After nearly 9 years of relatively easy going, now the cancer has shown up in major organs instead of being confined merely to lymph glands. Worst of all, the specialists say they don’t think I’m robust enough at the moment for more chemotherapy. Of course I’m doing everything I can think of to build up my health and strength.
It’s been a while since I wrote, sorry. Thanks for your patience and your caring messages. I didn’t mean to keep you waiting for an update. I find the days fly, and I wanted to give the family time to come to terms with my medical results before the wider world comments. Somehow I’ve also let my inbox fill without proper attention. Sorry if you have written personally to me and not received a reply.
My second visit to hospital was discouraging because they couldn’t really do much to help. I have multiple problems – pain, lymphoedema, big blood clots (DVTs), pulmonary embolism, malnutrition, anaemia (requiring a transfusion). It sounds terrible, doesn’t it, but I think I don’t look as bad as this sounds. At least there’s a chance the many disorders might distract me from each other. I hope I only whinge about one at a time!
There are lots of little things too: I’ve lost my nostrils hairs – boo hoo! Extreme oedema feels like I’m wearing a wetsuit that is way too tight. I wake in the mornings looking like a hippo with my face swollen by lymph fluid. Going to the toilet is interesting with a numb pelvis. If I’m lucky I don’t get lymph fluid squeezing my chest and tummy, impeding breathing and eating.
I’m exercising and eating a body-building diet. The rule is less salad and more cheesecake with cream! Most days I’ve been incredibly happy. I try to tone it down by taking deep breaths because I don’t want people to think I’m high. I wondered if someone actually has slipped me a happy pill. John says no, and that I’m just made like that, default position = happy, and very fortunate it is too. I gather some would feel depressed and grumpy in my situation, and that’s no fun for anyone.
A good day is one with a little taste of something I once took for granted. It’s hard to describe, so let’s just call it LIFE. It is odd to find old lists and notes-to-self about tasks underway a few months’ ago. I’m reinventing myself, as an old friend aptly put it, learning to fit in my skin, accept disability and recalcitrant pain. Another lesson is to accept being very dependent on carers. I’m still here so perhaps it means I haven’t learnt all my lessons yet.