I don’t think radiotherapy has got easier, I’ve just adapted and got used to it. The smells and colours still invade my nose and eyes but I’m used to it now. The only problem I have with it now is the inflammation it gives you in the the part they’re zapping, in my case the brain. But I’ve nearly finished, 2 days left! And I can’t believe it. When I’ve finished I will have had 60 rounds of Radiotherapy in my life. 30 when I was younger to get rid of the cancer, which worked for 14 and a half years; and 30 now. I have had 2 phases of treatment this time. Phase 1 was 4 weeks to control the cancer on my brain stem and get rid of cancer cells from surrounding areas; phase 2, which was 2 weeks, is to get rid of and kill the cancer cells left over from the successfully removed tumour.
This week has been OK, I have been feeling positive about the future and feel like I can defeat something labelled as ‘terminal’. On Twitter, on Tuesday, I tweeted about 1 nice comment making my day. It was true, I felt much better during the day after having been complimented and it just keeps up the positivity; which I thought had been lost last week. Also, bringing it back to the medical side of things, I am really happy after being told my bloods were ‘impressive’. That suggests I’m really fit and healthy, minus the cancer, and can fight/live for longer. Hopefully long enough to find a cure. And I don’t care if people don’t think that’s possible because I believe it is and if you believe, they say, anything is possible. So please don’t remind me that the future may not be good because I know it might not be and don’t tell me I can’t do things. I know what I can and can’t do.
So college this week, I actually managed a lesson online on Tuesday; that’s the first Tuesday lesson during radiotherapy treatment that I have managed, that makes me happy that I can attend and not be too wiped out. And I also did my lessons, which I usually do, on Thursday and Friday. The most memorable thing of college this week though is a woman, staff, who I’ve never seen before saying I can’t use the lift, despite having a lift pass. I might look physically able but I can’t climb 5 flights of stairs at the moment. I just can’t without being wiped out for the rest of the time in college. Remember that not all disabilities are visible.
This week I have also managed to go for a run. A very tough mile which I had to power walk a lot of. My muscles were just really tight around the gluteus and my back hurt. They should loosen a bit and before they tighten back up again I may try another run on Wednesday. Running is a release but is annoying at the minute. I did 12:45 minutes a mile last week and now just over 14 minutes a mile. Then you look at what I could run a mile in- just over 7 minute and my fastest pace being 6:30 minutes a mile. Its tough to take seeing fitness plummet and feeling muscles ache and tighten.
And finally I am going to talk about a TV programme I watched called Brain Surgeons: Between Life and Death. Matthew, a young boy, had a tumour in the same place as I did and they successfully removed it. But the Surgeons were calm and composed, albeit nearly compromising this boys mobility and brain. But this wasn’t what I took away from it. This boy was really positive, yes I understand it was a benign tumour but what I saw was a positive boy who didn’t have long left to live before surgery, I was also given the same time period if I didn’t have surgery. But his determination and belief got him through recovery, I can also see how fast I recovered after surgery, which lasted 3 weeks, mine lasted 5 days. But what I saw were scared parents and the questions of time frames and damage that could be done were needless for the boy to hear. Carers might be scared and sharing feelings is great and really helps your mental health. We know what the future looks like and think about it all the time and it’s not very nice. But reminders and, although feeling helpful by sharing feelings, it comes off really negatively. Yes we should plan for the future but that is not set in stone.
I guess what I want to leave on is talk to others about your worries and fears. But remember it’s harder for cancer patients to listen to because there mind is already bogged down and destroyed by the negative thoughts that come with diagnosis. We are a little scared and worried but we have to accept it and no matter who we talk to it about it won’t go away. It’s always there. So if you have problems be tactful and think should I share this with them because they’re struggling already.
Please share your problems because it can take your mind off the problem and other people’s minds of their own. I will leave links to helplines down below:
Samaritans – 116 123
Clic Sargent: 0115 942 1517
Macmillan: 0808 808 00 00
Mind: 0300 123 3393