Cancer update #9
One thing I have learned over the past year is that I am easily overwhelmed. Whether it be decisions, washing up, dirty clothes or work, as soon as it creeps beyond a certain unknown point - I panic, flap a little and hide whatever it is until mould starts growing or I have worn the same outfit all week. I used to think I was a procrastinator, and while that is in many ways true, it isn't my biggest issue. Give me some structure and a list of broken down tasks and I'm good to go. A while back I got rid of 70% of my clothes and several car trips of accumulated clutter and our home now rarely resembles the pig sty it used to. There is less stuff to be overwhelmed by, which is particularly important when living with two little mess creators.
One thing, however, that I am still terrible at is replying to messages. When my Facebook inbox reaches more than 3 or 4 unread messages I suddenly pretend it doesn't exist; 5 texts and I let my phone die and hide in the bottom of a bag for a week. I don't blog - because, who has time to write a blog if they can't reply to someone's message. If I have not replied to you recently, I'm sorry, I will eventually, I hope, and I most certainly still love you dearly.
Considering this, I see that God has been very kind to me over the last months - in the way we learned about the cancer and each of the different progressions since. I have never been overwhelmed by it. We have never been entirely sideswiped by a new development, but each has been spoken about as a possibility before it has become a reality. Even at the very beginning we knew there were cancerous properties to the cells before we received a clear cell sarcoma diagnosis. I had already googled all the possibilities and what each might mean. I am very thankful for this, and will be trying to keep this blessing in mind rather than get frustrated with the inevitable slowness of results and various meetings.
Rambling over, now on to what has been happening since the last post. This week I completed my first week of radiotherapy and I have noticed a few things:
- I am not very good at staying still.
- Doctors, nurses and technicians are extra kind to you when you have cancer - seriously, even the receptionists are wonderfully kind.
- Everyone else in the waiting room is old - unless they are a carer of someone super old.
Other than this, treatment has been mostly without note. I have very few side effects and don't expect to have any for a few weeks. Unlike chemo, radiotherapy doesn't make you particularly sick, but the effects are accumulative, meaning that they will creep up over the time of treatment and last a couple months after. The worst that could happen is fatigue, similar to a temporary chronic fatigue, that would wear off by Christmas, and a 'sunburned' and swollen foot. It won't be terribly fun, but is a fairly small price to pay for protecting from further recurrences.
I mentioned in my last blog about a lump in my lymph nodes. We had been praying that it would would disappear over the past few weeks as the doctors had hoped but unfortunately that has not happened. Rather, it is now accompanied by a couple of other lumps. I had an emergency CT scan on them a fortnight ago which was not only clear of anything obviously cancerous, it also did not show any inflammation in the area. The lymph nodes looked, on the scan, identical to those on the other side and identical to another scan three months ago. While this was wonderfully reassuring, it was not fool proof or certain, particularly given the small size of the lumps. I will, therefore, have surgery on Thursday to remove and biopsy them. Please pray for positive results and calm for us all during the time after, while we wait for them - which will be about a fortnight. It would also be great if I was able to drive again soon afterwards in order not to rely on lifts to and from radiotherapy.
Thank you all so much for your love and prayers, much love 😚 xxx