It is the 26th of April 2017.. a normal working day for most readers.. but not for me..
Less than 4 months after being told i am in remission.. on the 26th of April 2017.. Today.. Yes today.. I hear the most shocking news..
I was on my to go shopping with my mum when I received a random unexpected phone call from a receptionist in the ultrasound department of my hospital.. telling me she needed to book me in for a urgent biopsy of my lump.. a lump I wasn’t aware of.. a biopsy no one had mentioned.. i soon come to know over the phone that a scan i had recently showed that my cancer has most probably come back..
Here i am again.. reliving a nightmare.. a nightmare I thought i had woken up from.. but.. not so soon..
How ironic.. this time last year.. the 29th of April 2016 to be exact i was given the same news as today… but in a very different way..
So here we go again… this is how it all began and how it unraveled…
But first a quick catch up.. I have been away for what seems forever.. this blog is my best outlet during difficult times.. i feel i avoid it at all costs when i am well…
Since my last post i have been very busy.. living life to the full.. i travelled with my mum to Malta, went to Kuwait and Lebanon for a funeral and I returned to work on March the 1st.. oh and ofcourse i planned for my wedding.. my wedding which i booked for this summer..
Those who saw me always commented how well i looked.. to the world i was begining to look normal again.. my face more bright, my smile wide.. i was going out.. doing the normal day to day stuff..
How decieveing can looks be.. behind my smile a lot was going on..
Towards the begining of March – two months after i was told i was in remission, i began to develop lower neck pain especially on swallowing.. this went on for about three weeks so I saw my consultant.. i was sent for blood tests which came back abnormal – one of my blood tests a marker for inflammation was high – as it was last year before my diagnosis.. my consultant sent me to have them repeated incase the sample was wrong..
All along i was telling myself surely this blood test is abnormal because of some sort of infection i have.. at the back of my mind i had these on and off thoughts of “what if” (fearing the worst).. but each time id batter my thoughts away.. laughing at myself.. saying “dont be ridiculous”…
Less than a week later from seeing my consultant i broke out in a wide spread rash all over my body.. a rash which was intensely itchy, but it would come and go.. it behaved exactly like an urticarial rash (hives).. i kept saying “its just hives”.. again there was that niggling “what if” thought.. but “no dont be silly” i’d convince myself.. this is a proper rash.. its different..
I don’t know whether im such a positive person that i try to find an alternative explanation to everything.. or whether i am a simply naive patient..
So again i was seen by my doctors.. after trying three different tablets we found one that helped calm my rash.. but my consultant seemed slightly more concerned than before.. concerned enough to suggest we get a scan.. I clearly remember him telling me “i am sorry for putting you through this scan again, your a young lady and you’ll be exposed to more radiation, but I can’t justify not scanning you”.. he had an excellent manner and genuinely seemed to care which i found very comforting.. I remember telling him “im sure this isn’t lymphoma”… I was convinced he was over reacting..but i agreed to go ahead with the scan anyway.. every single inch in me was positive the scan would be fine.. 100% positive..
On the 20th of April i went for the PET scan.. i was fortunate enough to bump into Michelle the lovely radiographer who had looked after me before.. we caught up had a chat.. I remember telling her how sure i was my scan would be fine.. i was due to see my consultant a week later for the result (today)..
My appointment with my consultant to find out the result of my scan finally came.. today.. it was scheduled for 16:20 which meant i had plenty of time to go shopping.. my amazing friends had surprised me with a hen-do they have booked for me.. the plan was to fly out this Friday (two days time) to a resort in Turkey.. i was so excited.. going in for the result of my scan was not worrying me at all.. i was confident all would be good.. but just going to the appointment was mere inconvenience..i wanted all day to prepare for my upcoming trip…
So i was with my mum, driving towards our local shopping centre when I received a random call.. it was the receptionist from the ultrasound department.. she said she was calling to book me in for the biopsy of my lump… biopsy? What biopsy? Lump? I was convinced she was mistaken.. not me.. “i have no lumps” i told her.. but she was adamant im the right patient.. i struggled to process what she was saying and told her i was shocked as this is the first time i hear of a lump.. no one had told me.. i was in complete shock.. i could barely finish my sentance.. i told her i needed to speak to my doctors and ended the call swiftly.. sitting in my mums car i tried to gather my thoughts.. i felt my mind was racing like a bipolar person going through a manic phase.. my phone then rand again..
This time a doctor introduced himself and explained he was the consultant radiologist.. he apologised for the phonecall that was made to me and explained that they thought my haematology team would have contacted me by now to break the news to me.. still in total shock i explained to him how i am a doctor and a biopsy means there is something wrong.. i urged him to explain to me what is going on.. I couldn’t wait a few more hours to see me consultant haematologist.. i needed to know now.. i listened as he told how my scan which i had a week ago wasn’t good news.. it had shown changes which suggest my cancer is back.. which meant i needed a urgent biopsy.. he asked me if I could come in at 13:15 for the biopsy.. shutting my phone and in total disbelief i told my mum and we made a U turn and drove back home…
I went in a 13:15 today and had 3 samples taken from my necks.. a ultrasound guided biopsy.. the consultant radiologist showed me on the ultrasound all my abnormal looking lymph nodes.. he explained they look cancerous and they are back in the same places as before.. i am still in shock.. i feel as i am writing i am numb.. there is not much emotion in my writing.. i am just in shock..
After my biopsies i was seen by my haematologist.. the conversation we had was the exact same conversation as last year.. she told me my scan shows that i have most probably relapsed.. I should expect the worse.. the biopsy samples taken today will confirm the news.. in the mean time i need further tests to prepare me for chemotherapy.. yes.. chemotherapy.. chemotherapy again…
My mum fiance and close friend were by my side today in hospital.. at home there is this silence.. an unspoken sadness.. i feel every wall and every piece of furniture is mourning this painful news with us…
Two of my best friends came over to see me today.. i told them how i feel i only just briefly managed to inhale some fresh air after finishing chemo.. i didnt get to enjoy that fresh air i inhaled.. i havnt been given the chance to be happy to get married.. my wedding which we have booked and paid.. my beautiful hair which has began growing out.. here i am again.. history repeating itself..
Some of you may read this and think why am i so negative.. why am I writing prematurely when my biopsy result isnt back yet.. but until you walk in my shoes you will never understand me.. today i have been told enough and seen enough to know whats coming next..
Its tough.. i feel last year i had more time to process the news.. this time the way it was broken to me.. the unexpectedness.. it just makes it that much more bitter..
I genuinely believe there is a good reason behind everything… i am very positive i will be back on my feet in no time.. i will still go on my hen-do as this may be my last trip in forever.. but on a positive note you never know what the biopsy might show.. miracles happen..
I pray and hope for a miracle.. I pray and pray.. it will take a miracle..
But if its confirmed i have cancer.. i will beat it again and again.. i will never give up.. never..