Coldplay’s song “Clocks,” with its famous urgent piano intro, is about mortality and running out of time. It lends itself very well to my current announcement.
I am absorbing the horrible news that my colorectal cancer, six years in remission, has now returned in my pelvis. My struggle to survive that first cancer is described in my book, The Cancer Olympics. Hopefully, I will learn if the tumour is operable on Thursday, when I meet with a surgical oncologist.
The lights go out and I can’t be saved
Tides that I tried to swim against
Have brought me down upon my knees
Oh I beg, I beg and plead, singing
I had an emergency stent put in my ureter yesterday. The tumour was pressing against it, causing kidney to balloon and my blood pressure to rise. I feel so much better already.
Still no idea about whether I can travel this summer. I will not be back to work in September, as I will need many months off to recovery. Indeed, it is not clear whether I can ever work again.
My “clear” CT scan from December was reviewed due to the positive PET CT I just had. It has been determined to be a false negative. The mass was evident on the December scan, but mistaken for my right ovary. So, sadly, I have lost 6 months against this metastatic disease due to a “Doctor Five.” Readers of The Cancer Olympics will understand that number.
My final meeting with oncologist Mark Dorreen was touching for both of us. I was his very last patient on his last day of work before retirement. I asked him what chemo I was likely to get. He answered “FOLFOX”—as told in The Cancer Olympics, this was the drug we successfully fought for in Nova Scotia, but too late for me to receive it. We all laughed at the irony. But I saw tears standing in his eyes.
My husband had a tumour removed last week. Today it was determined to be a benign lipoma. At last, a mercy.
Time for bed.
This blog post originally appeared on The Cancer Olympics. It is reprinted with permission.