July 2014 our lives changed forever. I know that sounds dramatic – but I do believe that no matter what the outcome, the diagnosis of cancer to you or your loved one will stay with you forever.
J has been fighting his renal cancer now for 18 months – and we live from scan to scan. Every 3 months we are told whether the medication has held the cancer in check, or whether the medication has not worked and the cancer has spread.
Sometimes we come out of the oncologist’s office elated that there has been no spread, but the last scan in November 2015 was particularly devastating as the cancer had spread from the lungs to the trachea and colon. And so, for the 4th time we were told that his medication would need to be changed.
The side effects of cancer treatment are horrific. Over the last 18 months J has had peeling skin off his hands and feet, mouth ulcers the size of 5p coins, a consistent cough leading to a lung infection, high blood pressure, debilitating back and shoulder pain, weight loss, the list goes on! And so you wonder just what these extremely potent drugs are doing to the rest of the body – and to the good cells that sit side-by-side with the cancer cells.
Jeremy has just spent the last 10 days in hospital – they found another tumour on his back and they are giving him radiotherapy – and they needed to get his lung infection and cough under control.
But, we continue to fight this together – although sometimes you wonder if you are allowing the cancer to define you and your life – and your relationship.
How much do you let the disease dictate your life and what you can/want to do? How much do you let it encroach on your life? How much do you do to change your life to accommodate/fight it? At the moment it feels like it is in control – and now I feel that it is time to take the control back. But how?