Today I made the bed. That seems so insignificant, but when you think about it, there are so many factors that make up that act. Not the least the actual act of getting out of bed.
Today is day 8 of this chemo round, so the beginning of my “good” week and I have successfully achieved something. I made the bed.
So where am I on this journey now? I know I have been quite remiss in letting you know how I am. This time round I am finding it harder to be so open, harder to be so positive. Unlike the first rounds of this voyage back in 2017/18, now often, I just want to roll up into a ball and hide from the world.
When I was first diagnosed, 3 years ago, (my anniversary was on 23rd September) for me it was like a call to arms and I jumped to the fight, all guns blazing, determined not to be a statistic. I put every bone in my body, my every thought towards being positive and fighting the fight. I think I became quite selfish at the time, but that was what I felt I needed to do. The word selfish really isn’t correct. I should say I became very self-preserving or at least I thought I did.
Something or everything worked and after being told I was NED (no evidence of disease) fully believing that life is now far too short to waste, we started planning our great adventure. And what an adventure we had. Most of 2019 spent travelling through Canada and 27 states of the USA. New grandbabies arriving, spending time with family and old friends, making amazing new friends and laughter and smiles all the way around.
Coming back home in November, was a bumpy landing, with a whirl of Scans and Doctors’ appointments all within a day or 2 of arriving home. When it was confirmed that the dreaded PC was back with metastases to my lungs (although slow growing) I think I was a little complacent. Ah Well; I have beaten it before lets just do the chemo and kick it to the ground so we can get back up to the Northern Hemisphere for another adventure.
But this time was different. The world had a different story to tell and COVID hit us. I did my best to retain stay positive. To find the fun in life, laugh a lot and plan for the end of the year to get back to Canada. But this time it was hard. I hadn’t been out much since we came back to NZ because of being back on Chemo, and now that I was nearing the end of the 6 months of Chemo, I still couldn’t break free and get out as we were in Lockdown, and even if we weren’t in lockdown the fear of the dreaded virus just sitting waiting for you to touch the wrong thing, be near the wrong person or breath in polluted air, meant that I was still in a form of lockdown. All the talk of protecting the immune suppressed – I do not have an immune system to suppress. So, stay at home I must. And then the airlines cancelled all the international flights…. ahhhh, will we ever get to complete our adventure. It really has felt like the world is plotting against me.
ENOUGH. The results of the scan’s after the 6 months of chemo showed no growth of the cancer tumors. No shrinkage, but no growth. I thought I will take that as a positive. It was decided to put me on a maintenance dosage of chemo for 6 months and as I cannot travel to also delve into sympathetic alternative therapies.
Overnight our diet changed, and a few interesting other medications were introduced along with several natural supplements added to my already extensive list of drugs (all ok’d by my amazing oncologist). Things were going along great guns, I felt like me again and even if we could not leave New Zealand, we managed a trip away with friends and I started getting out and about more. Winter was starting to lose it grip and I was feeling great. So great that my tumor markers were decreasing, my oncologist thought let’s get a scan and see what happening.
Murphy’s Law: Why is it whenever I feel good, the medical profession ends up making me sick!
The scan showed that the cancer was growing. This time it was different, this time I felt like I could not catch my breath. This time I felt my mortality. Why after 4 sessions off Chemo and 2 major operation have we not stopped it. Why has it come back? Why Why Why. And as always there is no answer to that question. This is Cancer. This is Pancreatic Cancer!
In the depths of the night I wonder. Was I not positive enough this time? What should I have done differently? Should I have been on this new alternative therapy protocol long ago? Or does this protocol do anything other than add more confusion to my daily medical requirements? Why, when I am feeling so well is this deadly killer sneaking around my organs? What next?
What next is, back to the giant of Pancreatic Cancer chemo till Christmas. Two rounds down and I have managed it so far. To say this time, it is really kicking my butt would be an understatement. But if this is the worse it does to me, I can cope. So, with fingers crossed, a smile on my face and laughter in my eyes, bring it on PC, I am back in the game and you are up for another one hell of a fight.