Here I am…I’ve been quiet I know but I’m back! Finally feeling like re-engaging with the world a little. It’s been a funny few weeks. To fill you in, 3 weeks of terrible flu which I couldn’t shift…because of the hangover from chemo. My inability to recover meant my much looked forward to girly weekend in Paris with my darling friend was cancelled…yet only postponed, no more bugs please, Paris awaits me at the end of the month.
My still constant companions of aching joints and numb fingers remain and it’s menopause a-go-go, ooh the glamour of hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia. And my personal favourite, the most incredibly intense fatigue rendering me permanently shattered and running on empty with a 9pm curfew for bedtime. Rubbish! Is this how it’s going to be now? The answer is the frustratingly bland ‘well we don’t know, everybody’s different, we’ll have to wait and see.’ Is there anything I can do to ease the symptoms in the meantime? ‘…erm not really, no.’ Brill.
So that’s a bit frustrating but it is what it is, so suck it up and get on with it I tell myself and on the whole I manage to do so. About 5 weeks ago I developed pain on the right, boobless, side of my chest, from the bottom rib up to and including my collarbone and in my shoulder. I took paracetamol and ibuprofen, swiftly moving up to codeine but nothing was stopping it. An appointment with my consultant followed and thoughts are that it is probably damage to the muscles and bones from radiotherapy. As an aside, when you sign the consent for radio you sign the statement
‘Radiotherapy may damage your bones, may damage your lungs, may cause cancer.’ Excellent, where do I sign?!
Anyway so doc, will it go away? ‘Hopefully, hard to say, everybody’s different, continue with the prescription pain killers and top up with codeine routinely…but we also need to do an x-ray to check it’s nothing sinister…’ Crap.
So I went for an x-ray. Being in hospital, the smell of the place, walking through the corridors on my own to the x-ray department, waiting, then to strip off, put on a gown, be lined up for the x-ray…it really dragged me back to a feeling I hadn’t had for a couple of months. A feeling of being alone, a little helpless in the face of possible life changing news. And yet surrounded by a ton of people in their own world of pain and worry and fear. Of my body perhaps hiding a secret which would be betrayed by the scan. Of being in this vacuum where time stands still, a vacuum that drains your energy and makes the outside world, normality, feel so far away and impossible to be part of. But then x-ray done, shoved out back into the real world, and on with the day. And of course it took all day, going after I’d dropped Tilly off at nursery at 9, making it back only just in time to collect her at 3pm and summoning the energy for fun and games with her, until her bedtime when once complete I can collapse in a heap.
It’s been just over a week since then and I haven’t had the results through. This I take to be a good sign, they’d be rushing me in if it was anything serious, right?! We’ll wait and see but it has been an unexpectedly early reinforcement of what life seems to be now. A dark shadowy figure in the corner wherever I am, the prospect of recurrence. Twinges, pains, anything out of the ordinary will increase the volume of that little voice that’s always whispering in my head whatever I’m doing, wherever I am, that perhaps it’s back, maybe this is it.
And with this soundtrack on going, life goes on. We have had some great times in amongst it all the last few weeks. A weekend of loveliness with super friends who brought their beautiful baby boy and THE most amazing food with them. We’ve had a lovely Easter, really fabulous family time having fun, and that’s what it’s all about. Feeling the love of family and friends, appreciating what we have and making memories with our beautiful little girl who I would go to the end of the earth for.
So while I try to keep that nagging voice to a whisper we continue on, looking forward to a letter arriving to say all is well this time. I’ll keep popping the pills and hope that the pain subsides soon as my body heals from the blasting it received from radiotherapy. And we’ll keep living and enjoying, and look forward to a Spring of sunshine, warmth and good times. With perhaps a little less chocolate eating…?