Wednesday 20 November 2013

Chemo-Cocktail for Consolidation

                                                                       Hair affair ^ 

Out of Induction (phase 1) and into Consolidation (phase 2), my hair barely survived. Although the new drugs on consolidation will result in more chemo-brain, as well as ‘hair loss’, it doesn’t phase me...

Ha! But in all seriousness, I’ve got a tough month ahead of me with this new phase. Consolidation officially started on Tuesday at Children’s hospital when my body began its absorption of this month’s cancer-killers. Although, 3 days in and I haven’t felt the anticipated affects of chemo-brain yet (I say this while knocking on wood.) I plan on taking advantage of feeling normal, as I have been all week; as in going to school and doing non-cancer-patient like things. It feels fantastic.

I drove into the hospital this afternoon to get another injection of cancer-killers through my VAD (This wouldn’t be one of the non-cancer-patient like things).
It’s sardonic, really, how so often in my past I’ve gone to the doctor: I’m sick, He gives me drugs, I feel better. But now, I go to the doctor (oncologist): I’m sick, He gives me drugs, and I am merely confined to the expectance of feeling worse.
My customary assumption, similar to most peoples, was that you get medicine to feel better. For me, this now only remains true to the extent of long term pain as I know that only until the end of my treatment will I feel better, cured and back to normal. But it’s hard to think long term with chemotherapy; I continually am taking it day by day. And within this short term lifestyle, these words, ‘medicine,’ ‘pills’ and ‘drugs,’ have grown to haunt me. What were formerly reassuring words that would bring anticipation of wellness, I’ve now associated with illness, pain and chemo-brain.

       But being optimists, we look at the positive side of things. This phase’s combination of drugs, chemo cocktail, should typically only lower my neutrophils while my hemoglobin’s stay fairly high. For those of you who are of non-sciencey-sort, this means although I will be more prone to viruses, the affects of this month’s chemo-cocktail will leave me with decent energy levels. Yay for more energy!
I would like to mention thanks to Sarah Massah, reporter from Peace Arch News, for writing a humbling article about my story and journey. Also to Kolby Solinsky for another inspiring article, written and posted in the Surrey Leader. Thank you for all the support but more importantly, thanks to all who’ve helped to spread awareness about this disease: it’s all making a difference for future fighters.

Breeding optimism with shorter hair,

             -          Serena Bonneville J


  1. Dear Serena, I am a 13 year old attending grade 8 at Earl Marriot Sec. and I read about your story in the Peace Arch News. On Octoper 6, 2006 I was starting first grade, when i got called down to the office. My mom picked me up, took me to BCCH where they did blood tests on me for 5 hours. At the end of the day, I was diagnosed with ALL, at 6 years old. Now that I'm older and free of cancer, I have more time to think about what happened to me, and I am evere thankful for the care I got at BCCH. Your story and so many other's like yours inspire me, and you are a huge inspiration. Keep on keepin' on [from the words of Megan McNeil] and keep fighting. Simran Sarai

  2. Hi there Serena! I was reading up on few of your posts and had quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance, thanks!