Cancer can take over your life (if you let it), it’s all consuming, doesn’t make sense, catches you out when you least expect it and nobody can tell you “it’s going to be ok” – a statement or reassurance we all want to hear. That’s the most difficult part to deal with and to be honest I don’t think you ever do.
A few weeks back I experienced my first PET scan. Not the most pleasant experiences and after 7 attempts to cannulate me I wasn’t convinced it would go ahead, but a doctor got involved and my veins decided to play their part. My thoughts about the scan were that it was “belt and braces” and it would be clear, seeing as they had removed the offending lymph node in my neck and my most recent CT scan was clear.
When I went to see my Oncologist for my results, my mood was good, I had got my head around Radiotherapy and was ready to blast this area head on. What I hadn’t expected was the conversation that followed……..
My scan wasn’t clear and lymph nodes deep in my abdomen were highlighting as cancerous. My reaction – “that’s definitely not my scan” (of course it was) shock is an understatement, I was confused and I couldn’t hear what was being said. Words that followed were consumed with what felt like my head being under water, maybe they were talking about somebody else and they had the wrong patient?
My oncologist explained that I would go back on to chemo with a view to “containing it.” I was absolutely devastated, this news was my biggest fear and completely unexpected. I was just getting my life back on track and to be honest I have no time for cancer.
So the journey continues – I was allowed to go on holiday with my daughter and my close friend before treatment would start and we had the most amazing time (see pic below).
This is definitely the most difficult news I’ve had to digest but (and yes there is a but!) having time away I realised I needed to adjust my thinking. Cancer and Chemo will now be part of my life and not just ‘a blip.’ I’m not planning to put my life on hold anymore, it’s about living rather than surviving.
Today I had a Portacath inserted into my chest. Normally the hospital does this via general anesthetic but I opted for local and whilst I wouldn’t want to experience it again the surgeon was amazing, I listened intently throughout the procedure (as he was talking it through with his colleague) and I got through it… I’m getting quite knowledgeable on lines now, I’ve had a PICC, a Groshong and my new Portacath, which is very sore at the moment and a line is inserted ready for cycle 1 (see below).
In addition I have two more war wounds to add to my collection and each of these have a story to tell. I’m all set to start my first cycle of chemo later on in the week.