'If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.' Marjorie Garber

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, 2020

Make a note of Thursday 5th November, 2020...

I'm planning a huge celebration on that day.
Another date to remember is yesterday, Wednesday 4th November...that was the day I was diagnosed with Fallopian Tube Cancer.
A strange one, I hear you say, actually it is ovarian cancer, they are just able to pinpoint where it started nowadays.

Last Tuesday, I had my ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, appendix and left para-aortic lymph nodes removed in what can only be described as a brutal operation. Then began the week long wait to find out if the mass discovered on a CT scan the previous Saturday was malignant or not.

In dreams and Hollywood, the mass on my left ovary would be benign but hey, this isn't a fairytale. It was malignant, grade 3, which means that the aggressive cancerous cells are easily differentiated from normal cells and grow quickly. Which is a good thing, apparently, because they can be treated effectively with chemotheraphy - no promises though, not in this game.

And that leads me on to the next waiting game. My chemotherapy should start in three weeks time, providing my blood results are okay.
The day before treatment, I may be given steroids - no-one has told me whether I will or not yet. On the day I will be given anti-sickness and anti-allergy drugs. For four hours I will be tethered to a drip administering two drugs, paclitaxel and carboplatin, to combat any residual cancerous cells and to prevent any new cells forming. And so begins my battle against Cancer.
Such a funny phrase, 'battle against...' or 'fight against...' because at this moment in time, I don't feel very much like fighting or that I am in a battle. I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster since the initial GP visit. I have been swept along by a tide of treatment with the ultimate aim of 'kicking Cancer'! Another slogan to lift the spirit. And that is the key, isn't it? It is all about spirit and hope.
The spirit to get up and face another uncertain day of aches, pains and emotions; the spirit to wear your wig or brandish your bald head with pride; the spirit to stay strong and focussed. And hope - hope the cancer doesn't return; hope the chemo doesn't make me lose all my hair; hope I survive.

All these things to take in, whilst trying to recover from the surgery that has meant normal bodily functions such as passing wind become tortuous milestones. And of course, the tiredness. I am so tired.

Thankfully, it isn't all doom and womb. I have lots of love and support. My husband is in the business, (an anaesthetist), so fills me in on the bits that go over my head in consultations. My family are incredibly strong and loving and have all rallied round. My friends have been unanimous in their support. Now I just have to make sure I don't let them down, that I believe all the propaganda - the fight; the battle; the pride and the cancer kicking. Am I scared? What do you think?