It’s been so nice to have some time off from going into the Cancer Centre, I’ve needed it. I was burned out living there off and on for 5 months. I could put cancer to the background for a while (other than the constant reminders, obviously) and enjoy my time with my parents. It was nice to have nothing cancer related to write about for a while. But alas, we never get to break for long… I come to you from the Cancer Centre where I sit waiting (2 hours!) for a blood test.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I got my PICC line out early on in my parent’s trip, soon after I got discharged from my last unplanned visit to hospital. I just wanted it out as quickly as possible. To get rid of another reminder of cancer. I was expecting it to be stressful and painful and complicated and arduous, like it had been last time. But it was miraculously totally fine. Quick, painless, easy. I declared my undying love for the nurse who did it. Then my parents, Rosa and I all went out for lunch to celebrate.
Mum and Dad were here for 5 weeks in total and we had such a wonderful time together. I was exhausted for the first couple of weeks – I mean, due to the extra cycle of chemo I ended up having, and another hospital admission after it, my parents turned up three days after I got out of hospital. We did a lot of things just locally for the first part of their stay while I recovered. But soaking in all the brilliance of my local area and catching up with friends was perfect.
As I got stronger we ventured further afield – we went to the theatre, to a gig, had some jam sessions, went for a day trip to see family in Kent, a road trip around Cornwall and Devon, a visit to family in Sussex, a swim at my local pool, and many many pints.
On the day before they left was my MRI. Mum came in as my emotional support human and held my hand. She was a natural. Then we went for brunch and on the way found one of Clarence’s rather large distant cousins (pic at end).
Then the waiting game. One Oncologist appointment cancelled and rescheduled because the MRI wasn’t reported yet. A week before the rescheduled appointment (a month after the scan) I also had an appointment at the ENT hospital to talk about the fact I can’t hear out of my right ear. It gets better and worse. It was at its worst between July last year and March. Then it improved a bit. It’s a bit better now.
My last MRI showed that my right ear is holding on to liquid. It’s been like that off and on since my surgery in 2020 which must have affected my ears and the passages etc. Maybe the tumour made it worse? No one knows. So I fronted up to my Ear appointment and had a hearing test before seeing one of the contultants. That’s when I met the new light of my life, Hala. When life is all appointments and waiting and not knowing what’s going on, finding a health care professional who is just incredible is everything.
She explained that they could give me a grommet to help my ear drain. And it can be put in easily under local anaesthetic. We discussed it and decided not to go ahead for now but to check in again in a while to see how things are. Cool. It’s just so good that I know who to contact if things start to get bad. We then got chatting about all things cancer and I mentioned I was waiting on MRI Results and was slightly worried they wouldn’t be reported yet and it was already a month since my scan. That if it showed bad things, by the time I get results they’ll already be so old and things will be much worse… That the last one took two months.
She had a look in the system and it still hadn’t been reported. Then she said she would chase it for me and make sure the results were ready for my clinic appointment the following week. I almost cried. Then of course I told her I love her.
And she came through for me. Cut to a week later (today) and sitting in front of my good ol Onc, he smiles and tells me we’re STABLE! YEAH BABY! I’ll be honest, it’s what I was expecting, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. But it could have very easily have gone the other way. At some point it will. But ‘no new bad news’ feels more and more like something that requires a celebration so once I’ve done waiting for my blood test, I will be off in search of a celebratory pint.
Onc is happy, I am happy. PET-CT Scan in a month to check how much activity there is but for now, an MRI showing that things aren’t worse is the best news I can hope for. So I’ll take it. It buys me another few months of freedom and that sounds good for me. 31 degrees here on Friday and I couldn’t be happier 🙌🏻
Some holiday snaps for your enjoyment: