When I started this blog, the intention was to update it at least once a fortnight. Its not quite happened like that though! I know why though, to begin with, I was back on chemo and feeling very rough alt of the time, then when the chemo finishes, its all about getting on with life which is what we have been doing. Every so often I have the thought that I should get on here and update, but something else always seem to get in the way. But today is a day that's cant go unwritten about.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer nearly 8 years ago, I had a flurry of horrendous thought run through my head. One of which was that I thought that I wouldn't be here to see my beautiful children through school. Well today that thought was well and truly put to rest. Today Shaun and I took James to school to pick up his GCSE results. I cant count how many times I have cried myself to sleep worrying that I wouldn't get to see to see Lucy pick up he GCSEs and so to be here to see James get his just didn't seem possible. But it happened, and our boy did good. For akid that hated very single day of his school life, he did incredibly well and can go on to do his chosen college course. So in the last year, Lucy has got her A levels and in a flash completed her first year at uni and now James is a school leaver - where have our babies gone??
But as the title of this chapter would suggest, this is not the only news that we have had lately. Sadly, not all news is as good, and this certainly isn't. in fact its crap, well worse than crap. It is actually just bloody ridiculous. After I reported familiar aches and pains to my lovely chemo nurse, it was confirmed to me on the day of James' last GCSE exam that my body has succumbed to frigging cancer again. Yep, here we go, ding ding, seconds out, time for round four. Round four? Round four? it just seem unthinkable. I have always been told that this is my life and it will keep coming back, but I recovered so easily and quickly from the third round of chemo, that I really did, honestly start to believe that actually, I may have defied the odds and beaten the evil that is cancer. But it just wasn't to be. So, there you go, its back, again, it obviously hasn't got the message yet. Yes, I survived long enough to see Lucy go to prom, get her GCSEs and then her A levels and then go to University and then have so much pride seeing her adapt so wonderfully to living away from home. Yes, I've seen james survive school, get his GCSEs, helped him plan his short term future, heck, my boy has even started shaving. Im so grateful to have been here for all these milestones, but I'm greedy, Im a mum, we are a family of four, the more I'm here for, the richer our lives get and then obviously the more I want. So now I need to see Lucy graduate, James complete a college course and get an apprenticeship, Shaun and I only have three years to go to our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I want all of that and more.
So this latest diagnosis is more than a little inconvenient to say the least! But, there is good news. When I was first given the news - tumours in my neck, shoulder, chest wall and lungs, my immediate thought was, thank goodness, Ive had it in all those places before, this is nothing new, I have beaten all of this before. This, again, is a battle that I can win. theres no doubt it will be a long, hard battle, but its certainly a battle that im not scared of. Well, more accurately, im not scared of the cancer, but the same cant be said of the chemo. Im in no way looking forward to that, but if that is was it needs, then that is what I have to do - im not saying I wont moan about it along the way but I just have to shut up and put up and get on with it! So, back to the good news, my team at the hospital have looked at my bloods and my scans and are not too worried - that's a relief. they say that all the tumours are small and my blood count at the moment is 22, anything under 36 is classed as "normal", so I am actually considered as normal, which is fab. So for now, im just on monthly assessments, chemo will come, but its not imminent. the rate at which my blood count is increasing gives me around 4 months before I will move out of the normal zone. I have to use that time to get myself as fit as I can, and try to loose some of these chem pounds ive been carrying around for far too long. im currently 4 stones heavier than the day eight years ago when I was first diagnosed. Ive read lots about ketogenic diets, and how some ladies who have strictly followed the diet have reported that their tumours have shrank or even disappeared on the diet. Im at the point now that I will try anything, im pretty realistic in thinking that it probably wont cure my cancer, if it could, why isn't every cancer patient following it, but if I can loose a few pounds along the way then its a win win situation anyway.
The plan of action now then is just to live life a month or so at a time, daring not to think too far into the future, because as soon as chemo starts then life is effectively in on hold. But, the important thing is to do it with smiles on our faces, being grateful for every day that we have and making the most of every opportunity that comes our way.
Im so lucky to have such a wonderful family and some amazing friends that have just offered us so much support again. I was dreading telling people of the latest setback, its just embarrassing, and boring, hence the title of this chapter. "for F**ks Sake Kerry" was by far the most popular choice of words for the reactions of my nearest and dearest. Im so grateful for all of the morale and practical support that we get. We are very lucky people.