To make a relationship work, focus on what you appreciate about the other person, and not your complaints. When you focus on the strengths, you will get more of them. – Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
Nairobi, March 30, 2013: I am a single parent of two boys aged 13 and 5 years. Since breaking up with my son’s father about 4 years ago, I have remained single with no romantic interests to brag about. I really wasn’t looking and at the same time, I never did feel lonely or in need of a boyfriend or partner as my life has been full with family commitments and work ambitions.
One Saturday morning as I was lazing in bed with a nice thick novel, my younger son came into my room and on seeing me relaxing, he told me that I should get a boyfriend! When I asked him why, he stated that he didn’t want me to be lonely (in bed I assume!). He then walked over to my dressing table and started putting aside make up and perfume which he said I must use to help me find a boyfriend! Finally, he reached for one of my wigs that was hanging on a stand and advised me to ensure I always wear a wig to boost my chances of getting a boyfriend! I guess to him being bald was not a good way of attracting a man!
I am not sure why he made those remarks but I found them very sweet and loving. Despite his urging, getting a boyfriend is the last thing on my mind these days as battling cancer has taken top priority in my life.
Shortly after that incident with my son, I was having one of my chats with my older sister Wanjiku, regarding progress on my cancer treatment. After updating her on my last chemotherapy session, she made a joke that chemo is my new boyfriend! As I thought about it I had to agree with her that my chemo does remind me of being in a relationship and particularly with a bad-ass boyfriend! You see, I am one of those girls who tended to fall for the bad boys. My ex’s have always been ruggedly handsome bad boys who were not always good for me, but I thought I couldn’t live without them! That’s my chemo. Let’s call him Mr. C.
I have to see Mr. C every other Friday, as we have a strict date set and if I miss it I am in big trouble as the cancer cells in my body will rejoice at the lack of poison to kill them. While my sessions with Mr. C are mandatory, he doesn’t always treat me well post chemo and sometimes I get really sick and weak. It kind of feels like when your boyfriend doesn’t call you after a steamy night together!
The side effects from my much needed boyfriend (chemo) are a mile long:
- Nausea and or vomiting
- Hair loss
- Mouth pain or open sores in the mouth
- Excessive bleeding
- High risk for infections
- Loss of appetite
- Change in sense of taste or smell
- Dry mouth
- Lactose intolerance
- Skin discoloration
- Nails discoloration (blackening) or falling off
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
Despite this mile-long list, I have to keep going back every two weeks for more doses of Mr. C. Over time I have learnt on how to minimize these side effects using various drugs to counter the side effects and following a strict nutritious diet. During my chemo recovery period, I have learned to focus on myself and block out things that will cause me stress or tension. I purposely scheduled my chemo sessions on a Friday, so that I can use the weekend to recover through lots of rest, meditation and a good diet. By Monday, I am back in the office and no one can guess that I had just had chemo 48 hours prior! Sometimes I even get compliments on how good I look, or that I am glowing!
I can’t break up with Mr. C just yet as I need him to kill off the cancer cells in my body. Even though he does take a toll on me, I have learnt to live with him and adjust my lifestyle to accommodate him. Just like in any relationship, you have to give a little, to get what you want. Most of all because I have learned to love and respect my body, he is starting to show me love and respect.
Treat yourself with love and respect, and you will attract people who show you love and respect. – Rhonda Byrne, The Secret