As I write this post I’ve just had my 3-month post-chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy PET/CT scan. Basically the scan that’ll tell me if I’ve kicked cancer’s big fat hairy butt!
And for the whole day I’ve been pretty chuffed that I can sing Imagine Dragons’ song “Radioactive” at the top of my voice and know that it’s true! Well you gotta look at the good side to all this!
I can’t help but feel that this scan holds my life in its hands more than ever. There’s nothing I can do about the results. What will be will be. I don’t feel like I have cancer anymore but you can never really know. It’ll be a hell of a lot more devastating for me, my family and friends if the results come back that I’m not clear of it. All because I do feel pretty normal again.
Back in January, just 5 lowly months ago, was when I had my first PET/CT scan. It’s hard to believe I’m the same person today. At 5’11” I was 8 1/2 stone, which is just under 54kg. Massively underweight for my height. I was in hospital, not yet fully knowing what I was dealing with… But I’m pretty sure my family did! The sneaky buggers didn’t tell me I was already in a cancer hospital! Haha. Hey, I told you. Before all this I was completely oblivious to cancer! I knew where I was I just didn’t realise it was a cancer hospital.
So with a PET scan they inject you with some radioactive stuff that goes all round your body and highlights the cancer and any other suspect areas that it may have gone to. January’s results showed how extensive the cancer was… A 10cm mass and that it was becoming a little bit suspect around my lymph nodes in my stomach region… I wanna call them my illiac nodes? As I said I’m not a doctor but I think that’s what it was.
At this point although it’s scary knowing how big the cancer is I didn’t care. I was in pain, sleeping most of the day away and barely eating. When you’re in that much discomfort you really don’t care what title it is you’re dealing with. You just wanna feel better. And yeah I had cancer but I always looked at it like it’s cancer, it’s not cancer cancer.
I see cancer adverts these days where they’re telling the actor on screen and they’re devastated. They portray how isolated they feel and how life-changing it is and yeah… I can kind of get where they’re coming from but for me, it was never like that. Life goes on.
You don’t want to look so broken to your family all the time. They’re dealing with this as much as you and in a way you could say it’s worse for them. They can’t do anything to help. I slept most of the day away and was in a pretty high drug-induced bubble of codeine, oramorph and paracetamol.
Do you wanna know how I first found out I had cancer? I find it funny but I know my family don’t. They were pretty pissed. Haha.
I had this cancer nurse come round early one morning and gave me a “how to deal with being diagnosed with cancer” leaflet. Turns out this nurse was gonna be my “cancer nurse” I couldn’t stand her… She just wasn’t very good at empathy but tried her hardest, only it turned out being a bit annoying. No… I don’t want to talk about how I’m feeling to you. But thanks.
I just remember getting this leaflet before the doctors had told me and thinking “oh fuck, it is cancer then.” I made a laugh and a joke about it to my mum when she came in but I can tell you she wasn’t best pleased this happened without her there for support and before I had an actual diagnosis!
So yes, today I’m singing “Radioactive” as loud as I can enjoying the fact that it is very relevant to me and revelling in the irony that is my life!
This post originally appeared on Happy Smiling Cancer Girl. It is republished with permission.