A Bolt from the Blue

It was 16th February, 2021 when I asked for an appointment with my GP.  Of course, the pandemic meant a face-to-face appointment was out of the question but it didn’t matter as I knew all he would do was refer me to the Hospital and that was what I wanted.

I have always enjoyed good health.  I can honestly say that in all my 68 years up until that day in February apart from having 2 children the only time I have been admitted to hospital was for an appendectomy at the age of 16.  I walk miles with our dog, always use the stairs if possible rather than take a lift, I have never smoked and don’t drink much.

But once I received a call from the hospital with the date of my referral appointment (just one week later), I have been on a rollercoaster of tests, scans, diagnosis of an “aggressive form of cancer”, have had major surgery – from which I recovered in double quick time thanks to the procedure being carried out by robotics where the surgeon sits at, what appears to be a gaming chair, and operates the robotic arms.  Three weeks after surgery I received the fantastic news that, as far as they can tell, no cancer remains.  Every bit that can be tested, has been tested and all has come back clear.  

But.  There is always a “but” isn’t there?  To make sure that some microscopic organism has not managed to evade all the laboratory analysis I am to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  I asked if, because all seemed clear, would I just have a small amount of both?  The answer was “no”.  Because they are talking “cure” rather than “contain” I must have more!  I really wished I hadn’t asked.

So here I am feeling fit as a fiddle contemplating 28 lots of radiotherapy with 2 cycles of chemotherapy at the same time followed by 4 more cycles of a different cocktail of chemotherapy.  I’m told my hair won’t fall out as a result of the first mix of chemo but will definitely do so once I start the second.  What a waste of money my highlights will have been!  Coming out of lockdown?  Not me.  Holidays smugly booked last October as well as theatre trips already postponed by one year – all cancelled. 

Now my thoughts are filled with “bright scarves or a wig?”, my days are filled with blood tests, yet more scans and of course – covid tests.  Luckily I’ve had my 2 vaccinations but I’m sure my nostrils will never recover from the number of cotton-bud-stick things being shoved up them.  

My thanks to the NHS who pulled the stops out for me (“we’ve been here all the time, don’t believe what you read in the press” my consultant said) – I hope not to be troubling you again for a long time after this.

What am I’m looking forward to?  Perhaps losing that ½ stone which has eluded me for ever and Christmas.  Roll on Christmas, this year they’re all coming to me!  Meanwhile, my treatment starts this month (May).  

Bring it on. Sooner it starts, the sooner it’s over.