Two years ago I was given the incurable prognosis. This is the extract from My Story

I will never forget that moment…  

March 2018

February scan. Results on March 5th, 2018. We drove to meet my oncologist to hear the news. It’s a fair way, round the M25, which is never great in rush hour. After 10 minutes of reading the out of date Hello magazine we were told she was ill and not coming to work. Can you imagine? 

This is unbearable. 

My life now operates on 3-month cycles, everything I do psychologically is geared up for the chemo, the scan, the result, the next plan. As I approach the scan the anxiety levels increase. The timing between scan and result is crucial. It has to be known, it has to be solid, any deviation from the plan is heart attack material. The mind is a powerful and mischievous thing – and my God does it like to play with me at scan time.

So, a sick oncologist was not cool at this point!

We left. We rang various secretaries and managed to get an appointment later in London to see the radiologist. He is the person that interprets the scan for the surgeon and oncologist. He is very important. We had met him previously and he was very professional. We met him on this day. It was different. I now know why the oncologist should give scan news. My oncologist had some training on this. I’m not sure the radiologist had the training! 

I walked out of there with one thing going around and round in my head “go home and get your affairs in order”. I’d gone from cured to incurable in fifteen minutes. The cancer in the lungs was back. 19 nodules of various sizes. Incurable. Fuck.

My oncologist called the next day, same prognosis, slightly better delivery. “it’s not months, it’s years” What does that mean for fucks sake? How many exactly? 2 or 10? “I hope to be talking to you in two years” Bloody marvellous.

I cannot begin to explain what this news does to a person. It is impossible to comprehend. The human brain just cannot fathom the magnitude of dealing with one’s own mortality, at least not for some time, and even then, I’m not sure we ever really accept it. Everything you are, have been, believe in, love, and care for is going to end. Sooner than you imagined. Sure, we all know we’re going to die at some point, but when it’s at your door, when you’re just 50, it’s a living nightmare.

Two years on and I’m still here, still fighting, still healing, still living