Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mixed bags ...

Thankfully, due to my daughter's incredible strength and determination to overcome her latest dark phase, she is mending and coming out of relapse.  She seems to have patched things up with her partner and has a cheerful attitude - she is even talking about going back to work, which is always a good sign she's feeling mentally stronger.  It's a big relief and she has learnt some hard lessons this time (so too has her partner).

I'm going to have the dressings changed on my leg today (have to drag along my grandson, who's been ill just as long as I've been recuperating from surgery but I can't leave him at home all alone and mum/dad don't have anymore leave left).  I'm not looking forward to this trip, it's going to be exhausting but has to be done - for one thing, I can't wait to be able to have a shower - I think hoping for a bath is still too premature.   Anyway, cross thumbs they give me waterproof dressings.

I am pushing all thoughts out of my head about the results of all the tests, there's not really any point in speculating on future outcomes - although in the dead of night, when the phone is lying there next to my bed, I can't help Google for information and end up getting myself into a right panic in the process.   I have support from family and friends, near and far, that's something a lot of people who have had a cancer diagnosis don't have and I'm so grateful for that.    The information that's provided by the NHS and hospital staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is amazing but it still doesn't answer the really hard questions - like what happens if the results are positive, or even worse, false negative?  I read tons of information bytes, with phrases like 'survival rates' ... and that's when you realise that this thing is actually not a joke, it isn't just a mole, it has gone into my body and it may end up killing me.  There is not very much in-your-face information on how to prepare yourself for that and what to expect down the line - so I will just have to be optimistic and take each day at a time I guess. 

It's only human nature that you will speculate about the worst scenarios though, isn't it?  I just wish people would stop telling me not to think about what it will mean to get a positive or false negative result ... God forbid the shoe was on the other foot ... you can't tell people not to imagine the worst when you've been diagnosed with cancer, it's not something a person can actually get their head around for the most part.  You are trying to understand how it has happened, you are processing the implications of further tests, you can't even begin to talk about treatment until you've had a battery of tests and this can take weeks or months to complete. 

My mother went through a masectomy, albeit I was there to help her recuperate for a very short two weeks but she still had to deal with all of that emotional and physical upheaval when I went back to work and left her on her own.   She was in her Seventies when all that happened.    I know she thought about death a lot of times during those months whilst she was recovering, it's not something a person can avoid and I never once told her not to think about it or to stop speculating about the worst.  Yes, I thought that she shouldn't dwell on the negative things and I encouraged her to think positive and to take each day as it came but I never told her not to imagine the worst, I didn't think it was my place to do that.   My mother-in-law also had the same surgery, I understand and that was when she was a relatively young woman.   There's always hope, there's always someone who has it far worse than you.