It’s just over six months since my consultant gave me a death sentence. So I reckon it’s time for a little reflection…
Sadly – the initial results from this round of chemo are not promising. But it’s early days yet – and those results are really only based on the first infusion. We’ll be taking a much harder look when I’ve had four.
How do I feel? Well, when I’m recovering from a chemo infusion I feel pretty bad. Tired (not to say exhausted on occasion). Brain-fogged. And – all too often – my guts have turned to water as well. Not exactly a good quality of life.
But – as I’ve said before – you don’t go into a fight expecting not to get hurt – and a week after treatment I’m already feeling stronger and better able to cope. (I’m even getting some of my beard back – though it’s definitely Santa-coloured these days.) So I regard all that as collateral damage. For the moment, at least, my blood pressure, oxygen levels and temperature are pretty much nominal. I’ve no doubt that continuing treatment will do more damage to my immune system, so the trick now is to do what I can, while I can. And that means making memories.
Which is why I arranged a trip to Cirque du Soleil with Rosemary last month – which was a wonderful experience – and why I’ve arranged a trip to Abba Voyage this month. (I’m intrigued by the technology. It says here…) Roll on March (I’ll think of something!)
I’d love to travel – we’re targeting Denmark (to do the rounds with the family) and Portugal (because we love it). Practicalities may make that difficult if not impossible (try getting travel insurance with a diagnosis of terminal cancer) but I’ve already taken that up with my oncologist – and I’ll only give up if there is literally no alternative.
And the future? Who knows? My team don’t, because they’re only guessing about my projected lifespan. I don’t, because miracles do happen, and even if they let me down this time these things simply aren’t accurately predictable.
So I’m focusing on the positive. On everything I have to be thankful for. (And there’s so much!) On being with the woman I love, in a home I love, surrounded by people I care about and who care about me.
And if I keep spending as much time writing as I’m doing at the moment, I should soon be sufficiently up to speed to write that last novel I keep fretting about…