Friday, 26 April 2013

Heads or tails

Well, today has arrived. I'm surprisingly calm and resigned to a day which will define my life from now on. It's Pet Scan results day. Before lunch I'll know if my Stage 3 cancer has progressed to incurable Stage 4, and if so, how much the cancer has spread and to where. Or I'll be told that my body is completely cancer-free, and I'll have won the biggest battle of my life. 

Either way, the news is going to be pretty life-changing. If there is no sign of cancer, I can start to make plans for the future and begin to put the past year behind me. I'll also have to do everything I can possibly think of to make damn well sure that cancer doesn't think it can just dance right back in and take over again. I have to boost my defence mechanisms by eating better, sleeping more, and getting less stressed. Dead easy on paper, but putting them into practice is another story. 

If these lesions on my spine turn out to be malignant, or even worse, they also find other cancer cells elsewhere as well, then the future may be pretty bleak. Basically, if that has happened, it will mean that despite surgery, chemo, radiotherapy and drugs-galore, the breast cancer cells have taken a hold, and will almost certainly eventually kill me. The medical treatment will change emphasis - it will all be about slowing the progress of the advancing cancer, and keeping me alive for as long as possible. Sometimes this works well and people live another few years. Sometimes it doesn't work quite so well. Either way, the rest of my days will be dominated by cancer treatment. I will also have to really try and make some pretty big lifestyle changes to give myself the very best of chances. 

I'm so lucky to be getting this news now, when there are so many advances being made in cancer-treatment.  If it is bad news, my job will be to take each day as it comes, and still be alive on the day they make the breakthrough in research that will stop my particularly cancer in it's tracks. 

However, nothing really awful is going to happen this morning. It's just a meeting, with words, and after being on tenterhooks for the  6 weeks since they first discovered these spinal lesions, whatever the news will be something of a relief, at least we'll know what we're facing, and can adjust accordingly. It's not actually going to change anything, other than what we know. 

This afternoon, though, is much more scary. I'm having that tooth pulled out. The one that's caused constant toothache for over a month. Needle-phobia is having a party at my expense - needles in my mouth is just so beyond terrifying. Then the noise as they pull it out - this tooth is far back so I'll really hear everything at a magnified volume. I thoroughly intend being a pathetic wuss afterwards for the rest of the evening. 

Actually, it was a bit of a stroke a genius to get the dental appointment for today. It really has been effective at completely putting the whole Pet Scan result moment in the shade - all week I've been dreading the dentist so much that there's been no spare capacity to worry about anything else. Superb distraction therapy. Plus, if it turns out to be a horrid bad news day, well lets get all the horrid stuff over with on the same day, no point in spoiling two perfectly lovely days when we can get away with spoiling one. If the news is great? Well, I'll be so happy that even a tooth extraction won't have the power to rain on my parade! 

Heads or tails? Tonight I'll know which way the dice fell. Whatever way up, knowing is always better than not knowing. 


  1. Sorry I missed this post due to the time difference between Ottawa and London. I only got to see your Facebook posts from today, when I got back from work tonight. It's 8pm here, 1am in London. I will send you a message on Facebook, with some information that will be 'food for thought'.
    As always Yvonne, love and hugs,
    Sharon, Ottawa xox

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  3. Yvonne, my thoughts are with you my dear. Sending a big tight virtual squeeze. Diane

  4. Sharon and Diane, thank you both so much for your kindness and concern. I'll update the blog when I get a moment to do it, but meanwhile I'll PM or DM you both too xx

  5. Dear Yvonne - thinking of you and sending all good vibes and a big hug. Your indomitable spirit is a shining light.
    Penny xxx

    1. Thank you Penny, you are lovely to say such nice things, Hope this blog post didn't worry you, it's from a year ago when I first learnt that the cancer had spread and was incurable, nothing's changed since then, and I'm coping pretty well with the realities of all of that now. xxx

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