I'm big on anniversaries, which is why I like the "On This Day" app. It’s so easy to forget things we have done and people we have seen, mainly due to busy and frenetic lives. Today marks an anniversary I would rather forget. A year ago today I found lumps in my neck - which ultimately turned out to be cancer.
It marked the start of a tough 12 months for me and my closest. I underwent three months of chemo and a month of radiotherapy. I lost one my oldest friends to cancer in November, lost my beloved stepdad Roland to cancer only 6 weeks ago and received the news last week that I have relapsed and my cancer is back, less than two months after receiving the all clear.
This time round, they are getting the big guns out. Intensive chemotherapy for the next three months here in Brighton, followed by a four to five week stay in The Royal Marsden in Sutton. Here I will be put in an isolation room, my stem cells will be harvested, cleaned and frozen, they will administer chemotherapy so strong that it strips me of every last bit of bone marrow in body - together with my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair - if I still have any left after the initial bout of chemo! The room I am in will have filtered air and I will have limited contact with the outside World, as the smallest germ will have the potential of killing me as I wont be able to fight infection. I will have side affects – some they will tell me about, some they wont. They will give me drugs to counter the side affects and then more drugs to counter the side affects of the drugs that they give me for my side affects.
The next 10 – 12 months are going to push me physically and mentally, with another year after that recovering from the trauma my body has been through. One thing any cancer sufferer will tell you is that you live your life on a knife edge, feeling like your neck is on the block, waiting for the guillotine to drop. Granted – I didn’t expect it to drop again quite as quickly as this.
Only a handful of people knew what I was going through last year, and I took such a lot of strength and positivity from their support. This time round, its out in the open and I have already been overwhelmed by the messages of encouragement I have received. But more than that, it’s the support and love that has been shown to my family, who will be on the front line – as they were last time.
Last year I had every intention to blog regularly, for my own sanity. The reality was that very early on in to my treatment I lost my motivation and my ability to string a sentence together, thanks to the dreaded chemo. Since January, which is when my last blog post was it has been sheer fatigue - well that and as it has now transpired cancer. This time health permitting I will persevere, because its a great outlet.
Oh and one more thing. I am so sick of “that word” – I’ve re-named it Norman!
So that’s me, laying it bear. Warts and all! But for now, I'm feeling upbeat, the summers here, I’m off on holiday next week with two of my favourite people and the Prosecco is flowing!