As HISKIND’s Co Founding Editor recovers from his first round of chemotherapy for Ewing’s Sarcoma, Sarcoma UK launch Sarcoma Awareness Week in hope of raising a strong and innovative wave of acknowledgements. Sarcoma UK aims to increase survival rates by at least 10% by 2020. Early diagnosis saves lives.
I have to admit, I completely underestimated how hard round one of chemotherapy would get me. Yes, I knew it was going to be a tough week, but nothing like how it was. On the second night of my week on the ward, I had scary complications with my picc line (the tube going from my arm to the inside of my chest). The line got blocked and, after being taken to A&E in ungodly hours where I was too scared to even ask what was going on, I was cannulated multiple times in my other arm before a second procedure could commence a few days later.
I finished my first cycle on Friday night and I’m already feeling a little bit more of a person after a feeble few bed-bound, puke-filled, tablet-after-tablet days. Again, I thought I’d be able to write this piece on the journey from the hospital on Friday night, completely ignorant to how sick chemo would make me. The side effects I shrugged off the most seemed to be the ones that hit me like a train. The fatigue that stops you even reaching out for your phone and the burning waves of nausea that strangle you with every sip of lukewarm hospital water mingled with hearing loss, sensitive skin and plenty a misfortune I have yet to witness is rubbish, but temporary. All of this, temporary. All of this, working. All of this, positive.
Despite all the rubbish things going on, I am overwhelmed and so appreciative of all the love in this world (*cue cringe noises*). The nurses and charities working on my ward are hilarious, objective and effortlessly comforting. Messages of reassurance from survivors of Sarcoma reiterating (what they describe as) worn down cliches really keep you going and in a positive mindset. Waking up dazed, confused and teary next to my boyfriend who slept by my side all night, the visits from friends and family, the between-patient friendships and dark humour between myself and the student nurses keep the ward fresh and full of life; ironically.
A 2015 poll carried out by Sarcoma UK found that 53% of the public had not heard of sarcoma and only 26% knew it was a cancer. Sarcoma is a cancer that can develop anywhere in the body. Developed from bone or soft tissue, half of the people diagnosed with sarcoma will not survive. Correct, there is a 50% chance I will not make i through this. As I type this, my heart races in a determined struggle to make it out the other end. In all honesty, I really think I will, regardless of the odds,
Sarcoma Awareness have released a video claiming that early diagnosis could increase survival rates by 20%. Sarcoma is usually the size of a baked bean tin when diagnosed. If sarcoma is diagnosed when it is smaller than a golf ball, it would increase the chance of survival by at least 20%.It took me months of pain t drag myself to A&E, shrugging off my sore rib as just the consequences from a night out. Amplified sarcoma awareness should, can, must and will fund the needed ground-breaking research to cure others with the same horrible disease as myself.
I know, this blog post doesn’t really say or do much but takes mine and HISKIND’s personal stand, situation and allegiance with all those working hard day and night to ensure that one day, the percentages will one day work in our favour.
Donations and more information can be found at sarcoma.org.uk
Counting blessings, not flaws.
You can follow Dean’s blogging here.
DEAN IS CURRENTLY RAISING FUNDS FOR HIS JOURNEY FROM THE UK TO FLORIDA FOR A FEW MONTHS, WHERE HE WILL RECEIVE LIFE CHANGING TREATMENT. YOU CAN DONATE (AND MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE) HERE.
Words // Dean Eastmond @deanvictorr