Positive side-effect of treatment

I was just thinking as I finished my last post, that I do seem to spend a lot of time grumbling about the side effects of my chemotherapy (in particular) and cancer treatment (in general). I guess this is part of the human condition. As a species we do seem to like to have something to complain about, and I’m no different from the majority in that. However, it’s very easy to overlook the positive aspects of my treatment plan, and the chemotherapy in particular. The former has without doubt saved my life. The latter, while not without its trials and tribulations, will hopefully ensure that my life will continue on for at least my three score years and ten, and hopefully a good deal longer, and I ought to celebrate that a little more than I have been.

After all, it’s not too many years ago that this disease would have snuffed me out of existence without a backward glance, preventing me from seeing my children growing up, getting married and having kids of their own; preventing me from growing old and grey(er!) with my wife; preventing me from enjoying all the myriad joys that life has to offer. So perhaps I ought to bear all that in mind more when I feel like complaining, and try (as Monty Python would say) to “always look on the bright side of life”.

Of course, this isn’t going to change my basic personality much; I’d like to think that as time is passing, I’m becoming an honorary member of the “grumpy old mens club”. But the difference between being a “grumpy old man” rather than a depressing old bore, is one of degree. The real grumpy old man is light-hearted and amusing, and knows when to be positive, which says that it’s about having a sense of humour about the passing of the years and how life changes around us with the passing of those years, rather than just whinging and complaining endlessly about everything.

Something for me to aspire to.

But in the meantime, it occurs to me that one very noticable and positive side-effect of all my treatment is my weight loss. I went into surgery weighing a very unhealthy 108Kgs. I came out of surgery a kilo or two lighter. I then lost a further 12Kgs or so during that first fortnight when I was unable to eat, and was waiting for my digestive system to restart. And since then I’ve slowly lost (with relative ease) another 5Kgs or so, leaving me (currently) a much more healthy 89Kgs.

I’m hoping that by continuing to re-educate myself in terms of diet, exercise and eating habits, I can hopefully lose another 5-10Kgs over the rest of this summer. Even having lost so much weight, I’ll still be a little overweight according to the doctors dreaded BMI charts, but if I can maintain my weight at 80-85Kgs into the future I will be extremely pleased. Apart from the benefits to my self-image, better participation in life (sports etc) it will reduce the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke enormously – which has to be a good thing.

So there you have it – a good side effect from all this cancer treatment!


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