Queen Elizabeth had her ‘annus horriblis’ in 1992.  Now 25 years later I think it’s my turn.

Last Friday I attended an appointment with my oncologist at Cambridge to find out the results of an ultrasound scan I’d had at the end of January.  Unfortunately the radiologist could see a small nodule on the right of the thyroid bed, and so the 6 week treatment of external beam radiotherapy that I’ve been putting off for 2 years is now on the cards.

After my last surgery in 2014 the oncologist recommended 30 targeted radiation treatments to knock out any stray cancer cells in the thyroid bed.  As the side-effects are so severe, I immediately said no unless there was actually something to treat.  Now nearly three years later there is, and so I must bite the bullet so to speak.  The oncologist thankfully refrained from saying I told you so, but hey, would you want to have a raw, burning throat and be unable to swallow normal food for a month at least?  The prospect at the time did not fill me with untold delight, and to be honest it still doesn’t.  It’s a great way to lose weight, but I wouldn’t recommend it at Slimming World.

Thankfully my type of thyroid cancer is slow growing and I can go away on my cruise on Saturday and have a good holiday, but of course the upcoming treatment will now be at the back of my mind.  However, it’s the treatment that will make me feel ill and not the cancer; the treatment is curative and not palliative, and so there’s life in Stevie yet for hopefully a few more years to come.

It’s a setback, but then again I’ve had many setbacks since 2004 in my fight against advanced papillary thyroid cancer.  It doesn’t seem to be finishing me off, but with every treatment I’ve had over the past 13 years I have become a little more beaten up.  Don’t believe anyone who ever tells you that thyroid cancer is a ‘good’ cancer.  It bloody well isn’t I can assure you.  You think you’re in remission, and you could be in remission for years like I was, and then it all starts up again.  I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it, but hopefully with treatments I can keep it at bay.

Another setback is that poor Dot, my mother, has only a few more months to live.  I visit her in hospital every day, and she will be staying there whilst she waits for a nursing home place.  She has enough of her own troubles, and so I haven’t yet told her about mine.

If my radiation therapy starts in about a month, then you’ll know why I’m not online as often as I have been.  It’s a 100 mile round trip every day to Cambridge for a start, so that and the treatment will take at least 3 hours out of my day.  I’ve had to put off buying a ticket for the Bloggers Bash as I don’t know if I’ll feel well enough to go, but I cannot say no anymore to my oncologist’s wishes.

Wish me luck, and if you see me driving along the A14 in March/April give me wave.  x