Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Thursday, 22 October 2009


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......


Shawna said...

I don't know what to, my words do not seem to be enough, but just know that I send you good wishes everyday.

BNM said...

I have tears running down my face. I went with my mum to several of her oncology appointments and I felt awful sitting in the waiting room with a head of hair.
I wish you all the luck in the world and will keep my fingers crossed that things will get better.

Kate said...

Your comments are appreciated - thankyou.

Matthew said...

I want to say that I understand but of course I don't and of course I can't begin to.

I know the feeling you get upon walking into a hospital though - and I'm sure yours is magnified a thousandfold on mine, which in itself makes it horrible.

Thinking of you.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Kate all strength and prayers to you. All I can suggest is try sending some form of light out to the hospital and affirming that only the highest healing is being given now by the staff. I understand why you hate and shrink away from the hospital but try not to resist it too much. Keep going. Fight the good fight and take it a minute at a time if you have to. Everybody's cancer and treatment is so different. I know my father benefitted from the work of Petrea King who has done a lot of work with cancer patients.
Pleased to see you strut your bald head proudly. You have the world to be proud of and your children have a wonderful warrior there as a mother! xx

Jen said...

If ever there was a time to live for the moment, it's now. Stay strong. Enjoy your children. I'm pulling for you.

Margaret said...

Regarding this post and your last: my situation is totally, totally different, but I know what you mean about luck. I feel the same way. I have this daughter with epilepsy, and it's been getting worse, and everywhere I go I see these young, bright-eyed teenagers and I just want to weep because I see my child suffering and struggling in school and tired every minute of the day. We don't feel lucky at all.

Kate said...

Margaret - I'm sorry for your situation. I cannot imagine how hard things must be. My best and warm wishes to your daughter and yourself.

Mummy mania said...

Hi Kate, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. i hope you get some peace of mind in Scotland.... lots of love