34. Istanbul part VII – sickness returns…

I hate getting chemotherapy. It hurts, it’s a horrible process and today it made me really ill. The nurses struggled to find veins, I’m running out of ones in my arms that haven’t been destroyed. It’s horrible to see that, it’s visual confirmation of the damage being done to my body. I puked on the floors of the clinic twice while hooked up to the IV and had to have the porters clean up after me while trying to google translate ‘sorry’ in Turkish on my phone. It’s a bit embarrassing having someone clean up your mess while you’re unable to help. I hurried up the hill after clinic to my hotel trying to hold it in the whole way and puked again in my en-suite when I got back. It’s rough, so rough my face was completely swollen and I’ve burst blood vessels around my eyes, a sight I was more used to seeing during a very bad hangover which thankfully, I have left in my 20s. Why more chemo? Sure I got a clear scan? Well this is the maintenance part and I have been advised by my doctors not to underestimate the disease. And I am taking heed of that advice. It is aggressive and it needs taming. And if the odd visit to Turkey helps me do that, then that’s what I’ll do. I’m just hoping to make the visits less frequent, soon. I’m building up my strength and regaining some control and learning new skills to help me stay on track. I have a lot going on in terms of self development, an area which I have discovered has been the key to my success. This journey is such a personal one and really, I’m at the centre of it making all the decisions. If I don’t know myself and don’t know what I want, how can I expect to have the results I desire? It’s a learning process and it is never ending but it is so enjoyable and worthwhile. True healing happens within. I’ve said it before and I keep coming back to it. Maybe one day I won’t need chemo anymore. I’m not willing to roll that dice just yet but I really hope it can be an option in the not too distant future.

Ali is missing me this time, she’s wondering when mammy is coming home and is crying for me. Before I left, I told her I was coming back to Turkey. She said ‘no, mammy finished Turkey, mammy stay home’. I said I had to go again and she finally agreed ‘mammy go Turkey, mammy finished home’. That broke my heart. I’m not finished at home. Just temporarily. It’s hard leaving her this time, we have had a lot of time together the past while and she has gotten used to me being home. So have I. It’s been lovely to be home again with her and Paul and I really feel like I have my life back somewhat. I’m not living out of bags week to week and I can plan and do things. It’s great. Quality of life is definitely getting better. Coming back again is shit. I wish I really was ‘finished Turkey’. Paul says she’ll hate Turkey when she’s older. I see it in my future for a long time so she’ll hopefully get to visit with us sometime and get to see what it’s all about! Who know what she thinks Turkey is! What happens in the mind of a two year old? I’d love to know! I have a new fondness for Istanbul these days, now that the weather has calmed and my days here aren’t as intense. I’ve stayed in a couple of different parts of the city on my last two visits and it was great to do that, there’s so much to see and do here. Just to have the time and the energy is the challenge! My friend Jackie is with me on this trip thankfully as I’ve definitely needed nursing today! We’re hoping to have a look around tomorrow and go for some nice local food for dinner. Istanbul is a vibrant city, I have plenty of recommendations for food and accommodation for any visitors so hit me up if you’re coming on holiday!

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-03 at 00.07.34

That’s all for now… short and not so sweet today. Back next time with some shocking information on mammograms. Stay tuned!

One comment

  1. Hello Mairead, hang on in there and I hope you get some rest. Just remember to be gentle with yourself. I can relate to what you are saying and especially missing your little ones. I used to leave letters for them to find when they were going to bed. It felt like I was there. God bless take care and wishing you wellness 👍

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