Saturday, 13 November 2010
The Cure started 11th November!
I know some of you have read some of this stuff before. I make no apologies for writing it again. This is the last time I'll write it about this particular subject. But right now I'm on a journey I didn't know I'd still be here for, and it is in my head quite a lot at the moment, as I go through the various significant dates in my head. To have got to the point that five years ago was nothing more than a hoped for ambition, feels huge. I was told back then that if you live through the five years of remission then you are considered cured. And I am now here!
This is the post that five years ago I didn't know I'd be able to write. Which I know sounds a bit melodramatic, cause I wasn't even aware of blogging then!
But the life changes that have gone on since then have changed my life, in a way that no other period of my life has. Sure before five years ago big and horrible things had happened, my beloved parents had both died, Mum many years before and Dad the previous year. The man I thought I'd be married to for ever had walked out on me, leaving me as a single Mum of two small boys (Who are now fine young men!)
I was used to dealing with grief.
But the body blow of being told I had breast cancer was unbelievable.
I was so confident that I hadn't got it after all the tests, that the day I was due to see the consultant to hear the results I'd prepared to go on my own! Thank goodness for caring sons! Unbeknown to me my eldest son made the decision that I would really like him to be there with me ,but wouldn't ask him to come back from University in Cambridge as I would be thinking that he shouldn't interrupt his studies!
He knows me so well! And so when the front door opened the night before and in he walked remains one of the highlights of my life.
I was so confident that come the next morning we went in my car to see the consultant, a car my son was not insured to drive.
Kit sat outside the consulting room and I went in with only a little trepidation. To be told I had cancer. I switched without blinking into efficiency mode, what was going to happen, when. I was smiling and friendly with the consultant, I could see he thought I was an okay patient, as he was old school and wouldn't be very good with women falling apart. This remained the tenor of our relationship together where I teased him very gently, and was not in awe of him up, until I shook his hand this summer when he told me he was retiring. And as I shook his hand I thanked him for my life and then the tears came in front of him.
Coming out of that room I fell apart. The date was 11th November, a date I already had etched in my brain as I've always kept faith with the need for Remembrance, and now had this to deal with as well.
To cut a long story short, as this is all somewhere in blogland ether, I had three operations in eight weeks,the last being a mastectomy. I didn't need either chemo or radiotherapy in accepting a mastectomy. I was put on Tamoxifen for five years. The tablets that have been the bane of my life giving me endless hot flushes and thrush. But these have been small potatoes in relation to helping me stay fit and cancer free.
In the last five years I have let go of several friendships with people I once loved dearly, but when the chips were down, they were not there for me. I have kept and maintained my relationships with four women who without question make my world rock.
I have made lots of new friends, many courtesy of here.
I had a lover ditch me four days after my first operation. I can only be grateful that I was so busy recovering from surgery that I didn't have time to notice him going!
I have had three lovers since I've had a mastectomy. And I will always be grateful beyond words to the man I used to call Mr Butterfly Kisses. I knew him before the op, we'd had an on/off relationship. He was the first man to make me, with my battered body, feel normal again. He kissed my from my mouth down my body across the scar to lower down. In one fell swoop he made me a woman again with those tender butterfly kisses.
The summer after all my operating traumas I did a sponsored walk of ten miles. I'd never really walked any distance before. This opened the door to one of my passions in life now. Something I don't think I could be without. And nowadays 10 miles is easy peasy!
I've talked before about where I am right now, so instead I'm going to project myself a little into the future in relation to my plans to walk tall into being cured.
I'm going to do two little rituals to say good bye to cancer.
At the moment I've got my usual two month prescription of Tamoxifen it will run out around the 19th December. But I've decided to leave out Sundays doses so that I can make the tablets last until December 31st. My new year resolution is to be free of these tablets, and so I'm starting the year as I mean to carry on with a clean cancer free slate.
The other thing I want to do relates to something I did back in January 2006. At the end of that month I went by myself up to Manchester, my favourite big local city. I'd booked myself a massage in Harvey Nixs. To explain this, I have a passion for perfume, and over the years have gone through many bottles of the stuff. Probably for four years prior to cancer I'd discovered the wonders of a company called Jo Malone. She makes wondrous natural perfumes without chemical smells to enhance them. My signature scent is now one called Honeysuckle and Jasmine in the summer. The one I bought recently for the winter is Nutmeg and Ginger.
Anyway Jo Malone in Harvey Nixs had visiting facialists coming up from London, and I booked one to make me feel better with all I'd gone through during Christmas. It was without doubt the best facial I've ever had in my life. And I've had lots! So when I was buying the last bottle of perfume, they told me that the facialist was again coming up in February and did I want to go on the list. Did I? Oh Yes! Despite the fact that not only is it the best facial, it is also the most expensive. And I didn't hesitate, as for me this is the final strand in moving on regardless of monetary cost, the psychological price is one that is more important to attend too.I had one when I was at my most vulnerable, and I'm ending the last five years with one.
This way, in my fantasys I am coming full circle into being cancer free. Well at least as much as anyone can be. Cause, if God forbid I ever get it again it will be a new cancer and no longer related to these last five years.
So in my head I have my mental tick list of last time I'll do this anniversary or that, and the end is closely in sight.
I am fitter emotionally and physically then I've ever been in my life. My world, baring disasters is a good place.
Thank you for being part of it and your care and love over the last three and a half years I couldn't have got here without you.
With ever so much love to myself and to you!