Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine
WORDS: Corrine Barraclough PHOTOGRAPHY Corrine Barraclough
CB’s BC Journal
Yesterday, I lay on my bed, sent a silly message to a friend, started laughing and couldn’t stop. The more I tried to stop and drag myself back into adulthood, the more I giggled like a crazy lady.
I hope that, even when I look back on this surreal breast cancer chapter, I can remember that it wasn’t all bleak, dark and depressing.
Even in times of distress in our lives, there are moments of happiness, bubbles of joy, flickers of giggles, and I’m thankful for that.
On a more serious note, some rather strange side effects from chemo have started setting in now. I have several cuts on my fingers but no idea how they’ve got there. It’s as if my skin has become more fragile, so even fishing around for my phone in my bag is enough to break the skin and draw blood. I keep noticing blood on my hands and I’ve had a few nose bleeds.
I’ve also had a major change in my taste buds over the past week. I made myself some pasta with tomato sauce, which I’ve always thought is a very bland culinary option, but I couldn’t eat it. Tomatoes have become completely unpalatable. I had a look on my go-to breast cancer support pages and sure enough, lots of women are talking about this specific side effect. Many talk about nose bleeds too; you usually lose all the hairs on your body during chemo – including tiny little hairs in your nose – which can make it constantly runny, and can cause nose bleeds.
Honestly, the side effects to chemo are so bizarre. I wrote last week about the changes to my fingerprints, now we can add tomatoes and random bleeding!
Aside from that, I’m happy to report that this has been another good week. There haven’t been any breakdowns, panicky dreams, or intense walls closing in sadness. I’m actually very relieved that my depression, which I’ve battled since I was a very young girl, hasn’t come crashing in on me during this cancer journey. I feel surprisingly pretty upbeat!
I also feel incredibly lucky to be living on the Gold Coast going through this health challenge; we’ve had some stunning sunrises this week.
I’ve had some good, long walks with my little doggo, smiled at the blue sky and rainbow lorikeets whizzing by, and thanked my lucky stars I work from home and don’t have to worry about a daily commute or exhausting office politics.
There’s a lot to be thankful for.
Ohh, and two friends have got themselves to the doctors for biopsies and check-ups for suspicious lumps and bumps, which is a good reminder to me of why I’m being so vocal about my journey.
Because early detection of cancer can make all the difference. And the more we normalise talking about all of this, rather than shoving it under the rug, the higher the chance there is that more of us can get on a path to healing faster.
Off I go to enjoy the sunshine!
Corrine was diagnosed with Stage 2B 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.