Saturday, 11 June 2016

My final thoughts

So in my final post, before I get on to some of my final points about what this experience has meant to me, I want to talk about how things have gone in my final week of chemotherapy, especially as my hair has started to come out.  It is quite difficult to recognise your self in the mirror when you don’t recognise the new person that you have become. Guess it will just take some getting used.

On Tuesday me and mum headed for what is likely and hopefully my last trip to a hospital for the next three months. Thank fully the cancer centre was not that busy was I was able to give a blood sample pretty quickly, and then I got my blood results.

It’s quite weird to have no white blood cells and yet actually feel physically fitter than you did the week before, but that’s  one of  the many strange things about chemo.
One of the things which has been a bit of a frustration as this process has gone on, is getting  the information that I need but normally about a week or two later than I wanted. This appointment was no difference. Up until this point any conversation about my hair had very much been answered ambiguously. 

However frustratingly everyone seemed to be singer of the same sing sheet today. Now why I was not told this two weeks ago I don’t understand, but the approach of everyone I have dealt with seems to think it’s best just to drop the reality on me, just as I am about to be hit with it. For example  being told that day that I was expected to attend a follow up in two weeks, there had been no mention of this ahead of time.

But thankfully, there was still some ambiguity just to stop me from thinking I was actually getting talked to by people who has experiences with similar case to mine. Now that I had, had my last injection of chemo drugs, mine and my mum’s only quite simple question was when will I be fully recovered. As I am going, to Belfast we both want to know when will we be able get rid  of  the chemo cards. The response from two different health professionals was you guessed ambiguous. Any were between a week to two weeks from that Tuesday.  So yes my thermometer and my temperature charts will be coming with me to Belfast.

Also I know have follow up appointments for the next five years .That's my next 5 years planned out. Now  I feel like that's just the universe saying well you do like to plan long term.

Now to conclude as I come to the end of my treatment a couple of points I want to close on. 
Firstly I am very aware of how fortunate I am, despite what is written above, this blog would be going on a lot longer if I wasn’t so lucky with what  kind of cancer I was diagnosed with and how my body has reached to the treatment.

Secondly I hope my story can help, but I am also very aware and I hope you are to, my story only scratches the surface of a great many stories of people of my age who's life really stops.
I have had to take a break from life and yes the next 5 years will be a constant what if, what if,
But many people have to suffer a lot longer to get the same result and that is a cruel injustice.
Hopefully in the future, those cases will decrease and hopefully I maybe in a small way can contribute to that.

Thirdly massive thank you to friends and extended family who have either supported me or any of my family/ gf at this time. I want to thank my parents and brother for getting there 21 year old student back on a full time basis. Just when they were looking forward to getting a last break before I move back in to start at Birmingham.

Thank you to my gf, who despite third year nearly killing us both off any way has been as much of a constant as she could be for me.  It’s rare in a relationship that both partners have near death experience in the space of year. Its strange last year I was getting set to head of for camp and 3 months apart. 

To then head on to Poland while she headed off to the Netherlands.Distance for those of you who have chosen to do it, is never easy at the best of times and these past 6-8months have not been.  No one likes a bored boyfriend stuck at home trying to live vicariously through his girlfriend in a different country. But we are still standing and exciting for what our future will bring. Hopefully with less health  scares.  

Finally I think i want to conclude with one final statement.  A common word associated with cancer is the concept of a battle. And if you survive you have beat it, if you die you have lost.

I have not beaten this. I was never in this fight.

Your body just becomes a vessel containing one side of the contest whilst the medical team tries to hopefully pock and prod your body in ways so they can control and minimise the diease. Let’s say they are successful you haven’t won anything. What you have  gained is more time.

This disease has taken the next 5 years of my life, where I have to constantly plan my life around appointments. I have my life now but I don’t know this will be the case for ever because who really does know what tomorrow might bring. The treatment has reduced, not removed the possibility that this disease could come back. That is now my life time to get used to it. 

Thank you and I hope to never write one of these again for obvious reasons I hope.

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