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Sometimes, you just don’t wanna

It’s just shy of 7am on chemotherapy day. I’m sitting here chugging and tracking the amount of water and electrolyte solution that I’m drinking in advance of my fourth round of chemotherapy. If I don’t hydrate, I’m going to have a really bad time.

Hydration minimizes fatigue, headaches, nausea, and many of the bowel issues that can accompany chemotherapy. But it takes ludicrous quantities. I’ll probably consume just shy of four litres before I get hooked up for treatment this morning. I’ll ask, before I leave the treatment centre, for some IV fluids as well.

Trepidation toward what’s to come

This morning, it’s hard to want to go. The treatment and side effects are incrementally worse with each passing cycle. I’m starting to resent the treatment and how it makes me feel.

My body is building up toxicity as the drugs attempt to destroy lingering cancer cells. It’s a necessary evil if I wish to combat cancer, but it’s killing healthy cells as well.

Collateral damage from the treatment is weakening my finger nails, causing me to shed hair, and introducing me to new levels of tiredness. My cheeks are peeling. My skin is ultra-sensitive. My taste buds are changing. The other day, I could not taste salt. My farts are officially contributing to climate change.

If I was a luckier man, round four would be my last. Luckier, still, I wouldn’t be doing this at all.

It sometimes feels like I’m treading water.

The discipline to carry on

It’s a complete mindfuck to step into the treatment centre knowing what’s to come. It takes a deliberate effort to cross the vestibule into that building. It would be foolhardy to trust in motivation alone to keep going through treatment. It requires discipline.

I keep my focus by remembering why I’m choosing treatment in the first place:

Not for ourselves alone are we born.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

There’s a long list of reasons why I will continue treatment:

  • I want to grow old with Shannon
  • I want to see my dad enjoy his retirement
  • I want to visit family
  • I want to enjoy my friendships
  • I still have a few places I’d like to go
  • I’m not done contributing to the world

The list could go on.

In conclusion…

Treatment sucks, but the alternative sucks more. Sometimes, you just need to keep fucking going.

CancerCanuck

My name is Jason Manuge. I'm an early onset Stage IV colorectal cancer survivor. You can find me on social as CancerCanuck!

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