My year of cancer: Part II - Your body is a loaner

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kindle Carpp is a 2000 graduate of Shorewood High School. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she shares her story.

By Kindle Carpp

“Your body is a loaner”

As a cancer patient you have a borrowed body.

In all likelihood you have never had as many or as powerful medications in your body. Your body is going to react in ways you have never experienced. The biggest hurdle is that you don't know what is the new “normal” and what is the new “abnormal” any more.

When you were healthy and you got sick you knew what was ok. As a cancer patient your body is full of chemicals and drugs and what you could previously ignore may not be ok to ignore.

Don't trust your body's negative reactions. What would likely just go away or get better with your old body may not be the case with your borrowed one. 

Since you'd like to get yours back eventually, that means you need to return the borrowed one in the best condition possible, so treat it with respect and kindness.

I somehow managed to avoid getting the flu or a cold for about 21 months straight. I had been home and away from my cancer center for four months when I developed “cold” symptoms, achy, tired, feeling cruddy, with a slightly elevated temperature. I stayed home, kept an eye on my temperature, and took care of myself. On the second day of my illness, after a shower, I noticed a large patch of red skin about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. I though I had laid on that side and it was still red from where I laid on it. The next day it was still red in the same place. I went to see my oncologist who diagnosed me with a type of staph infection you get after surgery. I had to have an eight day course of IV antibiotics to clear it up.

I though I was back to normal and was surprised that an illness related to my surgery affected me seven months later.

You'll borrow some parts longer then others.

Other articles in this series:


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