I was first diagnosed in 2004, around about March and I was first in remission on August 26th that year. That lasted until 2007, then 2013 then 2016. There’s been an inevitability to it that means cancer has shaped a designed on my life as indelibly as a tattoo.
For 13 years, that’s over a quarter of my life, I have lived with Cancer. That’s:
- 4 diagnoses
- 5 surgeries related to cancer
- 20 hours under general anaesthetic
- 34 nights in hospital
- 42 Scans (CT, PET, MRI and Ultrasound)
- 50 hours of therapy
- 83 lymph glands removed
- 360 hours of chemotherapy
- More needles than I can count
- And over 2 years of knowing that I had Cancer but not being able to treat it until it got large enough to locate.
I’ve chosen to live my life a certain way, it may not be the right way for some or all or any but it is the right way for me and those I care about. It’s a life filled with adventures and physical challenges, empowerment, support and achieving some wonderful things. It’s meeting so many wonderful inspiring people who make me want to be more and better.
But there is another side of my life that I don’t share but is as important to understanding what Life with Cancer is. It’s this list, it’s these numbers, it’s the insecurity and the anxiety, it’s the sadness and the depression, it’s the sense of hopelessness and inevitability about being ill again about the waiting for the phone to ring or another hospital waiting room.
Life with Cancer is about surviving the thousands of little cuts that debilitate you so you can focus on the bits that make life worth living.