Sunday, 3 January 2010

Last Year

It feels like yesterday when this time last January I was panic stricken with the thoughts of surgery.  My PET scan was a couple of days away and depending on the results depended on my having life saving surgery.  At this time I was so thankful for the cryo because without it the kidney would have been infected and God knows what else and surgery would have been a no no.

I was trying to stop smoking and counting down the days to the 15th, having met John Edwards only the once and being sure I would never go through it or be accepted to suddenly been lifted out of the thought of death's clutches to the thoughts of how bad the pain would be when waking up from surgery!  I was nervous and frightened. 

When you have journeyed so far through this cancer and your hope has just about diminished then you have a thread of hope, you are holding on for all its worth yet at the same time you aren't sure whether your being teased.  If the PET scan had come back bad then I would be cast off and left to float in the sea of despair, if the Scan (which it did) came back ok for surgery the worry of actually going through such a major operation was just as terrifying.  I spent a lot of time conversing with others who had gone through the surgery, especially Cliff but you never actually spell out your worries of Will I Make it Through, after all when Graham went through the EPP back in 04 the rate of success was 50% getting off the table, thankfully the surgery has improved and the odds are much greater, or put it another way the rate of death during or in hospital has greatly reduced to 3 - 5%.  You still have to weigh up the factors of if the surgery can debulk everything. 

I remember not wanting to lose my diaphragm, I have no idea why, but that was my biggest worry and when I awoke with a tube down my throat I knew I had lost it! 

As time has come on I am sure more techniques have been developed, after all more surgery is being performed.  I guess removing the lining isn't as easy as you would imagine, if your removing the whole lung you are cutting off blood supply etc but I guess your not so worried about being slow and delicate around the organ itself, whereas peeling the lining you are working around the lung which must take a little more patience and it has to come off in one piece otherwise it could leave a nasty tumour lurking on the lung.  It is amazing to think that such a thin veil of tissue can be removed.  I can't peel an orange without leaving some of the skin so these Doc's must be so skillful.

I guess this is why the pain is so bad too, but then again some don't have as much pain.  I wonder if you have more pain the more you have gone through.  After all 04 I had a large tumour cut off the lung and chest walls were swept clean (lots of blood on that one), radiotherapy, chemo, chemo, cryo and cryo then surgery, no wonder my poor body still hurts. 

The debate of surgery first then chemo, radiotherapy, cryo or rfa after will be an interesting one.  If you go straight for surgery maybe it isn't as painful because you are only attacking the area for the first time.  The lady who went through surgery before me is leaving a normal life.  She went directly for surgery without any treatments first.  Or maybe due to the length of time you have had the cancer causes an impact on how much pain you have, after all the weight of the tumours on your nerves etc must cause some damage along the way.  I'm not looking for excuses for the pain but trying to find logic and reason. 

This morning I still felt yak, from the back of my mouth to the pit of my stomach, my headaches have come back and at the moment my eyesight is playing up again.  Last time my eyesight played up the cancer was growing at a rapid rate, I don't think it is now, but you do pick up signs which have happened previously but you have to be logical and put it down to factors of life too.  So this morning stomach still feels crap and I have decided that somewhere is a gene that remembers what chemo was like and is reproducing that feeling every morning. 

The strange thing I find still after a year is when I lie down I can hear another breathing, it could be an echo of my heart now that I have a patch but sometimes its really loud and other times quiet.  It can gently rock you to sleep or drive you mad depending on how tired you are. 

Guess I had better get moving, haven't showered yet and the decision of Sunday Roast at Lunch time or Tea time hasn't been taken.  Will probably end up about 3pm as am sure our Lexi is going to be taken over the fields for a run and Bear Boy will want to follow me around the house hanging onto my trouser hem while I get on and do stuff.

If you are the same position I was last January, take that leap of faith and go through the surgery, yes its a long hard 3 months but things do get better, the body is an amazing repair machine.  Take hold of that life line to ensure you will still be here next January.

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