One of the things that constantly amazes me is how I am taking these poisonous drugs on a three weekly basis, which are strong enough to wipe out all the parts of me that make things (hair, white blood cells, nail growth, skin renewal etc) and yet my body struggles on, the rest of me apparently relatively normal.
Take periods for example. It's a messy business and my male readers are probably sitting at their computers right now, fingers in their ears singing 'rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb' in an attempt to ward off evil menstruation spirits.
Well sorry boys, it needs saying.
Chemo is known to stop most women's periods. After my first treatment, my first 'due' period came and went on time, and seemed relatively normal. Being on a three week cycle of treatment, Chemo two came and went before the next period was due. Chemo three was also due to take place just before my second period was due. So I have spent the last three weeks waiting to see if my period would come, or if the evil posion had put paid to that after all.
Earlier this week, safely two weeks on from 'due date', without so much as a spot in pants, I heaved a bittersweet sigh. It seemed I would not have to deal with mess and pain of periods every month, at least not for a while. But it was a little sad. I felt less womanly. You spend all your adult life trying not to get pregnant and yet when the monthly symbol of your fertility vanishes, however temporarily, the moment is rather poignant to say the least.
And yet Friday brought a familiar feeling in my loins. The dull ache of a period arriving. A whole eleven days late but other than that, recognisable in every form.
I clearly have the womb, and stomach, of an ox. The chemo may make me bald and susceptible to infection but my body stumbles on. I don't vomit and my periods continue, albeit erratically.
I am a miracle of modern science. Hear me roar.