Following on in the vegetable theme from yesterday I do feel such a fool. I have had so many of you saying that you knew that when Dr Weaver told me the bowel cancer was in the lymph nodes in my neck that this wasn’t good news, that the cancer had spread and metastesised (spread). I honestly thought that it was no different to what Mr Mullerat had told me that he had to leave cancerous lymph nodes behind after the operation as they were supplying blood to vital organs and they couldn’t be removed. So in my mind I just thought that this was no different, that just another lymph node was effected.
I also just thought that the swelling of the lymph nodes in my neck was swelling and not a tumour, don’t I feel like a tit now! Steve was also shocked and this is surprising as he normally knows everything but like me when he researched it we didn’t find the right information and just gave up, I was on chemo anyway so we stopped googling.
On a positive note since that meeting Steve and I have not had the worries of it being stage 4 and we still had hope of remission in November once chemo had finished and then just annual tests. Now what is important now is that Steve, Rebecca, Richard and my mom live as normal a life as possible and we all have to stop cancer taking over our lives. We have been through so much in 6 months that it’s hard to think sometimes that 6 months ago I didn’t know I even had cancer, I had started with the occasional stomach ache but here I am 6 months later at stage 4, now that’s one hell of a fast growing aggressive Harry.
Cancer has taken over our lives for too long now. Constant talking, worrying, tests, results and hoping for good news all the time that seems to never come. So it’s just my tits (as the mammogram showed no signs of cancer) and feet that are okay. It has to now stop being the only topic of conversation. Steve gets frustrated as I tell him the latest news when he returns from work, he then has to edit my post, which means he then reads about my day and then he hears the same story repeated to friends and family that call throughout the evening. Well I’m going to take back control! For him, for Rebecca for our sanity and between 9-11 pm I’m not going online to answer messages or on my phone unless it’s urgent, so that we can have a cancer free zone. Steve longs for normal: normal life, normal chats that we used to have, we all miss normal.
So now an update on the last 24 hrs! I feel like I’m in a James Bond movie. I have to call the Army Welfare number to get Richard home. They said that I have to call the JCCC (Joint Casualty Compassionate Cell) department, which I did. They have to call my oncologist to check that what I have told him is true and that I’m not lying. Now what mother would do that to her child but they have to check. I was also secretly hoping that my oncologist would say “no no no she got it wrong, no cancer there” but he obviously didn’t because Richard is now classed as a Class B (I assume that Class A is dead and we are not there yet) Richard has to go in front of the Major to get his orders for leaving Canada. How exciting is all that? I never thought that the British Army would be talking to my oncologist!
I go into work and as I spoke to Guy the other day I told him to tell Amanda from HR for me. She calls me and as normal we have a lovely chat on the phone. I can’t believe how wonderful my work have been in supporting me. I go for a coffee with Mary in the staff room. Now I’ve decided I’m moving into High Wycombe so I have brought in my mug from home (not the rude one) but one that Linda gave me one year for Christmas. On the front it say ‘Her Ladyship’. In my pre cancer Kingston life everyday at 4.30 that was coffee time for me with Linda. It was the only time I could get her to stop working for 1/2 hour. We both always looked forward to our chats, just two friends discussing life, having a moan and always talking about work.
I return to the office and check my phone as I’m waiting to hear from Richard. As my phones lights up I see a text has come in from OMG Mr Bottom, only the CEO himself (he is obviously not called Mr Bottom (a reversey percy there) but I have to protect the innocent) it was so lovely to receive that text. That he had thought of me during his busy day. I returned home and then Amanda called me again. She wants to take me out for lunch with the HR Director next week, we will have to call her Mrs HRH. All these pseudonyms are making me laugh. Mr Grey, Mr Grump Bum and Mr Vines will all be jealous, and I bet Amanda is glad she said I could use her real name now! So it’s not all bad is it? I get so much love and support everyday from you all, I’m going to London for lunch next week, and my son is coming home :-)))). Steve says if love could kill cancer, I would be cancer free by now.
The Power of You – what can I say. Thank you to everyone who read my plea to support my family. When Steve arrived at work yesterday he was taken out for a fag/chat with Bryn and Liz, he really appreciated that, thank you. Steve has now changed his reply to the question “how are you” from ‘I’m fine’ to ‘it’s all shit’ now for an articulate man his use of the word just shit is unusual for him but it’s the only word he uses for it. He then spends most of the next hour answering text messages from Leanne and giggling privately as I’m not allowed to see his messages from his new friend. I normally get 300 – 400 hits a day on my site but because of you all sharing my blog it’s gone up to 980! wow and it’s been seen in 18 countries. Please keep sharing as the messages I am getting are from people who have lost people to cancer and by reading my ramblings they remember their journeys which allows them to feel grief again, not that grief ever really goes away we just learn how to cope everyday.
I also need to thank Rachael and Sian who work with Rebecca as again because they take the trouble to read my blog they know what Rebecca is going through at home, they cried with Rebecca and I know she appreciates the support.
So it’s now today, Richard flew into Heathrow at 9.30 and we thought he would have to go back to base but they brought him straight home 🙂 In a panic that he was coming straight here I jumped into the shower, I ended up using moisturising body cream as hair conditioner by mistake and now my hair is like straw. We sit in the chemo gazebo chatting, now one of the annoying bloody side effects of chemo is that you just get a wave of tiredness that you can’t control. My poor boy had endured a 14 hour journey and within an hour of him being home, I’m asleep, sorry Richard.
I was woken by a text that I couldn’t ignore. It’s Ant and he is just letting me know that he has been to the churchyard and removed the flowers as they looked sad. I replied about mom being on holiday and had he heard my news? He called my phone straight away. He hadn’t seen my daily posts, he didn’t know I had cancer, he has been on my mind for weeks as I didn’t know if he knew. We talked about it and then talked about Julie. For the first time in a very long time we cried together for the loss of her, the grief still there in both of us as raw as ever. I was so pleased to speak to him, to cry with him.
Richard, mom and I took Molly over to her favourite park, we sat in the shade of a tree and I explained the best way I could about stage 4 and what that meant. The best way I could explain it is aliking it to the game ‘Whackamole’ I hope you have played this game, funny as. So we are just going to play ‘WhackaHarry’ for however long and hope that we can keep it out of my vital organs.
Everyone asks how I feel. The answer is calm actually. This may seem odd but throughout this journey my family and I have clung onto hope, once that hope has been removed so then is the anxiety. At least I won’t have to put up with people saying ‘Oh you’ll be alright, your young and strong, you can fight this’ and and my all time favourite, ‘be positive.’ A comment of ‘that’s shit that is’ is fine by me. And at least I still have my sense of humour haha.
The other news from today is that I was going to meet up with Karen for a treat and as Richard wasn’t due until this afternoon so I had kept that date. I was cleaning Richards room when she called to say she had been back at the doctors as due to the diarrhea she was just so low and tired. I told her not to worry about meeting up and to just rest. Poor Karen, again. She so needs a break, she needs to feel well again and she definitely needs to stop having the runs, oh her poor bum.
That’s it your up to date. Curfew is 9-11pm
Oh and my mom is back as editor so any mistakes, blame her 🙂 Oh and Rita she hasn’t mentioned the length of this post so I think she is scared of you haha.