Monday 4th May, CT results day ! I woke up at 2:30am and thought oh no, I need to sleep properly! I relaxed myself and managed to fall back to sleep. I woke up to Damian at 6:15am turning the kettle on and he came and asked me if I wanted coffee, he hardly ever makes me coffee so he was feeling nervous too! I felt really tired and decided to get back in bed, Damian, myself and Arabella just snuggled and watched TV for a while. Around 9:30am my mobile rang and it was the clinic, Adam was off work sick but I asked if I could see Owen as I really just wanted my results! Sarah Jane soon called me back and I was able to see Owen.
When we arrived at the clinic, the reception said I needed to do bloods so off I went. The nurses there are so kind and genuine and they always have time to talk. I actually enjoy going there to do bloods! We then went back to the clinic but thought it safer to wait in the car for a while. COVID-19 scares the hell out of me. Soon after, Owen was ready to see us and I honestly did not know what to expect, I had really kept an open mind as to what the results would say.
Owen started by saying I had had a phenomenal clinical response to the chemotherapy, he said the lung where we thought there was a lesion, was most likely a nodule from previous infections or smoking. This was because it had not changed in size, if it was malignant, it would have gone like the liver lesions. So, that was a good start! Next, he talked about the liver lesions, they had calcified (like scar tissue) which meant they were essentially dead and not malignant anymore. I was so calm, weirdly so. I was in shock, I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. He went on to talk about how cutting it out with an operation was too invasive if the cells were dead, so the next step would be to take chemo tablets to maintain. Even if one cell survives which we have missed, the cancer would come back, so maintenance with the tablets was essential. No scan is 100% full proof so let’s not take the risk. I couldn’t have agreed more. Side effects from the tablets are diarrhea and sore skin on fingers and toes but if I apply a prescribed cream, it shouldn’t be a problem. The point being that it will not be any where near as bad as the current chemotherapy and my cancer has gone!
It’s weird because I had dreamed of this day and imagined I would be jumping for joy but I was more composed, even Damian was. We kept looking at each other with a look of ‘Is this real?’ It was so surreal. I am honestly so blessed, firstly, my colon was totally cleared in one operation with no other conditions visible. Secondly, I responded so amazingly to chemotherapy and I have the opportunity to be fully healthy. Not everyone is so lucky. Although, I had several side effects, there are many people that suffer way more and even have to postpone chemo cycles. I didn’t miss or postpone any.
Getting cancer gave me a new perspective on life and it gave me answers. I am no longer in pain. I can eat and drink ‘normally’ whereas a year ago I couldn’t even drink water without severe stomach pains. I have a new and even better life now. As cliched as it sounds, there is always a silver lining to any situation. I am so excited to get back my fitness routines, to not have to plan around chemo, to not feel guilty that I am sick and cannot take care of Arabella how I should, and to be myself again. I am a little anxious about the tablets and I am sure it will take a little while to adjust to new medication but it’s a small bump in the road. I have another week or so to just chill and I will make my appointment to see Adam soon and get started with my new tablets. I will also get to ring the bell!
As we walked out and I called across the Nasima (Practice Manager) that it was gone, I had not noticed the other patients, I was just happy to pass on my news. Damian told me outside that a lady had put her head down as I told Nasima about getting the all clear. It suddenly dawned on me that I had been a little insensitive. I remember seeing others ring the bell and feeling joy for them, and being encouraged by it. However, let’s remember not all cancers are curable and many people are having chemotherapy to try and slow the cancer down. I can only imagine how that must feel. I told Damian but I had earnt my moment of joy and he replied by saying he just felt bad. He was right. Sadly, not everyone will have that day.
I called family and friends to pass on the good news, I didn’t feel guilty then! Finally, some good news! Honestly though, the person that I most wanted to call was my mum. Back home, it just kept popping in my head ‘I want to tell mum’. I know she would be proud but it just isn’t the same no matter what anyone tells me. I personally believe that I need to feel the pain as part of the grief process. I can’t hide from it. All in all though, a wonderful day finished off with wine, loved ones and dancing.