Now that the surgery is over and the scars are nicely healed, the next part of the treatment for the demon cancer has to be decided upon. I have spoken to many people in the last few weeks who have either been through it themselves or know someone close to them who has and the options seem to boil down to two: – chemotherapy and radiotherapy or just the latter, and they both come with a decade’s worth of anti oestrogen tablets as backup.
My seemingly long awaited (although in reality it was only a fortnight…) appointment with the oncologist took place last Thursday, 11 May, and I saw the registrar and not the named consultant herself. She was a pleasant enough woman and proceeded to go through the results of my investigations with me, bringing each docket up on the screen in front of her as she did. Half an hour later and with a 10% increase of my chances of not getting the cancer back or having it spread, I opted for the double dose of chemo and radiotherapy. Not really much of a choice is it? Sort of like being asked as a West Ham fan which team you wanted to win this year’s premier league out of Chelsea and Spurs, or what venereal disease you would prefer to have…
When I look around me at all of the people who have been through this awful dilemma, I am full of admiration at the way they have dealt with such a dreadful prospect. As tough as I may seem, it is a frightening thought that in less than two weeks, despite my feeling almost 100% at the moment (still can’t manage any weightlifting with that stricken right arm yet) I am going to be made ill. Yes, technically I may have hidden sickness lurking around in my body, but I don’t feel unwell and yet, that’s what chemo does – all but kills you off and then just as you’re recovering, you go through it all again!
There are two positive aspects of this experience that I am clinging on to – firstly, I might (just might) have a rogue positive lymph node lingering about in my body waiting to pounce and debilitate me and the plan is that the chemo will hunt it down and obliterate it and secondly, everyone I know who has braved it has come through the other side and is still here!
‘We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we’ve got to go through it!’