My new oncologist is fantastic. I like her, great manner, seems to know her stuff. She is clinical director at St Mark’s, a bowel cancer specialist. She’s going to help me. Chemotherapy is the way forward; not the “ChemoLite” stuff I had before, the real McCoy, full fat chemo. Twelve cycles every fortnight with a small break in the middle. The good news is that I’m “RAS wild” – it means I can also take some targeted therapy that attacks the cancer’s blood supply. Hurrah, how fortunate, “RAS wild” huh, who’d have thought it.
I won’t bore you with tails of chemo. Its bloody awful. I sit on a drip for 6 hours every fortnight being pumped full of drugs that kill your entire immune system. I then have a special chemo pump attached for a further 48 hours. It’s exhausting, but I tolerated it reasonably well – I’m guessing that might be because I’m only 50 at this point. 50. Just 50.
It might also be due to my optimistic demeanour and my positive attitude to all this! Who knows.
I tend to be a “doer”. I find it helps to keep busy, taking trips, seeing friends, playing golf, pushing myself to “be normal”. It’s something my counsellor picked me up on when I saw him in the summer of 2018. I think he found my consistent positive attitude perhaps a little false – an attempt to disguise the reality. “After all,” he said, “we are human beings, not human doings” Sometimes we just need to stop, and really focus on the here and now, and how we actually feel.
Despite the chemo and all its side effects, fatigue being a big one, I do think one’s state of mind plays a massive part. When I’m feeling mentally ok, with some sense of purpose, I seem to be able to get on with life. The minute I’m down, life slows down.