I’ve been racking my brains as to why I’ve been a bit secretive with everyone and I’ve concluded that it’s a mixture of shame and failure. Oh I know I know, it’s not my fault I have secondary cancer and other ladies do not (deep down anyway), but still the feelings of shame come; after all, I thought if anyone could beat this it would be me.
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell anyone who reads this; by all means be good to yourself. Get oxygen in your lungs, eat nutritious foods, laugh a lot. Do what makes you happy,and more importantly do what works for you. Hopefully you will never get this crappy disease. Cancer or no cancer though,treating yourself with ultimate care does not mean you won’t ever get it or it won’t come back again no matter what people will tell you. It’s a disservice to all those that died who were healthy and did everything right having these ideas. While there’s currently no cure, people will look for reasons as to why people get cancer and blame their lifestyles but it’s never that simple and it’s misleading. Unlucky seems like such a cop out word, but that’s mostly why people end up in my shoes.
There’s so much celebration and attention around cancer survivors it feels very disappointing and a huge failure when you know you probably aren’t going to beat it. I’m not saying survivors should not be celebrated, quite the opposite-shout it from the roof tops, but I wish we focused on the journey itself-whether one lives or dies, they have fought hard, or if you dislike battle language-they have given it their all often over a long period of their lives.
My cancer has been treated very effectively in my bones lungs and liver and has been stable since August. Unfortunately, the treatment does not pass through the blood brain barrier which means the blasted cells have decided to invade my brain. I have a 4cm tumour at the back of my head, and around 10-12 tiny mets around different areas of the brain. I’m lucky that I’ve only been having headaches and surprisingly only recently at that. I haven’t had other symptoms. I will be having whole brain radiotherapy which will be very hard on me but it’s the best treatment for me. Then I can have gamma or cyber knife which can get rid of any mets that remain (if any.)I’ve seen a top neurosurgeon who is willing to operate on me at the end of all this if the larger tumour remains, but that doesn’t come without slight risks. I want to reiterate that these are not brain tumours, they are breast cancer cells that have spread.
I know I’m not in a good position right now but I know there are women who survive for years with brain mets, and I have to pray that I’m one of those rather than the ones who don’t survive for long.
I want to assure others that my cancer is extremely aggressive and brain mets only affects around 40 percent of my cancer type. It was always my biggest worry but I don’t want you to worry if you’re reading and you’ve had cancer.
But there’s everything up to speed. I start treatment next week and I’m going to take a couple of months to rest and try to feel like myself again. I am determined to get on a plane again and continue with my world adventure.
Back on the rollercoaster…