Frustration


By Kristen Knott

Written @ 1:30pm November 12, 2013

It is very hard to remain positive at this point in my cancer treatment. I am midway through round 5 of 6 chemotherapy sessions, and I am frustrated.  I am tired of experiencing the numerous side effects of the chemo drugs and am done living in a constant merry go round of my 21 day chemo cycles. I am weary and fatigued and finding it hard to remember the endless energy I once had. Feeling normal, seems so far away, and yes, I am aware I am in the homestretch with only one more infusion to go, but this journey is far from over. I have been consumed with cancer since June, it has become a part of me, it has changed me both physically, and mentally. Ironically, I wanted the process to start, I welcomed the infusions as it meant it was killing any potential cancer I may have in my body. What I didn’t realize was how this process slowly strips you down, it makes you raw, weak, pale, sore, tender, emotional, helpless and simply frustrated.

I have to remember I chose willingly to undergo chemotherapy after my oncologist informed me of the statistics of cancer re-occurring when only taking Tamoxifen versus chemotherapy plus Tamoxifen. I have only once during this entire treatment process worried that I still had cancer in my body, and that was shortly after my mastectomy surgery. I admitted to my husband that I thought cancer had spread to my back due to the intense back pain I was experiencing. He reassured me it was simply muscle tightness from the surgery and from lack of mobility.

I now fundamentally believe that I do not have cancer in my body yet to the outside world (and to myself) I look so sick. I have no hair left on my body; my eyes are red, puffy and sore from dryness; my lips are red and  chapped from a mouth infection; my bones ache;  I have low energy, swollen hands, tender nails and am pale as a ghost. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not cancer I feel or see…this is the chemotherapy drugs, which are my insurance that I never have to go through this process again.

 

  • More from Kristen Knott
  • No Rhyme or Reason

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written January 23, 2016 A surge of nausea crashes through my belly, seizing my organs, constricting my muscles, shortening my breath. I am stunned. Paralyzed. Unyielding, heart racing, my eyes struggle to make sense of the perfunctory words on my computer screen. She is dead. Breast Cancer. Gone. What happened? She was fine last I had heard. The remnants of the email blur into small print –boilerplate logistical details, funeral, donations and the family she left behind. Two kids, a husband…an entire life left unlived. I never met her. I didn’t know anything about her, other than Read More…

    Tagged Under: , ,
  • It Took Breast Cancer for Me to get Tattoos

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written May 23, 2015 She begins. I scrunch my eyes and hold my breath, fighting through the first couple of minutes, adjusting to the sensation of the needle piercing my skin. Gradually, I start to let my body relax. The pain is not as intense as I thought it would be. It helps that Kyla moves from my left boob to the right, instead of remaining in one spot, which keeps my mind distracted and spreads the discomfort. I flinch as she injects into a tender area right near my left scar. I close my eyes and Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , , ,
  • Being a Patient Past Present & Future

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written November 21, 2014 A year ago today I received my 6th and final chemo infusion. One breast, hairless head to toe, fatigued, sore and emotionally drained, I was fed up with being a cancer patient. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed almost out of view. Now a year later, the anniversary has passed uneventfully with the usual mix of entertaining teenagers, both off for a PA day, addressing client emails and meeting a deadline for my Humber creative writing course; yet the entire time I quietly celebrated that I am no longer a Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , ,
  • Wonder Women Unite

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written September 8, 2014 I am giddy this morning despite being physically exhausted. Team Wonder Women comprised of 11 old and new friends walked 60km this past weekend! We raised almost $30,000 for Women’s Cancer research for the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Center. The week leading up to the walk was filled with emails, phone calls and group chats. Those of us who were at our donation goals were helping others to meet their individual goal. Friends and families, colleagues and even strangers sponsored us. We all reminded sponsors Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , ,
  • I Must Increase My Bust

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written July 20, 2014 I have that childhood chant in my head “I must, I must, I must increase my bust”. I have been living that chant since my March 21 bi-lateral reconstruction surgery. I now have two breasts, or as I refer to them…I have two misshapen balloons under my skin. They are nipple free and have extensive scarring and are much wider than the final boobs will be, but in clothes you would never know. Most people are familiar with an expanding waistline but I am living the expanding bust-line. I have had 5 injections Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , , ,
  • The Testing Waiting Game

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written July 13, 2014 I am not happy. I feel it in my bones, my skin, my breath. I am rattled, unsettled and anxious. My mind races uncontrollably like a toddler taking its first steps. I want to be content and filled with all the joys and wonders of life. I have survived cancer after all and I am alive, yet I am struggling. ‘Cancer free’ does not translate to fist pumps and cheering in my mind - it does however create deep pangs of emotion.  I can't seem to shake the shadow of cancer. Chemotherapy and surgery Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , , ,
  • Genetic Testing

