Yesterday was tough. I did see my consultant and I did ask her all the terrible the questions regarding what my prognosis would be, and what they would do should the cancer reappear. And the answers were as horrible as the questions really. Basically I would have, at best, a 10-15% chance of surviving should it return and less should it return in the original place where it occurred in my chest, because I couldn't have any more radiotherapy to that area. I'd have another bout of hospilisation and chemotherapy - and I wouldn't fancy fighting that battle with such reduced chances of survival. It was horrendous enough last time when the chances of achieving remission were reasonable.
Even walking in to the hospital is an enormously stressful experience. The outpatients Oncology department is clean and bright - in a brand new building - but it only ever feels a dangerous and frightening place to be. I can feel my body tensing as I park the car. And all the awful memories flood back. There are people waiting to see the doctors in varying stages of illness or recovery - some look truly terrible, bald and wasted - as I know I looked in the past. Some look well, and some one greets remembering conversations had while hooked up to drips or blood transfusions. And most a lot older than me which can make me bitter if I don't collect myself. Even the Macmillan Cancer shop selling headscarfs makes me feel truly unwell. Anyhow - I wore my bald head without shame, never covering it up unless I was cold.
So, I have to stay well that's for sure and bloody stay in remission until the danger's passed. Today, I feel sad and very very tired. It's a strange experience hearing those brutal things about oneself and then stopping off at the supermarket before picking up the kids from school!! Sometimes I find my life a confusing and exhausting place to be.
I have a scan booked for mid-January which marks a year since I finished treatment. And frankly of course I'm terrified. The poignancy of all the Christmas and New Year celebrations, Nativity plays at the kids' school etc, all hold that awful echo of the previous Christmas and the hope towards the next one. I'm organising Ed's 6th birthday party at the moment - and last night I caught myself casually thinking that at least I'd managed to reach that goal-post. And for a while it wasn't certain that I'd see his 5th birthday let alone his 6th.
There we go then. I'm not sure what to make of anything. All I can do is to keep on from day to day, ignoring the wierd twinges in my back which I tell myself everyone gets, knowing that if those twinges are sinister I'll know about it soon enough. I am slowly learning not to panic about my body - to give myself time to see if something potentially worrying fixes itself before I rush off to the hospital. But of course sometimes the anxiety is overwhelming nevertheless. I'm keeping on with those smoothies though......
It was on the... 18th January, actually
23 hours ago