Hibernation

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 and my mouth is driving me crazy. As a foodie, I live to eat and it is disheartening when everything I eat tastes off. I find myself eating things just to try and get a different taste in my mouth. I yearn for even a short reprieve from the mucous metallic taste that overrides my taste buds.

My eyes have begun to weep non stop and the result is swollen red and dry eyes that hurt to the touch. I secretly believe this side effect is almost cathartic as I am overwhelmed by emotions daily and can cry at the drop of a hat. [...] continue the story

Chemically Induced Shavasana & My Last Round of Chemo

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 locked onto a positive energy to keep moving forward during each step — the surgery and round after round of chemo.

Yesterday I drove to Juravinski to get blood work done to allow my oncologist to give me the green light for chemo today. I chose to go alone, as the whole process seemed so routine and almost mechanical. No problem! I arrived at the blood clinic and was handed the number 06 which I immediately misinterpreted for 90. Chemo brain very intense this week. The number board was calling 68. The room was packed again with many seniors, family members but also some [...] continue the story

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 [...] continue the story

As Useless As a Tit

By Kristen Knott

Written Saturday October 19 2013 @ 11:30 pm

I now realize that I need to refrain from using the phrase “as useless as a tit.” The words seemed harmless on the occasions that I uttered the sarcastic phrase, as I believed it rang true. Outside of breast-feeding, boobs seemed to be a non-essential body part, almost a luxury from my perspective. This viewpoint was fueled by my envy to have big boobs, as boobs although useless seemed to embody feminine power.

I understand that a boob is not required to walk or pick up things or used to communicate with other humans (well that one you could argue). It is easy for people to say, ”you would never know you had a breast removed” yet the reality is I have. When I stand in front of the mirror naked, it is blatantly obvious to me that I am missing a key part of my body. Breasts are one of the first visual indicators to a female body. Like an Adams apple on a man, breasts are fundamental to the female shape

I am feeling now as if people think I am crazy for wanting to pursue reconstruction surgery, although they do [...] continue the story

My week: Pity Party, Burst of Energy, Chemo, and then Thanksgiving!

By Kristen Knott

Written Wednesday October 9 @ 11:40 pm

These past few days have felt a little like an emotional roller coaster. Monday I realized I was finally kicking a bad sinus cold that hit me hard this entire cycle. However, layer in hot flashes and hormones, from what I believe is chemo induced menopause, and you have a ‘pity party’ for one. I allowed myself to embrace the melancholy feelings. I watched a few other breast cancer patient videos from the patient commando website and I cried. I find comfort in seeing and hearing other women’s’ experiences but it is highly emotional for me. It is still very raw and fresh to me. I also read emails and texts from people who have read my patient commando posts. It made me realize how others react to my experience and that also impacted me. I was moved deeply.

Glad that after marinating in a bit of pity and blues, the next day I felt full of energy. I felt normal. I shared that day with a friend that I truly believed that in the near future historians would write about this century and refer [...] continue the story