• Nathira Salim

Stop it

Welcome back to my blog peeps.

Let me be honest and tell you something. Your life does not return back to normal after your treatment for cancer is over, It just doesn’t. So first of all - if you have had cancer, and you are going through treatment and then you think that after this you are going to bounce back to life - well you won’t.

In my entire blog here, I have detailed out my treatments, its effect and side effects and what I do to counter it and how I feel during the grind. Now month seven after active treatment, if you think that my life is back to normal - well my first question - what is normal?

I am walking, am able to eat, and my hair‘s coming back - so that’s normal? I can’t walk when I stand or sit too long, I can’t begin to walk if I have not been walking for more than 3 days and my feet basically still feels numb, tingly and painful all times. Thats not fucking normal.

My hair is growing - but have you seen it? Its growing on its own terms. Theres like 75% of scalp still without hair and I look like I am going through chemo now only! I am now losing all the teeny tiney wispy hairs and I don’t know why. And it doesn’t help when my mother or my in laws focus on it when we are on the phone.

“Oh your hair still not growing back”

”Its taking time for your hair to grow back isn’t it? Use coconut oil - its effective”

” Why isn’t your hair growing back?”

I am still alive - why isn’t that something to focus about? Why isn’t that something to rejoice about? I could have alopecia - it is a by poduct of chemotherapy and I am ok with it - but whats wrong with these people asking about it?

I am bloody using coconut oil as well for God’s sake and I have tried everything I can. Castor Oil, argan oil, coconut oil, fenugreek hair mask, fenugreek hair wash - bloody every combination as well. If its not coming, then let it be. It will come or it will not - why bloody focus on that? Is the world‘s survival dependent on my hair growth? I jolly hope not cos its not going to happen anytime soon.

So what is normal? Nothing is. You know what the ‘new’ normal is? Being amazed that I am still alive every single morning. Being surprised that I can walk 7km without stopping to rest in hot sun. Being in the moment every time I talk to my son. Really listening to my hubby when he talks and enjoy his hands on mine. These are the so called ’new’ normals because I don’t take these simple everyday things very lightly anymore. My heart valve could explode while walking my full rounds around the reservoir, I might die in my sleep and never wake to see my son off to school, and there are so many mights. So please don’t harp and make me irritated by talking about hair or the lack of it.

I am still here am I not? Am I not enough?

My first and foremost advise to all cancer patient caregivers - stop expecting them to be back to what they used to be. Embrace their ’new’ normal and let them be. Care for them and be there for them and treat them how you have been treating them all these while. They will be thankful for it.

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