Actor Samuel Johnson's sister Connie has penned an honest, no holds barred explanation about the harsh reality of living with cancer and its ravaging effects on every aspect of a patient's life.
Connie Johnson has fought cancer three times. At 11 she fought off a rare and aggressive bone tumour, at 22 a tumour in her womb. Now she's dying from breast cancer.
In 2014 her brother finished what was then the world's longest unicycle journey and raised $1.5 million for breast cancer awareness as part of the Love Your Sister project.
Connie Johnson posted on the Love Your Sister Facebook page on Wednesday about the darkest parts of cancer, saying she'd "had it up to here with cancer and it's time to drop my lolly".
"There are the obvious things about cancer, the nausea and fatigue, the hair loss and the pain. Then there are the things we don't talk about," she wrote.
She goes on to explain constipation from pain medication, chemically induced menopause, incontinence, vomiting and the effect they've had on both her body and spirit.
"I have been going through chemically induced menopause since I was 33, the hot flushes are unbearable and the night sweats so bad that I sometimes have to change all of my bedding several times a night," Johnson explains.
She also talks completely openly about her struggle with going bald and the part it has played in damaging her self esteem.
"I feel self-conscious and can't stand the sight of myself. I have covered all the mirrors in the house so I don't accidentally see myself and get that brutal reminder that I have cancer."
Johnson speaks about the constant advice she has to listen to from other people ranging from taboo treatments, to positive thinking and pharmaceutical conspiracy theories.
"And then I get told that if I think positively I will beat it. Once cancer has metastasised it is NOT curable," she writes.
The post acts as yet another example of her and her brother's relentless fight to expose cancer for all it is worth then fight against it wholeheartedly.
"I don't want sympathy. I just want to acknowledge how cruel and relentless cancer is. How hard it is to live with. I thank you for your support, and I do understand how fortunate I am to be so loved and well supported."
Johnson shows in her post that even in her darkest hour she is grateful for her friends, supportive family and two sons, explaining that not everyone with cancer has this type of joy.
In what may be the most painful part of the post, she expresses her regret on not insisting to have a scan to rule out cancer when she first noticed the lumps in her breasts.
"Maybe then this rant would be about being overworked and underpaid, not being able to find a carpark, or the cost of groceries," Johnson writes.
She ends the post saying her anger has now been cleansed for the day, thanking those for reading and their support before signing off to take a nap.
The post leaves her audience admiring her even more for fighting a fight with such raw, honest integrity -- that no one should ever have to fight in the first place.
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