beautiful. Coming back to life, can feel it hour by hour, getting better. Grateful to be alive, for what I have in this life. I will make sure I am worthy of all this love and kindness. I will be kind, brave and strong. I will heal. I know I will heal. This bath helps so much. And the sun on my skin to recharge my batteries. Fresh air deep in my lungs. Grateful.

Only 7 more blasts of radiation. The tumour is shrinking. My body reabsorbs the dead cells, out via kidneys. Important to stay hydrated. My skin is breaking down now but still okay, not too bad. Only 7 more…

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Not so coping today. Not sure why. Maybe the things that are happening to my body, I don’t understand, and so it frightens me. Broken sleep. Woozy, thoughts bouncing, blurring. 6 more to go. It’s just time. This will pass.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

3 months since I was diagnosed. 3 months smoke free. 4 blasts left. In pain. Have drugs. Swollen. But “the area is shrinking, it’s looking smaller”. So yay! Not getting bigger, which is great. I know it’s too early to tell but small wins, right?

Thursday 9 May 2019

3 left. Very paining. Today was the first time I have cried on the table, under the machine. Radiation accumulates. Now it hurts. Have morphine. Talked to work about reducing hours over the next two weeks, until radiation peaks and I can start to recover.

Monday 13 May 2019 — treatment 29/30

1 to go. Just want it to be over now. D is driving me for my last blast tomorrow and then on to McLaren Falls. The morphine… I feel less like myself all the time. I worry about this. Yet I take it. I need it. It’s all a mess. All-consuming. Hard to see beyond pain. Though I know it will end. This is the dying. Soon I will be reborn and rise from the ashes. I almost believe it, even now. All I want to do is watch Breaking Bad. No thinking and minimum engaging required. Aware of being too negative. It’s just hard now. Everyone says how well I’ve done. I have to believe this. I still have inner strength. Just everything is blurry. Mustn’t allow the cancer power. I will win. I will heal.

Thank you for reading. You can find the full cancer experience article here, if you feel like reading a bit more.