The whole purpose of chemotherapy is to kill of dividing cells. While there is research into it, researchers haven’t yet discovered the holy grail of targetting only the malignant cancer cells. So as a result, current chemotheraphy drugs affect the every dividing cell in the body and not just cancer.
So that is why you vomit and your hair falls out during chemotherapy. Your stomach lining and your hair roots are parts of your body that rapidly divides everyday. It is the most obvious side effect of chemotherapy.
At the same time stop and consider the fact that with each chemotherapy treatment, you are also killing off a constant percentage of cancer cells that would otherwise seed other parts of your body and form secondary tumours which will cause more damage to you. In the balance between life and death, sometimes the treatment can be as bad as the disease itself, but one of them lets you live. The other doesn’t.
It’s not a choice that’s hard to make, but it is one that is painful to endure all the same.
This year Footsteps in the Mirror will be blogging to raise money for the Association for International Cancer Research which is a non-profit organisation that helps fund cancer research throughout the world. If you’re willing to help, you can sign up on the Blogathon website and pledge your amount right here. Help make a difference, no matter how small it may be.