The mask

OUR PERSONAL FRONT
So many people judged me by how I looked on the outside – my personal front. The effects of cancer are often on the inside.

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the mask

Inside, my body had been bombarded by radiation, giving me the runs. The chemo made my nose and mouth bleed, and gave me mouth ulcers. Part of my colon has been removed, and I have a bag instead. I had regular throat convulsions in the night for up to five hours. My feet and hands were burning, and sensitive to the cold. My skin was hyper-sensitive to the sun.

It’s not on the outside

EXPECTATIONS
People have certain expectations of cancer patients. A big one is the way we’re expected to look. On my four-day steroid boost, I looked super-healthy to begin with – not at all like the expectations.

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Because this wasn’t irritating or upsetting, it was something I kept silent about – most of the time.