Hi there friends. Its been a while, for which I apologise. I came back from my travels around a month or so ago, and things have been all go, both at work and at home. At work in terms of change and promotions, at home in terms of playing lots of Civilisation 5 on my computer. That and catching up with chums. Its a tough life really.
Life’s been treating me well though. I have been running a little more, nothing big, a 10k once a week or so, with maybe a smaller one alongside. I have also been barn dancing (ta Gemma) and otherwise admiring our pumpkins in the garden.
So aside from that how is the cancer I hear you ask. Well its pretty quiet thank you. No symptoms (still) and nothing to worry about. In many ways its like I got diagnosed far to early and have to wait until I catch up to other people when they have symptoms. Not that you hear me complaining, its just I feel pretty lucky at the moment.
I’ll explain what I mean. A day went by a week or so ago and I didn’t think about having cancer once. Well I’m pretty sure I didn’t, my mind moves fast sometimes and I can’t always keep track. Still I don’t remember thinking about it which is the same thing really.
That’s what I mean by lucky. I can’t help feeling that with all those countless people out there suffering from much worse or more progressive conditions than I, that I might be something of a fraud. Its not logical I know, but it just seems things are so much worse for them. Its like I’m in the worst boat of all the healthy people I know, but also in the best situation of all the people with conditions. An odd place to be really.
What brought it home to me was talking to a lady who found my blog and had just been diagnosed. The blog is still really good for that and I get contacted relatively often by people who can’t find any other resource about Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma. Nor do I blame them, its mainly because there isn’t much else for our specific condition. With that comes a certain responsibility, one which I undertake gladly. if I can introduce two people who are going through similar things, or indeed talk to people who have just been diagnose themselves then that can only be good. Its lonely when you first know something’s wrong. Lonely and hard. Diagnosis takes a while and all the time you wonder what is going on, what will happen, are you going to die soon. Is it worth resigning, do you say goodbye to your loved ones. Its crazy how these things torment you along with the feeling of JUST NOT KNOWING.
I remember all that as if it were yesterday, but I was diagnosed two years and three months ago and am still watching and waiting. I hope I will be for a long time. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t get easy quickly to come to terms with having cancer, it is hard and continues to be for a long while.
The only thing I really want to say here though is that it gets easier. Admittedly in my case because I am on watch an wait still, but the same goes for everyone else who is in remission, or not treated yet. You can get back to a new normal, and find yourself having fun. Then one day you can wake up and think, wow yesterday I didn’t think about cancer. That’s huge, incredible, and almost unbelievable when you compare it to when you find out you have something malignant.
I still find it tough before each hospital appointment though, really tough (although I try not to let on at the time). The slow build up to he appointment, the blood test, and then the results. You might thing you get used to it, but you don’t. Its something like playing Russian roulette. Each time you go in, someone puts a gun to your head. You wait slowly and tense waiting for the bullet to come out. Then as they pull the trigger you want to scream, what are my results. Before ‘click,’ another bullet dodged. Then you quickly get back to normal until the next time you go in. Do you ever get used to going to he hospital to check your bloods? not really. You always get cranky before, and then stressed whilst you wait. Who knows how it has changed? Has it surged, is it much worse? Can you now tell me how long I have? In between though, after the bullet dodged, then you can relax and maybe find some peace before the next test.
Its odd though, feeling a bit of a fraud, especially when you talk to people who are getting treatment soon, and I have to say I’m still on watch and wait. Not that they grudge me, but still. Its strange going from thinking about it every waking minute to not. I hope that is good news for people out there, just diagnosed or just treated. It does get better with time, the knowledge you have cancer, but probably only whilst you aren’t needing any treatment, and you are between appointments.
Still that is far more than I was hoping for two years ago.