It has been ages since my last update.
Life had been following its course with nothing more exciting than stable scans. If you have an elephant’s (or apparently a crow’s!) memory, you might remember that I was told I had metastatic breast cancer in my lungs a mere 3 months after I was given my first all clear. That was back in January 2014.
At that stage, they had found spots in my lungs which weren’t there in my before treatment scans. I was put on a different drug regime which involved a stronger hormone blocker tablet to take daily and a monthly booster injection. Not a big deal to be frank except for the inconvenience of having to go to the GP every month to get stabbed in the belly fat (that’s why I am keeping the fat roll…honest) and having to go to hospital every 3 months to get scanned.
The underlying message though from the start was that this was incurable and I would have to live with. It was manageable and people could live with it for years and years so although not the greatest of news, I could cope with it.
I had one such scan last week (CT) and my clinic appointment to hear about the results was yesterday. Although it’s become fairly routine and the last 3 scans had been good (as in no change), I always go to my clinic appointments with a low level of trepidation. Once you have been smacked in the face with bad news, you just can’t help but hope for the best but prepare for the worst, even if you don’t tell people that’s how you feel.
That Sword of Damocles is always there, hanging over your head, waiting for someone to cut the strings.
Yesterday was no different. I expect delays, I got that and I hoped to hear all stable, how you doing, you look well, see you in 3 months speech.
However, that’s not what happened.
I saw yet a different consultant. First dude in at least 2 years. He started with the usual ‘well it’s all good, it’s stable. One of the 2 spots is barely registering and the other one hasn’t changed in the last 3 scans…’ So far, so normal, except for the added info that I actually only have 2 spots. I thought there were more.
Then, everything changed…and for once, for the better! He carried on ‘if it keeps like that for 5 years, you will be considered cured’. Wait, what? What do you mean? I was told it wasn’t curable!!! ‘Well, we don’t like to give people false hopes you see’ he explained.
But hope is hope and it can help, no? Maybe not if if it’s false, I don’t know and right now, I’ll be honest I don’t really care. What I really care about is that I AM CURABLE!! Yes peeps, I can call myself in remission and expect that I’ll be done with this fucking disease.
‘When do you start that 5 years count?’ I asked. ‘From the last chemo you had’
My maths isn’t the best but I was quick to figure out that I had my last chemo in April 2013…so I have already achieved 3 years out of the 5. I could be declared cured in 2 YEARS!!! 2 measly years! How about that?!
I liked that consultant very much. He showed me my scan which no other consultant had ever offered. He did a quick examination to check I didn’t have any other hidden lumps and that my scars felt ‘right’. He was very professional about it and also quite personable but I might be biased as he gave me the best news this year hands down.
He has also pushed my scans to every 4 months now so I may only have 6 scans to do before I can be cured. He said that once we have reached that point, I may have to have a keyhole surgery to remove that last spot which is like scar tissue, just to be safe but that’s a day surgery and then, then I am done. I forgot to ask if I would still be expected to take medication but right now, it’s not a big deal.
So to all of you out there dealing with the same shit as me…just know that it still can be over! I didn’t think we would reach that point in medicine in my life time…I am SO FREAKING HAPPY that I was wrong.
Over and Out.