Winston Churchill famously said;
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Well I can relate to that, well I could, about 3 years ago. Things have moved on a bit since then. Back then, when I had, what was described to me as, major bowel cancer surgery followed by a nasty course of chemotherapy for 3 months, I knew this was a difficult cancer to deal with. I knew far too many people at the time who had bowel cancer. As it transpired I knew no survivors. I am now one of those people.
You know the stories of survival. Almost an urban myth.
(A humorous or horrific story or piece of information circulated as though true, especially one purporting to involve someone vaguely related or known to the teller).
Here’s one I really did hear yesterday. One you can now tell with an extra layer. My brother’s wife’s sister’s partner’s parents were the first married couple to receive the Covid 19 jab.
Well I’ve heard of plenty of bowel cancer survivors just haven’t met one yet!
So if 3 years ago I was at the end of the beginning, then 9 months ago when I had my next operation I had travelled quite a distance along that journey. Almost 2 1/2 years blissfully cancer free, or so I thought. Then, following my most recent surgery just as the first lockdown begun, Tricia and I had the most glorious summer. Thank you Covid.
But I wasn’t cancer free. I was told, on a bleak day in August, that the cancer was still with me and it’s now incurable. This was the cloud I’d been living under for almost 3 years. This, for me was the beginning of the end.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to slow the cancer down with a course of chemotherapy today I start the last available treatment. This is often referred to as palliative. (Palliative care is treatment for people with a life-limiting illness. The aim of palliative care is to help you to have a good quality of life – this includes being as well and active as possible in the time you have left).
It’s well known to be a challenging course of chemo. I’ll definitely struggle through this treatment. It’s almost exactly 3 years since I started an almost identical course. At that time I clearly remember telling Tricia how I understood why some people ask to stop the treatment, it’s that brutal.
This is a day I’ve been dreading.
I’m still relatively fit although the previous chemo and developing cancer is beginning to have a negative impact. I’m determined to find good in each day I have left. (Hopefully we’re still talking in months although 3 of those may be chemo months). I’m still going to try to walk each fortnight and have my coffee club each week.
Coffee club is still at 10am tomorrow.
Meeting ID: 955 027 2972 Passcode: 9RktZt
Think of it as a round of Mastermind.
I’ve started so I’ll finish.