Thursday, November 13, 2014

And Another

It seems to be a bad year as another friend has Cancer and this time it's Prostate and needs an operation.  I wonder if that's why P was worried about me - I was sitting down and in my own little world and flashing back to everything that happened to me and then trying to imagine what my friends will have to go through.

You so quickly forget what it was like and I think the mind/brain is very good at locking this stuff out but when you go back and dip in you remember the frightening bits, the worry, the discomfort (for they have stuff for pain), the re-living of all those whom you've known have Cancer and the good and bad bits of course.  You can't actually be human if you don't actually know someone who has suffered from, is being treated for or has died of Cancer.

So this week's been very strange for me as I've remembered things (no doubt recorded in the early parts of this blog) that I'd suppressed and hidden.  Having been through (I think) it is 11 or 12 operations with Bladder Cancer and about the same number with my ear problems when I was a kid it I can relate to what is going to happen to my friend and my other friend having Chemo I can understand his dilemma too, I think I had 36 Immunotherapy treatments.  I can't now recall how I felt at the time as my head has destroyed it.  I can read about it but I don't actually relive the experience and that's so strange.

Operations and treatments are intensely personal experiences and you live through them and sometimes they aren't what you were expecting and whilst I was pretty grossed out to have tubes in and out of my body and all sorts of strange things shoved into me it was necessary and my medical team were there to heal me and get rid of the Cancer.  The treatments I recall were in many ways worse than the operation to remove the tumours.  

The operation is over and done with and you wake up with the work done whilst you weren't awake.  Sure you feel groggy as hell and you have sufficient pain killers to make sure you don't feel bad and you can always ask for more etc.  Treatments tend to be done whilst awake and come one after the other meaning just as you recover from one, you feel great for a day before they treat you again and you go back to feeling rough again.  I likened it being kicked in the balls once a week for six weeks. Just as you got over one you went back and started all over again.

Yes it's been a strange week remembering my history of operations and treatments but having said that it was uncomfortable and if you've read some of the earlier stuff you'll know that it's no easy ride and it isn't for wimps.  I was a wimp to start with but I wanted to be cured and I wanted to live.  I was determined to see the treatment through and trusted in my consultant and the team (with a few documented exceptions).  

Overridingly though, I'm still here and it's got to be 8 years and around 6 years clear.  Every minute, hour and day takes me into longer being clear, less likelihood of recurrence and a fitter healthier life.  

I've now a new lady in my life and life is really exciting again.  It's a little rocky as we've both got baggage but who wouldn't have after 50 years on the Earth :-)  I can see a life ahead of me that I wouldn't have had had it not been for the dedication of my health team and the care I was given.

It's a rocky road and your head interferes and messes with your senses and the little voice in your head tries to depress you but don't listen to all that.  Today's techniques and drugs and more of us living through Cancer should be encouragement.

I was re-reading a book the other day and it reminded me that Cancer cannot survive in alkaline and sugar free environments.  I do need to go "eat my own dog food" though as I haven't been adhering to my diet for the past 6 months and I must get back to it. 

Good luck to my friends in their treatment though.  The big lesson from being under the NHS was that it is a wonderful organisation but it moves at its own speed you cannot rush it.  Likewise it takes longer than you think to recover and get "back to normal" so don't try to rush it and don't do what I did by rushing back to exercise and putting myself back weeks.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Then a Friend Gets Cancer

And it all comes flooding back and no matter how hard you try it affects you.  My friend has Bile Duct Cancer and needs chemotherapy before they can do anything.  It's not a great situation especially as they told him he didn't have cancer and then changed their minds....

He's a lot younger than I was when I got Bladder Cancer.  I had a chat with him earlier in the week and he's in good spirits and we chatted generally about treatment, time taken to get things done and his pain management.  I was suggesting that he might like to get some soups and the like in as may not actually feel like eating after treatment.  Let's hope he does OK and everything works out.  As he is young they (the professionals) are throwing the book at him.

It's made me feel quite strange this week.  Bile Duct is quite a rare Cancer and so let's hope that they sort him out.  The worst part is his brother died just a month or two back of a brain tumour.  He had to go tell his dad that he had cancer.  How awful.