Oh yes, I go for therapy, and it has been great. There is no denying that even with the best support network and loved ones around, being the one with the cancer in this turmoil can be quite lonely.

I started therapy a few months before I got diagnosed actually. I was unwell and I was diagnosed with anxiety. Now that modern medicine is more aware the intimate relationship between the gastro-intestinal tract and our brains, I am convinced it was the beginning of the tumour that made me feel off, not anxiety brought on by external factors. There is no scientific way to make sure of that, especially after the fact, but I have grown to trust my instincts, as they have always pointed me in the right direction.

Research literature shows that people with a better mental health have better outcomes (i.e. how long and well one lives after a cancer diagnosis). So I have been going to therapy, and generally it has helped me get rid of things I had carried for a long time, and not let them interfere with my wellbeing. It has helped with acceptance of many things; being sick (I was really fit before), self-image (no hair I can deal with although I don’t want to have to, but no eyebrows is just awful, and those guys seem like they never grow back!). Finally, it has really helped me cope when I got the second, third, fourth diagnosis, got hospitalised for one reason or other, and with the long and painful months of chemotherapy.

Basically, therapy is like additional floaters to your boat. It helps reach the surface faster and the right way up when engulfed in a wave, and generally stabilises the journey. I totally recommend it!

Note to self: Additional topics to write about later: hair etc. and tolerance ranges.