Harry has gone but he lives on

Monday 20th April Steve and I head for Mr Mullerat’s clinic. Under advice from my best mate Nicky I had not only listed the questions I wanted answering but it was also typed and even had spaces for me to write in the replies he gave us as we went through the results so that we didn’t forget anything.
We were back in the same waiting room as we had been a few months ago when Harry was still inside me, an odd feeling as Harry had gone and within the next hour we would know everything.
Mr Mullerat was surprisingly excited to tell me about the size of Harry, I think he liked that Harry had been a challenge for him. He said I was lucky that he could do the surgery via key hole, that there was a moment when they considered opening me up completely. He explained again about removing the stomach muscles and that seriously would hold back my recovery and cause me to be sore for longer, then we moved onto Harry.
We were told that Harry was an aggressive cancer, that I would have had him for no longer than 18 months, that I was at stage 3 cancer and that without chemo I would only have a 25% chance of living 5 years.
The chance of getting bowel cancer again was only 5%, but that he would be seeing me every six months for the next 5 years, that I would need chemo but I would have something called 5FU and you don’t loose your hair with that chemo. He wouldn’t answer what the chances were of me living past 5 years with chemo was as he said that the Oncologist would go through all that with me but he did say that I needed to start chemo as soon as possible, within 2/3 weeks.
The big bombshell for me was when he explained that 22 lymph nods were removed and half were cancerous and that he had to leave cancerous lymph nodes behind as they were supplying blood to vital organs. Harry was living in me still.

Steve wanted to take me on the previous cancelled holiday and Mr Mullerat gave his permission that this would be a fantastic idea prior to starting chemo, no stress holiday, no cruises but those were the only two rules and I was glad as I knew that Steve would throw himself into the mission of planning and organising it as soon as he could, it gives him a focus, a thing to do to make it all better and to bring some joy into our lives.

On the way home in the car I said to Steve that I couldn’t tell my poor mom the results but I knew I had to, no lies was the deal with everyone. We drove in silence, I looked out at the countryside and the green fields rolling by unable to say anything.
There is a local beauty spot on the way back from the hospital and Steve suddenly indicated left, I knew where we were going. Steve said that I wasn’t ready to go home yet and parked up. We got out and sat on the benches, Steve had his arms around me from behind, we were quiet not saying anything and the tears slowly rolled from my eyes. Not uncontrollable tears just tears gently falling, there was not a lot to say so we sat for a while, I cried and Steve didn’t cry.

I asked him why he didn’t cry as I didn’t understand and he said that it wouldn’t do if he broke down as well, that he had to be strong for me. This just made it worse for me as who was supporting my man?, who asked him if he was okay?, who sent him messages of love and support? who could he turn to? and the answer is that men have to endure the worse thing out of the sexes in that they have to be strong, they have to hold it together, they have to protect us but the loneliness of that burden haunted him and me as I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t make it go away for either of us.

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Married to Steve, I have two children - Rebecca and Richard. Steve has two children, Lauren and Chris. Rebecca lives with us (nurse Rebecca) and my mom Judy also has become nurse and housekeeper but lives in the West Midlands. My son is in the Army and comes home when he can. I am 47, born in 1967 and I was told I had bowel cancer on 22nd Feb 2015 and this blog is my journey through it. I hope it helps you as you were the reason I started it.

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