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written May 21, 2014 I have an appointment today to receive my genetic testing results. It has been 3 months since I provided the necessary blood work for the testing. The Genetic Counselor at Juravinski had informed me that results would likely take about four months. We discussed my family medical history and she explained that there were two genetic strains they could currently test for and they were BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. Both genes come with a higher propensity to get other forms of cancer and can be genetically passed to children. I have been preoccupied with this Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , ,
  • Fundraising as a Survivor

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written April 24, 2014 I am thrilled to announce that Team Wonder Women, made of friends and colleagues will be walking with me at The Shoppers Drugmart Weekend to End Women's Cancers benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Center that will be held in Toronto September 6-7, 2014. In August 2013 I reached out to the women in my life, and told them all that I wanted to give back and raise needed monies for local cancer research. I then proceeded to build the Wonder Women team website and my own personal donations page. I was thrilled when I Read More…

    Tagged Under: ,
  • Reconstruction: Not for the Faint of Heart

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written April 3, 2014 It was 13 days ago that I underwent surgery again, a left prophylactic mastectomy and the beginning of bi-lateral reconstruction surgery. It has been a very long two weeks filled with pain, discomfort, and a lot of focused breathing and stillness. The day before my surgery I felt like the old me, running around getting last minute errands done. Trying to organize the house and my work in a way that would ensure order without my involvement over the coming weeks. You know - doing those jobs you never want to do, filing the mail, cleaning Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , ,
  • How to Be?

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written February 2, 2014 Now a month into 2014 and the hair on my head is slowly coming back, my eyebrows are reappearing, and I can even see some eyelashes growing. It will probably be another month until I can ditch the wig, hat and scarves. My energy is quite good during the day, in fact at times I feel like the old me, the me before cancer. Yet the evening comes and I am smothered in fatigue again. I look around my house and I see the differences, they are likely subtle to others, but to Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , ,
  • Blueprint for a Cancer Free Life?

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written January 4, 2014 I have spent the last few days with my nose in a book. This is not unlike me as I have always been a bit of a bulimic reader. I can lose myself in a good book and ignore the world around me and then when I am done I need some time before I can commit to losing myself in another. The binge/purge cycle ensues. I enjoy marinating in what I have just read, especially when it involves an intriguing character or new world, or country. I felt ready to read about Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , , ,
  • Big Red Bow

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written @ 7:30 am  December 24, 2013 I lie here quietly trying not to disrupt my husband as he sleeps beside me. It is Christmas Eve day and the house remains quiet. The day will be filled with anticipation, excitement and preparation for Christmas tomorrow. It doesn't feel truly like Christmas to me yet however. Hoping the day will bring that magical feeling of contentment and joy that I equate with holiday spirit. My energy is coming back as is my hair. I have fuzz growing all over my bald head. I am starting to feel a Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , ,
  • Hibernation

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written @ 5:30 am  December 5, 2013 I am on day 15 of 21, this being my last chemo cycle and it feels like time has slowed to a crawl. Life is in slow motion. I yearn for the day that presents itself with no side effects. I feel as if my body is preparing for hibernation. My fingers and toe nails feel as if they could peel off at any given moment. You can see the discolouration and pooling of what I imagine is or was chemo in my nail beds. My lips still feel swollen Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , ,
  • Chemically Induced Shavasana & My Last Round of Chemo

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written @ 4:45 am November 21, 2013 It is November 21 at 4:45 am. I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling.  I have already been up twice tonight with hot flashes and visits to the washroom. My mind is racing. It is my last chemo treatment today at Juravinski. I thought this day would bring joy and excitement, yet the emotion I feel is complex, a mixture of relief but also sadness.  I have been through a lot since June and I have put on a brave face and created a inner calm and have Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , ,
  • Frustration

    Posted on by Kristen Knott

    By Kristen Knott Written @ 1:30pm November 12, 2013 It is very hard to remain positive at this point in my cancer treatment. I am midway through round 5 of 6 chemotherapy sessions, and I am frustrated.  I am tired of experiencing the numerous side effects of the chemo drugs and am done living in a constant merry go round of my 21 day chemo cycles. I am weary and fatigued and finding it hard to remember the endless energy I once had. Feeling normal, seems so far away, and yes, I am aware I am in the homestretch with Read More…

    Tagged Under: , , , ,


  • Paula De Laurentiis

    I know it’s hard to believe now, but soon this will just be a memory that reminds you of how tough you can be…really damn tough! Stay strong, you’re almost done. Then you have a healthy future ahead of you to spend with family and friends. You are indestructible, a survivor!
    Hugs,

About Us

Patient Commando creates social impact by providing platforms that amplify the patient voice.

Read More…

Our Team

Come meet the people who make up our dynamic Team.

Read more…