It’s been a worrying 8 months since I was informed that I was no longer in remission and that my cancer had returned. When you are told something like that you immediately suspect the worst, and start thinking about organising your affairs. I had the recommended surgery in December, and then it was a long wait to find out whether it had been successful or not.
However, a visit to the oncologist this week has cheered me up no end. According to a CT scan with contrast done five months later, there is nothing to see at all; no lumps, bumps, or anything that should not be there. The oncologist mentioned more radiation treatment as a precaution, as surgery was right up to the margins, but due to possible horrific side-effects I decided to say no and agreed to 3-monthly scans instead. The possible outcome of 6 weeks of radiation is a severe sore throat and an inability to swallow (thus requiring another operation), also jawbone damage and loss of teeth. Understandably, having the treatment did not fill me with the utmost joy. I asked the oncologist if she would have the treatment given my circumstances, but she deftly skirted the issue!
I am encouraged by my family, who say that if they were in my shoes they would not have the treatment either. You have to balance your quality of life with the side effects of cancer treatment. Quite a lot of the time the treatment is worse than the symptoms of the disease. I have only had one symptom 11 years ago, and the rest is all side-effects unfortunately. I can live with them, but at the moment do not want another load on top of the ones I already have, which may well tip me over the edge into depression.
So, there you have it. I am as well as I can be. To celebrate Sam and I will be heading off to the Isle of Wight Festival in a few weeks, and I look forward to sitting on the grass and listening to the bands with a glass of Pimms in my hand. Cheers!