Actor Samuel Johnson’s sister shares heartbreaking post amid cancer battle

Truly awful
Actor Samuel Johnson’s sister shares heartbreaking post amid cancer battle
Facebook/Loveyoursister

Connie Johnson has been battling cancer on and off for what seems like a majority of her life.

 

 

At 11, a tumor was found in her leg before returning at age 22. She was then diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at 33.

But the now 39-year-old has defied the odds and outlived all predictions the doctors gave her on her life expectancy. But of course, it hasn’t been easy and now the sister of actor Samuel Johnson has shared some confronting realisations in a lengthy Facebook post.

RANT Warning: If you are feeling up and positive and don't want to think about the dark side, please don't read this post. Most days I can see the bright side, most of the time I feel grateful for what I have, but there are days when I just get fed up. I don't normally talk about the sucky side of my experience here, because I don't want this to be a place of negativity, but enough is enough, I have 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. I haven't had a normal shit in 6 years. It's always constipation from the pain medication, or the opposite from the medication to offset that. 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. I now have to wear continence aids because I keep wetting myself. The vomiting is unpredictable, I don't know if I will keep down each meal. My legs are swelling so much that I can't walk, so I have to wear compression bandages that are tight, difficult to put on, expensive and hot (and not terribly attractive). Same with my right arm, after having 36 lymph nodes removed. I'm scared to leave the house because I don't want to wet myself in public, or end up in a gutter throwing up. And it might seem trivial to worry about being bald, but I hate not having hair, 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. I take a minimum of 28 tablets per day, each one of them is a reminder that the only reason I am alive is because of all the medication. I am always tired, even when I first wake up. Just walking to the toilet is an effort sometimes. My tastebuds have gone haywire, so food doesn't have a taste. It's hard to be enthusiastic about anything that just feels like cardboard in your mouth. There are constant trips to hospital, mostly as an outpatient, thankfully, but I am so sick of that place, and I am going to have to spend more and more time there as the disease progresses. There is constant fear. Fear that each little ache and pain is more cancer, and fear that the cancer is winning. Then on top of that I have to listen to people tell me that if I eat apricot kernels or marijuana cookies I will be cured and that pharmaceutical companies are hiding the cure because they want to keep making money off chemo. It's ridiculous. They could charge heaps more for a cure than they could ever charge for current medications. Let's face it, I would double mortgage my house, and sell my soul to buy a cure! And then I get told that if I think positively I will beat it. Once cancer has metastasised it is NOT curable. I will not survive this cancer. No matter how positive I am, I will die of this disease. The best I can hope for is to live a bit longer, knowing that the life I do get to squeeze in will be full of appointments, waiting rooms, needles, medication, and side effects. And I am one of the lucky ones, I have been able to live longer than expected because there was a drug that stabilised my cancer for a long time. Sorry to whinge. 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. Heaps of people have cancer. But they don't all have the joy of two beautiful, healthy, happy boys, a brother like Sam and Dave and sisters like Hilde and Em. They don't all have a village to inspire them to find the best in life. They don't all have the security of a roof over their heads. They don't all have the peace that their kids will be well loved, and guided through life with their other parent after they die. They don't all have great friends like Mike. Some people have to work until the very end because they can't afford not to. How I wish I could turn back time, and insist to the GPs that I saw in the year before my diagnosis that I needed a scan to rule out cancer when I first noticed the lumps. Maybe then my cancer wouldn't have spread and become fatal. Maybe then I would have been treated for early breast cancer and be back at work now. Maybe then this rant would be about being overworked and underpaid, not being able to find a carpark, or the cost of groceries. Thanks for reading. I'm done now. This rant has cleansed me of my anger and now I can get on with my day. To the families of all the people who have not had the luxury of living this long (even with a life of sickness), I mean no disrespect, and I do acknowledge that I am very lucky to have survived long enough to see my kids get more than half way through primary school. I know that your loved ones would have tolerated all that I am whinging about and more just to have extra time with their families and friends. To all the awesome Love Your Sister Villagers, thank you for your support and love, it really does make a big difference to my quality of life, and please know that I really appreciate you all. And thanks for raising funds to find better cancer treatments and possibly cures so that future generations won't have to go through all of this stuff. XXConnie #IHATECancer #FindaCureFundaCure #CancerRant #checkyourboobs #checkyourballs P.S. I'm going back to bed now, and I will try to find the right side of it to get out of after my nap. :)

Speaking on the ‘Love Your Sister’ account, which Samuel set up to help raise cancer awareness, Connie revealed some thing’s that ‘we don’t talk about’

 

 

'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. I now have to wear continence aids because I keep wetting myself,'

 

 

'The vomiting is unpredictable, I don’t know if I will keep down each meal. My legs are swelling so much that I can’t walk, so I have to wear compression bandages that are tight, difficult to put on, expensive and hot (and not terribly attractive). 

 

 

'I’m scared to leave the house because I don’t want to wet myself in public, or end up in a gutter throwing up. And it might seem trivial to worry about being bald, but I hate not having hair, I feel self-conscious and can’t stand the sight of myself.'

 

 

Throughout her battle, Connie has used the Facebook account to detail her struggle with the awful disease by keeping followers updated on treatment and operations.

‘I will not survive this cancer. No matter how positive I am, I will die of this disease. The best I can hope for is to live a bit longer, knowing that the life I do get to squeeze in will be full of appointments, waiting rooms, needles, medication, and side effects.'

 

 

At the end of the hearbreaking post, she ended by giving thanks to all who have supported her during this terrible time.

 

 

‘I thank you for your support, and I do understand how fortunate I am to be so loved and well supported. Heaps of people have cancer. But they don’t all have the joy of two beautiful, healthy, happy boys, a brother like Sam and Dave and sisters like Hilde and Em.'