If you are unlucky enough to get cancer you have to be prepared for change - change in appearance, maybe weight? Whatever it is takes some adjusting and if you are surrounded by positive amazing people - like me - then the side effects are a lot more palatable. I have been unlucky enough to have succumbed to most of the side effects that my cancer drugs have thrown at me - but the most alarming was the change in my hair colour.
I started taking a drug called Cabozantinib and at the beginning it was nothing short of horrendous. When you start a treatment you are a bit of an experiment - everyones tolerance is different. My initial dosage had the standard side effects but another rather unusual one thrown in just to make it even more interesting. It actually went completely white in a week. In seven days it completely changed colour.
This all happened around the time of the General Election - which prompted the jokes that I was indeed morphing into the leader of the opposition - Jeremy Corbin. I encouraged the banter when Boris got into Downing Street and on the lead up to Christmas Santa Claus took over - I was even given a Santa hat by a colleague which I loved. It was easier for me to cope with a joke than impact on the dramatic change happening on my head - and like I have always said - my closest and dearest know how far to go with the jokes until it gets a bit close to the nerve. Work has been the biggest challenge as the change in appearance was a shock to my friends and colleagues who had only seen me with a brown thatch. Again, the love and support that I get from my Sky family is humbling and a real contributor to my positive attitude and healthy state of mind. I am really very lucky.
I have had to reinvent myself and my wardrobe to accompany this new look - my girlfriend has now nicknamed me 'Lars Vann Roberts' as she says I now look like a character in a nordic crime thriller. I'll take it as its not that bad. Another friend has suggested that I'm the only person with cancer where the side effects (change of hair colour) has done me a favour and I now look quite cool! I think whatever the future holds and whatever happens next I'll be ready because of the love and support I get in abundance every hour of every day.