Hello and welcome back. As it says in the title it has been a while and whilst I make no excuse for this. I do feel that if you have nothing good to say then you are better off saying nothing at all, (People that know me, may find that hard to believe !). At this stage I have done three cycles of my six ordained cycles, and as sure as night follows day, I am now for better or worse (You can fill in the rest of this yourself) in the groove of this thing. For those of you who don’t know the system it runs a little like this. R-Chop day one is always a Friday and the chair. This is where I spend about eight hours getting my fill of good old DNA altering chemicals. The next five days are then taken up with the gut churning steroids that make you feel as if your stomach has been swapped out-for a cement mixer and the anti nausea pills just seem to me, to add fuel to the fire( But that is just me and we all react differently so if they work for you then keep taking them). Then I go into the five days of platelets injections where my immune system kicks back in likes its party central. Apart from my bones feeling as they are expanding, my psoriasis gets a whole new lease of life and I look like a spotty teenager crossed with the singing detective (google it if you are of the age where you don’t know it and better still watch it). Plus all the way through this period your skin exudes the stink of chemotherapy and this smell is a unique one that will fortunately be only known to anyone who has gone or is going through chemotherapy. I have thrown out some of my favourite T-shirts at this stage because whether it’s a fact or not I can still smell the chemo even after washing. This is followed by where I am now, which for all intents and purpose is I suppose feeling normal.
So next Friday is when I start all over again and I expect the routine to continue as it has for the last three cycles with one exception, and that is I will do a scan to check on the progress or not of the rogue cell. I shall then await a consultation that will hopefully bring news of its demise or at least a step closer to its demise. You see all along I have exuded optimism and resilience, but, and this is hard to vocalise, because as to do so admits the fact that people do not always survive cancer. So After the scan I will have a period of anxiety about the results.
Now all along I have harped on about talking about things, being positive and expressing your feelings. But you see to express your feelings you first have to embrace and admit that they may not be all good and positive, and that the outcome may not be the one you want. So at the start when I said I had nothing to say, what I actually meant was I had nothing that I wanted to admit too, that I had to say. Do not mistake my realism for pessimism I am not the kind of person who does not prepare for lifes nasty surprises,I do truly believe that I will beat the tumour but at the same time I am realistic that it may take longer or indeed we have to change tact with the treatment.Cancer does kill and it does not care who it kills. We see celebrities succumbing to cancer, take for example that poor chap Chadwick Boseman who passed away last weekend, now I presume that he did not die due to bad or inadequate treatment or a lack of money to pay for what I am sure was the best treatment available. He sadly passed because in his case that rogue cell won the battle. I dont know but I will guess that at some stage during his battle he also had to open that door of realism, the door no one wants to admit exists not alone wants to open. But open it you must, because to blindly believe that absolutely everything will be just fine is to expose your self to another sledgehammer blow some where further down the line and whilst I dont think I will get that news, I would rather be somewhat prepared than not prepared at all… Realism or pessimism thats up to us all to decide as individuals.
I have taken some time to write this, as you start chemo you need to think about sucess, but when you approach over halfway you have to face the scan and after that you have to face the inevitable question of is it actually working? or is it time to go back to the drawing board for a new strategy. Now I dont want people who know me sending me messages of “Liam stay strong” etc…. because not for one minute am I considering anything other than sucess I am simply being realistic and admitting to myself and to Rachel that things dont always go according to the script. I need to write that alternative line and do it now.
I started writing this post last wednesday evening, and I have written and rewritten it on multiple occasions without knowing whether I will even publish it but I probably will.Rachel and I have discussed it, and yes she has also thought of a posssible unwanted outcome, and what if its not as we hope. We will get through that is well. By writing it all down it does make it easier to discuss, that has always been one of the goals of this blog. As for a conclusion I suppose only time will tell and obviously a scan.Thats it I am going to post this and also on a separate blog a recipe because food still goes on and I apologise if this is not a happy post but you cannot be happy all the time when you need to keep buying more tshirts!!
Please also remember that all my thoughts and feelings are my own and that we are all individuals and we all do what we need to do to get us through this crap so if anyone reads this and disagree then well done they are as entitled to their opinion and approach as I am and I walk in my shoes as others walk in theirs.
Thank you and stay safe.