Saturday, 20 June 2015

Nobody told me - 3yrs on cancer is still a bitch.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these.

Firstly, it's mostly all good news. I'm smiling, you need not worry about something in your eye.

Thursday, I flew to Sydney for my 6 monthly followup with my surgical oncologist, for both my breast cancer and sarcoma.

Friday, before my appointment , I squeezed in a lovely morning with friends, a few laughs and shopping for shoes (and most definitely blinged up slippers for Stephanie - which are not shoes in case her husband is reading) followed by a quick lunch.

It didn't cross my mind till last night , today would be exactly 3yrs since my double mastectomy.

Straight up after pleasantries and greetings - he said "I want to have a look at the [flat] mole on your face [upper cheek bone] ". I knew exactly which one he meant,
He asked me to stand up , then used his special device to check it , advising me to get it removed asap, to be on the safe side.

Jaw dropping. I knew it had changed, thought it was nothing. Nobody else told me they thought I should get it checked.

Yes - my doctor ; also a melanoma specialist , so he reminded me, while holding the magnifying ( I think) tool on my cheek. It could be nothing , pre-melanoma or something else . I didn't see that little curve ball coming.

First, he said to have biospy , then better still - just get it completely removed ... to be sure with pathology.

I don't think he was being alarmist just careful considering my history. I will immediately heed his advice to see a local surgeon.

Deja vu , last year no matter how prepared I was , cancer always an unknown quantity, the bitch is never far away.

Reassuringly, my specialist - got his secretary to fax the form for a followup PET scan (at Westmead). ASAP but not urgent he wrote. It will tell us more or less about anything I might have to worry about. The risk of distant metastasis (Cancer spreading to other parts of the body; mostly the lungs, bones or liver). I had the last PET scan one year ago.


Everything else looks good . He isn't sure why I still have pain in my thigh, mainly on activity. It bothers me but not enough to stop me exercising, now I know the MRI I had Monday showed no eveidence of recuurance , only a resoliving haematoma (noticed on February's scan but probably there since March 2014),

Amusingly, why do Drs pull a curtain around so you can undress in private - then come to examine you - naked except for socks and knickers.

I won't celebrate ...yet.

I should celebrate, on a few levels , that he asked the secretary to make my next appointment in 12 months.

Nobody told me that three years would be swallowed up - just like that. 
How can it be almost July ?

The value of living each day to its fullest, not putting off until tomorrow what you could do today. After all, one day, there will not be a tomorrow.

Nobody had to tell me - I know every niggle , every ache and every cough  will be a constant cause for concern. Some nights I feel so emotionally slayed I lie awake for hours, worrying .... both of us.

The days and weeks leading up to 6 monthly scans or oncology appointments don't bother me so much now. I go in with cloaked in emotional armour and completely forget everything I planned to ask.

Getting on with life after cancer - twice - is a challenge. 
Let it go ! I tell myself. Nobody else will tell me to stay positive.

I finally succumbed , signing up for a yearly gym membership. I am so grateful for living these 3 years but my happiness is diminished since my friend's death. Knowing, it can change in the blink of an eye.

Nobody told me that damaged and greedy people will fake cancer diagnoses and cures,  causing people like me with real diagnoses to feel more vulnerable and on alert should we be questioned or accused.

Nobody told me how thankful I would be for my Doctor and the multitude of people, that through vulnerable times and held us in their thoughts, prayers and hugs these last three years.

Two different friends taxied me around after my last minute decision to fly, atrocious weather was predicted, and I had to home because my husband had to work today. The 5hrs driving each way was too much for me alone. Human kindness and going out of your way, supersedes everything.

I still need sponsors, research for the cure, is the only way we can stop days like these.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
What did nobody tell you ?