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!

Friday, 15 January 2010

A Year in Remission

I had the scan yesterday and today I found out that all was clear.

Inbetween the spaces of these words you might be able to glimpse at the kind of day I had today....

If the cancer had returned my prognosis was as good as terminal. Please bear this in mind as you follow me through the day.

I knew that scans were discussed in the morning by the multi-discipliniary team. So this morning I was kind of ok. I took Martha to her speech therapy appointment at 10.30 and took her back to school. I went to the supermarket to get some stuff - getting close to lunchtime now - getting wierd and trembly and twitchy in the queue.
By the time I was home the stress levels were ratcheting higher.

From 12, baby elsewhere, I huddled on the sofa next to the phone, waiting.... I had arranged with a nurse that she would call me in the afternoon. But the call didn't come. I tried to call and the phone rang and rang and rang. At each ring I thought that someone would answer and after necessary and desperate explanation somone might tell me my fate. But no-one answered the phone. All afternoon I repeated the call. By the time that I spoke to someone and expressed my desperation clearly enough, it was close to 4pm. They promised a doctor would call me back. And half an hour later, she did.

I'm pleased of course - understatement there!! I'm relieved and able to look my children in their eyes tonight. But I'm wrung out like I can't tell you with the level of stress I've had to manage today. There has to be a better system of care for people like me at times like this. I'm 40. I have three kids under 6 and I need to live. It was possible that I could have been given what would have amounted to terminal diagnosis today. If I hadn't kicked up an almighty fuss today, in all probability I wouldn't have been told anything at all and faced a harrowing weekend. It's not as if they said it was impossible to get the results so quickly. In my last conversation with the consultant and specialist nurse they agreed that it was reasonable and entirely do-able that I got the results today. But in the end the plan collapsed. That's some of what they were discussing on the radio the other day when I wrote my post. That sense of abandonment which I and so many others have experienced when we're not receiving treatment anymore. And all the doctors, nurses and other staff have got to know me well over the past 18 months. And I know they care about what happens to me and my family. I know my day was not made so unbearable on purpose. But unbearable it was.

However - it's clear, it's clear, it's clear. And I've achieved a year in remission. I'm going to spend the weekend planning how to move forward into 2010 with all the happiness and optimism I can.


Meghan said...

i am so, so happy for you kate. what a blessing. i hope that this next year in remission won't be as fearful for you. i hope you are able to enjoy your life...every minute of it! xoxo

Tracey said...

Kate, I read this post awhile ago, and I was so happy and overwhlemed for you that I had to leave and come back. You see, I too am 40 with three kids under six. Why you? Why not me?

Anyway, my mother-in-law is coming to stay this weekend and I am not looking forward to it because the house is a mess and I have so much to do, but after reading your good news, I have never been so grateful for the the privilege of sweeping up after these kids than I was today. They were wailing and making messes faster than I could clean them, but I was soooo happy to be here to hear it.

So, congratulations!!! And, thank you so much for sharing.

Anita said...

Yeah!!! as we say here in America.
I am SO happy for you!!!
I'm sorry you had to wait to hear from the medical staff. I had to wait once when my mother was having surgery and my imagination got the best of me. They were supposed to come out and tell me her condition and they "forgot." I know many places are understaffed and overworked, but there should be a better system of communication.

But, you'll get past that "lack of communication" memory and continue living your full and healthy life!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

FANTASTIC!!! Well done, Kate. What an enormous relief and I can't even begin to image how harrowing that day was as you waited. It is terrible when people like yourself slip through the system. Thankfully the doctor phoned. Keep fighting the good fight. Love and hugs and all respect to you and your family. xx

Vince said...

Good news indeed. You need to mark it someway, a family holiday, perhaps.

Rebecca S. said...

Kate, I prayed for you several times on Thursday. I hope you don't mind.

I'm so happy and echo Tracey's thoughts.

Mummy mania said...

wonderful, wonderful news - a whole new beginning. and I take my hat off to you - I have no idea how you dealt with waiting - it must have been harrowing. I'm writing a novel about a woman who leaves her children because of an illlness, and I'm wrung out just writing about. How awful for you to live through it. BUT, the news is great, and the future bright. Well done and enjoy the planning!

diney said...

Kate - I've been thinking of you all weekend and haven't been able to log on to check your news. I'm so delighted for you. It must have been horrendous waiting by the phone, you poor thing. Celebrate now! (another bag, or shoes to go with it?!!!) x