A Flurry Of Activity & A Crash

WORDS: Corrine Barraclough PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

I over did it on Saturday. I got all dressed up in sequins, a friend drove us to Brisbane, went to a fancy, sociable birthday lunch, stayed for several hours, then drove home. I was tired when I climbed into bed, but I wasn’t quite aware of how much the whole adventure had taken out of me.

I spent most of Sunday in bed; I was absolutely drained. I actually felt like I had a hangover even though I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in six and a half years! It was a bit of a flashback to how Sundays used to be, nursing the result of a big day/night.

Monday, I set my alarm but couldn’t muster the strength to get out of bed so had a sleep in and had to move at a snail’s pace all day.

It was a wake-up call to remind me that I’m not functioning anywhere near full capacity. There are days when I feel like my old self, with all the energy that I used to have but then a string of days follow when I feel like I’m 103.

I slept and slept and slept.

And do you know what? That’s ok.

I’ve stopped trying to control how my body feels. It is what it is, and I have to give in to rest when I need it.

By Tuesday, I felt good again and was back on track.

There’s a funny saying, “Alcohol doesn’t help you socialise, it helps you tolerate people and activities that you don’t really like.”
How true; I remember all that borrowed energy and inclination that alcohol artificially fuelled.

And so, being sober and living through chemo, I find that I have minimal tolerance for people and absolutely zero tolerance for activities that I don’t really like!

I’m either working, resting, walking my dog or sleeping. Right now, that’s enough on my plate and I feel pretty proud of myself for getting up every day, showering, showing up, treading gently in the lives of others, and staying sober.

Just for today, I’m doing ok!

And so, this Friday we will start counting down into single digits of remaining treatments from 9…8…7…6…5… Imagine it’s like a chemo version of New Year’s Eve. When we get closer to 3…2…1, the anticipation and excitement will begin to build. I may even get fireworks to celebrate. Ok, maybe a sparkler.

But I have to keep smiling because at some point in the not too distant future, this chemo journey will be finished.

And how we shall jump for joy when it’s the final week!

I know, I know, I must not get ahead of myself. This Friday is chemo round 8. I’m tired, eating a lot to nourish my body, sleeping like an old lady, have no hair and have gained 10 kgs.

Right now, I’m feeding my body through chemo.

We keep going, one day at a time.

See you next week!

Corrine x

Corrine was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes. Her medical oncologists are pursuing a “cure”, which will begin with a six-month course of chemotherapy at Gold Coast University Hospital, followed by surgery at Robina Hospital and then likely further treatment.
Corrine will be writing a weekly blog journaling her personal journey for Ocean Road Magazine throughout her breast cancer.