Howdy to anyone out there interested in following my journey. Weird word “journey” . I used to hate it being used in any other than the literal sense -i.e a physical process of getting from A to B. Particularly irritating way to describe pregnancy/new motherhood (nah- that’s just a thing and then a job to do, I wish I’d realised at the time!) both of which I have recent experience of. However I’m learning that it’s an apt metaphor for this cancer stuff. I suspect I’ll also describe it as a nightmare at various points but “journey” seems right for now. I’m at the beginning, there will be various stages and landmarks before I get to the end, whatever the outcome may be.
I wish I’d kept a diary from the first day of diagnosis but have only just discovered the strength/motivation. For this first post I’m just going to rattle through these first few weeks, there’s a lot in my brain so hopefully I’ll be able to keep going with this and go on to talk about other stuff in more detail at later dates. Top topics currently include 1. Nice, kind people 2. Bloody annoying people 3. Annoying dogs 4. Annoying teenagers . 5. Feeling like you are completely mental. 6. Developing weird OCD and superstitions i.e “if England don’t beat Croatia I’m dead (oops) . All thoroughly useful themes for people in all walks of life I hope.
So in summary, when my little boy was six months old I found a lump in my right breast. Having a history of breast cysts in the family and breastfeeding at the time I didn’t freak. Made a doctors appointment, got a bit fobbed off, made a fuss and got referred to a consultant. Breezily attended examination. Didn’t flinch when referred to another hospital in the trust on the same day for ultrasound, and if needed mammogram and biopsy. Didn’t twig when during the ultrasound the doc reassured me that the consultant wasn’t just a nice man but an excellent surgeon (ahem, yes I am an idiot).A week later I was sat in an office on a Monday morning being told I had invasive ductal carcinoma, (a fuck off huge tumour) with other pre cancerous cells and would require immediate chemo, mastectomy followed by radiotherapy. I went into immediate shock which has taken weeks to subside.
I haven’t yet dealt with the trauma of having to immediately stop breast feeding my baby who was six months at time of diagnosis. That’s for later. I was underwent Positron emission topography scan to check if the nasties had spread. This involved being injected with a radioactive die which meant I couldn’t even see SuperTed for 8 hours , breast feeding was over. The fussy frommit who a day earlier screamed in the face of a bottle spent the night with daddy and by morning he was a convert, he’s now a bottle guzzling machine, we have to go to huge lengths to stop him spotting the bottle before it’s ready to shove in (various analogies for his behaviour similar to unfortunates with more hardcore addictions) . So a weight off my heavy, wide awake, completely melted down mind.
Fast forward.. I’ve transferred my care to the Royal Marsden. My cancer has been described as “eminently treatable” (not quite as reassuring as you’d think- I’ve managed to abstain from googling the technical definition of eminently). Awaiting results of thyroid biopsy which looks dodgy. Lymph node involvement which hopefully will be zapped by the whole treatment plan. I’m 2 chemo cycles in and faring ok so far. Hair coming out. Full of medication, particularly stuff to deal with anxiety and depression and lack of sleep. I’m working on that.
Enough for the first post. I’ve got plenty going on in my brain and writing it down will hopefully be good therapy for me and may chime with others going through similar stuff. It might make my friends and family understand why I have turned into a complete nut job and will encourage them to stick with me through this pesky little journey.
thanks for reading, or pretending to 😜