This week I am a VERY happy person. And also a slightly scared person.
Happy because 5 years ago this week, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer Stage 3B. Spread to my bowel, omentum etc etc – so I did not have the best prognosis. I was given a 70% chance of survival. And now, the Five Year Thing! I can’t believe it.
I remember when I first met Emily, and we spoke online for hours. And we were both convinced we were going to die. For me, the miracle that we are still here to do awareness articles, blog posts, TV interviews and random other stuff still amazes me.
We are so lucky. I notice this EVERY day. Particularly this week. So, GO us! We are constantly trying to raise awareness, trying to spare some unfortunate woman what we went through – hopefully. And if we're misquoted [which we ARE constantly – some journalists don’t seem to speak/understand English at all, even when it’s written down for them!], at some point, we won't be - and if we're exhausted with it all, which we are sometimes, somewhere, someone is more exhausted than we are. So it’s worth it. No matter what.
For me, really, my ‘5 years’ will be up in August though, as that is when I finished my treatment. But saying that, this week is certainly a landmark for me. Here I am. Five years down the road, still alive and kicking. Gotta be a good thing! I didn’t expect to survive this long, and I am grateful for every day. So; very happy.
The scared bit is that I have recently discovered that in stage 3 ovarian cancer of the type I had, most recurrences occur AFTER the 5 year mark. What? How is it that I didn’t know that? And now that I do , I can’t ‘unknow’ it. Which is irritating. Better I never knew! So. A bit scary. But I think I will just carry on as if I don’t know. No point worrying about it any more than I usually do!
And all of this week I've been thinking I had a melanoma on my scalp and was about to be diagnosed with a ‘New and Interesting’ type of cancer. No sleep at all. I made an appointment with my lovely GP for next Wednesday [he is a busy man] and thought that I would be able to calmly wait it out. Unfortunately NOT!
Three sleepless nights later and yesterday I gave in to the panic attacks and made an emergency appointment with my *AMAZING* GP and [yay] it's NOT cancer...just some scabby head wart thing that apparently everyone gets? – [a worry wart?] and nothing to worry about. I was so relieved that it seemed like I was breathing pure oxygen. I was babbling. Running about in manic relief. Talking too much – being too cheerful.
I expected the worst – my cancery brain was saying that as I was diagnosed this week 5 years back, I'd be diagnosed again now – with a cancer that also kills people. Just a different one. Google – no! My brain is traitorous at times! According to my doctor, this is perfectly normal. I have spent the week with cold sweats, heart stopping moments and terrifying breathlessness. So, very happily, I bow to the knowledge of my GP. The thing on my head is benign – excellent; I can rebook my hairdressing appointment!
so, happy cancer-versary to me!