Still Breathing

18 October 2015

Day 18

Halfway though Taxol I needed to start on my year long treatment of the last round of chemo called Herceptin (Trastuzumab). Herceptin is very creepy as it is harvested from the ovarian cells of a special Chinese Hamster (it would suck to be one of them poor bastards)! It specifically treats cancer patients that test positive for the HER2 genome (Human Epidermal Growth Factor) – which makes certain cancers (breast and stomach) rapidly spread through your system…

As amazing as this drug sounds, Herceptin radically reduces your heart and lung function. This became very clear to me as I desperately TRIED TO EXERCISE! I have always been fairly active and because everyone encourages you ‘keep active’ during your treatment, I obviously thought this was a good idea and frantically tried to get into a routine because I had gained 12 kilos!


I could not do ANY cardiovascular exercise although I had HE-MAN strength! I basically couldn’t breathe and my heart rate was unstable. I eventually got into rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) which I could barely manage (dizziness would disarm me) for about 10 minutes a day and NO I did Not Lose Weight!

By the time Herceptin and Taxol became my friends, I was still bald, my hands and feet were turning black, my tongue was gray with ominous black spots on it, I suffered with muscular pain and was just plain old EXHAUSTED! I used to get really offended by anyone suggesting exercise through treatment and used to remark sarcastically “Sure once you get chemo you can come exercise with me!” rolling my eyes wondering “Why does everyone have such an opinion about how to get through this?”

In all honesty I much preferred books over people. People just pissed me off and managed to make me feel really shit! Like when someone says “Yoh you have picked up a lot of weight” or “Why are you so fat” and I would be thinking YOH! WHY ARE YOU STILL BREATHING???


Author: Sumayya

I have Super Powers! Don't tell everyone ssshhhhhtttt Writer, Producer, Filmmaker, Photographer

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