Sunday, 25 December 2011

Keep Calm Carry On

OK, disaster averted, Christmas is back on! Which is wonderful, with a tinge of argh, since I had put everything on hold until results day, which meant a frantic SIX HOUR shopping frenzy. In Oxford Circus. (One armed). On 23rd December, which nearly finished me off in itself.

So where you left me last I had received news of cancer refuting it's eviction notice and sneaking it's tiny little cousin in through the cat flap, to start building a home just under the scar left by the old stuff. Now I am not a good receiver of bad news. I know many people aren't, but I have reached a level of lunacy whereby I not only latch onto the negative aspects of a conversation, but also think the doctors are hiding information from me or just out and out lying. So far I believed the original ultrasound doctor could see the lump was cancerous, but assured me it was fibrodanoema so I wouldn't spend the whole week worrying about biopsy results. Also the doctor who delivered the news of my non-spread to lymph nodes the first time round was either lying, or couldn't read an MRI, since it had spread there. Then there were the several family members, nurses, phone help lines and subsequent ultrasound doctor who tried to convince me this new lump was residual scar tissue from the op, only to be told um, no wrong again - its residual cancer instead.

So you see, by process of logical progression, a series of scans to determine whether new cancer had spread this time did nothing to restore my bad news receptor. A 'we don't expect it to have spread' from the surgeon loosely translates in my world to; 'there's a chance it has spread otherwise we wouldn't do the tests, plus there's been pain in your bones and liver, yes, sure it's liver pain, which obviously means it has spread, and since the small chances in the past have become reality, then this too must follow.'

I was pretty much convinced, hence zero Christmas plans. I didn't manage to utter more than seven words a day for the week-long wait for results, and my mum actually took Christmas off the menu while we all waited for my head (or liver) to explode.

Turns out I was wrong, maybe the doctors don't use lying as part of their medical practise, and this new lump, which they think is actually just old lump having another go, is treatable. The weird bit is that this Christmas I do have cancer, just like last; I'm facing another operation and in all likelihood another bout of chemo, but I'll take that, with some brandy cream and orange quality street, in light of what I could have been facing. I'm sure I would have picked myself up and battled on eventually, but after the year my family and I have had, I would've liked a bit longer for my body and brain to resume normal service in order to deal with the new level of sh!t. As so many amazing people I know of have and do, and are having joyous lovely Christmas days along with the rest of us. I have seen Twitter evidence of this feat of extraordinariness this very morning.

So one Christmas day on, and what a difference a year makes. But in some ways, not one tiny bit...Hey ho (ho ho)...

Christmas Jumper ON
Merry Christmas xxx


  1. Hi Sophie

    I am so relived for you! I can relate to all the crazy stuff as that's exactly what I do too - it must have been agony for you. Now you can enjoy. Stick on some old movies and relax (Meet me in St Louis, Little Women, anything with Judy G or Elizabeth T. We've been feasting on some classics this holiday.) Then a walk on the Heath is a must. In the jumper.(Love the jumper!)

    Best wishes


  2. I'm glad the news wasn't as bad as you thought, at least you'll know what to expect this time around. Love the jumper!And here's hoping you had a wonderful Christmas.

  3. Merry Christmas, glad you were able to find that positive aspect somewhere inside for the day. Having had a fairly unpleasant year health wise as well (leukaemia diagnosis and a liver transplant five months later after liver was chewed up by leukaemia medication) I can feel (a little bit) where you are at in your head. I am now healthy (bar the leukaemia, which is treatable, hopefully, fingers crossed hard, with new medication that I have yet to begin) and eagerly, hopefully and nervously awaiting a better 2012. Which is where you would have liked to be. My condolensces :(

    Extra positive thought - thank goodness for supportive family and loved ones. And here's to kicking cancer's butt in 2012! x

  4. Oh good, I'm glad it's not as bad as it could be.

    Also, awesome sweater.

  5. Sophie, I am glad it is not what you feared. I am sure the treatment will work, yet I wonder if you have considered a possibility to get treatment in continental Europe? Say, France, Switzerland, Germany? I mean, NHS is great, no doubts, but this is NHS.