Blog 2: Klara – From Diagnosis to Chemotherapy and Beyond

Klara’s story continues

Klara during chemotherapy
Klara at rest

In my first blog, I detailed the process of receiving my diagnosis. Now, let’s delve into the subsequent journey, where I’ll recount the preparations for chemotherapy, my emotions leading up to it, and the unsettling encounter with an alternative treatment centre.

Upon receiving the diagnosis, I underwent a series of extensive examinations. Additionally, I was referred to the clinical nutrition outpatient clinic, where specialists provided guidance on dietary considerations during chemotherapy. These examinations were essential for obtaining crucial information about my condition, the extent of cancer progression, and the presence of metastases in other organs.

Amidst all the examinations, which lasted several hours, all I wanted to do was leave the building of the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana and embrace my little girls at home.

After my discussion with the oncologist and receiving information that, frankly, left me feeling bewildered, my mind was thrown into disarray. Fears stirred within me as I ventured into the unknown, fully aware that nothing ‘good’ awaited me. It felt as though I had been thrust into the plot of a movie, observing Klara’s narrative unfold as if from a distant perspective. Life appeared to unravel before me, inundating my mind with countless questions and fears.

When I received the diagnosis, it felt like stepping into an entirely unfamiliar world. I lacked any understanding of the treatment process, what to anticipate, or even the basics of chemotherapy. Soon after, I sought guidance from a holistic centre I discovered online. They confidently offered to cure me and suggested I forgo chemotherapy, promoting their own methods – albeit for steep prices. Intuitively, I knew I couldn’t gamble with my life. Though I believe in personal agency for health, my trust ultimately rested with the oncologists and seasoned experts in the field. I placed my faith in the progress and expertise of modern medicine.

After receiving the diagnosis, I have searched for a young girl’s story facing similar situation, yet my search yielded no results. This prompted my decision to share my own narrative when I will sense the moment was appropriate. By doing so, I hope to reach out and offer support   to others treading this path in future.

A few days after being diagnosed, I had a cardiac ultrasound with another doctor, whose advice profoundly altered my view of chemotherapy and the entire treatment journey. She urged me to view chemotherapy as medicine, not as something detrimental. Driving home, her words resonated deeply, highlighting the importance of our mindset in such circumstances. As I walked into my first chemotherapy session, I wore a smile and brimmed with optimism. I imagine I did appear a bit peculiar to everyone around me 😊.

cannulated arm
Klara undergoing chemotherapy

I underwent my initial chemotherapy session on 12/10/2020, lasting about 45 minutes. Upon completion, I returned home, resting and unknowingly anticipating its effects. After several hours, the first side effects emerged – waves of nausea and general discomfort. Finding myself lying on the bathroom floor, I encountered some of the most tiring moments of my journey. While part of me was reassuring ‘Klara, everything will be alright, this was expected’, another part felt a sinking sensation, questioning my survival. I remained on the bathroom floor for a while before finally getting up and retiring to bed. I recall activating some soothing sounds on my phone before drifting into a deep sleep.

In the forthcoming blog, I’ll delve into the emotional struggle during chemotherapy, the impact of hair loss, and more …

Yet, I’ll continue to emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive mindset 😊.