Early days

by Hilla Duka


Well, the days follow each other, even if it's no longer the well-known weel tracks of before-the-diagnosis. I wake up in the morning, and for a short, blissful second, I don't remember the nightmare that has become my life, I don't remember that my life is at the stakes. And then it hits me. The force of that knowledge is now, a week after finding out, somewhat less. Now, it's just like being punched in the stomach by a boxer. I take a lot of pills, pills that help me stay calm, pills that help me sleep. It's ironic that even though that realisation of what has become reality is so forceful, sleep is still my number one preferred escape mechanism. Also, I'm still anemic (clever body choosing to have my period the day after my blood transfusion!) which makes me sleep a lot. My brother jokes that I'm like a puppy, wanting to do stuff all the time and then I go 'Oh, I need to sleep now' and I do, even if it's only for twenty minutes. 


We've had to tell the kids teachers, and they're talking about cancer and treatments in class. This morning Jonathan asked me if I would lose my hair from the treatment. I told him I would, but that I planned on cutting it short first, so it wouldn't feel like such a big deal. I haven't told them, if all goes to plan I'll lose my breasts as well. At this point, I don't even know when we can start to consider surgery, as the tumor in my right breast is too large to operate on, so we need to do some serious chemo to shrink it first. 


The day before yesterday, I had a double bone marrow biopsy. I say a double as we started out on one side of the hip, and then as the doctor despite her very best efforts couldn't drill down deep enough, we switched sides and did the same thing to the other side. I'll not say it hurt like hell, it only did when the doctor came at it a bit wrong and pain shot down my leg. Apart from that, it felt very strange having my pelvic move through no conscious thought of my own or, to me it seemed, no outward touch. Ilir and Joel were there to help me get through it, each holding on to one hand, and each looking quite pale and queasy as the procedure went on. But we go through it, and if it could only be good news (i.e. no metastases in the bone marrow) then Yay! Yesterday I went to the gynecologist as the CT scan had detected some changes to the ovaries, but they turned out to be just my usual PCOS, and was not something to be alarmed by. Also, I went to get the last lymph node, basically at the groin, punctuated and sent of for testing. If everything now tested could come back without any trace of cancer, I have a shot. 


This last week, so many kind people have reached out, offering condolences or just cursing at cancer - thank you so much! It all matters greatly, and I feel so empowered to know you're with me. I will get through this, because I don't have a choice. I have three wonderful children who need me in their lives, and who I want to be there for, and I have great people in my life that I love so dearly, and not continuing on with them is just not something I will even contemplate. Right, this was supposed to be a short update on how I'm handling waiting for more information and waiting to start chemo, but I guess it grew... Now, I'm going to tuck myself into a bath, and enjoy a freakishly coloured fruit smoothie (most likely dark green as Ilir insists on putting Spirulina into everything...)


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Older comments

Ulrika 2014-06-12

Vi finns här Hilla. Alla tankar går till dig just nu. Lova att be om hjälp när du behöver något.