Sorry for the radio silence for the past year but I didn’t think I had anything new or interesting to share and have been working hard on the charity launch. The cancer was behaving, the bimonthly treatment was becoming easier to manage, I’m going on adventures with my girlfriend, I’m eating three meals a day (four at the weekends), I’m going for weekend drinks with friends, I’m attending weddings and celebrating birthdays. Everything is just normal – expect of course the cancer. But that’s my normal and like I said, that was behaving – but then along came the blip.
Of course there’s a blip – I was never going to get any easy go at this. The blip began around 5 months ago – sickness, bloating, tiredness. It wasn’t just the physical symptoms, I’m emotional and feel weirdly clouded and distant, my girlfriend can concur – I haven’t been me.
So along came a phone call from the consultant – your liver levels are 6x over the normal reading (and have been for a fair while). Balls!
Cue – back to back hospital appointments and the cancer comeback anxiety.
I was worried, the consultant was professionally concerned. Scans were needed to find out what the heck was going on and why my liver was freaking out. Our main concern was more cancer!
I haven’t had a CT scan since waaay back 2015 – 3 months into my strong chemotherapy regime – where it showed the alien tumour still bobbing about in my abdomen. So I was super anxious to find out whether the massive bastard had been wiped out or had spawned its ugly self all over my liver too.
This day in hospital was a tale of two tales; My sister, brother in law and nephews were on one side of the hospital with my nephew who was receiving IV antibiotics after infecting his arm from falling in the woods –(my nephews are gorgeously wild) and on the other side of the hospital was Francesca and I, wildly pacing corridors.
Today was one of the most difficult days since I was diagnosed with cancer. I think I was weirdly calm – I’ve become pretty good at cocooning myself to get through tough days. However, it’s not just me going through it, I have an amazing girlfriend, who has never left my side or let go of my hand through any of this, and she’s witnessed everything. She’s held me when I’ve been too weak to stand and encouraged me to eat when my body wanted to reject everything. Today she’s watching needles go in me, she’s seeing me rushed into scans, and today she could possibly hear that the person she loves is really sick again. I know she’s scared and I know she’s sad – her blue eyes tell me, but selflessly she doesn’t let on, instead she bolsters my cocoon with ‘love yous’.
The wait for the results was long and stressful. Watching my consultant walk down the corridor with the results on the paper seemed to last forever and all sorts of crazy outcomes ran through my head. “Its spread, it’s spread, the cancer has got worse” is all I could hear in my head; I braced myself for those words.
“The scans clear”
“THE SCAN IS CLEAR” my consultant repeated.
My chemo nurse stood next to him grinning. I felt the weight of relief fall off of Francesca who had been so strong all day. My scan showed no signs of tumours!!
“The scan is clear, you’re effectively in remission” my consultant confirmed, a little smile on his relieved face.
REMISSION!! I AM IN REMISSION!
That one little word that I have been desperate to hear since I was diagnosed! Having my sister on the other side of the hospital was pretty perfect. She had been there since day dot – she was in the room when I heard the words ‘you have cancer’, she helped me get through the dark early days. She is another strong, selfless and wonderful woman that I am lucky to have in my life, she has lived through this with me and I couldn’t wait to tell her the news.
The day ended so differently to how it began – lots of happy tears and an incredibly squashing group hug – my sister (and baby Bo bump at the time), brother in-law, my two wild nephews and Francesca and I.
After endless hospital appointments, years of medication, needles and tears, I had finally reached the end. At that moment, I felt so so happy and so free. A huge, suffocating weight had been lifted from me and I could actually see a future away from cancer, I couldn’t quite believe it and a part of me still can’t – there is still a lot of uncertainty ahead – I have an incurable cancer and possibility of relapse is there but right now absolutely nothing is going to take away the absolutely joy and determination I have to live!
Don’t get carried away folks – it’s not over yet, the blip continues with liver biopsy and bone marrow results– updates to follow