These last 14 days have seen my stomach tipped upside down, emptied of all contents, shaken vigorously, knotted multiple times with marine rope and finally today returned to its rightful position nestled between my oesophagus and my small intestine.
The big scary appointment was on Monday when I had a PET CT scan to see if there were any other cancerous hot spots lurking around. My Doctor; the ‘normal’ one who still gives me treats like prescriptions and cervical smear tests; not the one that nukes me, or the one that cuts out bits of me; well she explained that the PET scan will check to see how the cancerous cells are behaving, how fast they are turning over, as well as any other ‘hot spots’ of cancer gobbling glucose and behaving badly that might scupper our plans for surgery. And I would be injected with heavy metals, made to wee in a special loo and be restricted from kissing babies or pregnant women. And then after 90 minutes when they hoped I would sit still and wait for the radiation to circulate throughout my body, I was to lie down in the PET scanner with my hands above my head in the diving position and not move a muscle for 45 minutes. Sound good to you? Yes, me too…
So, my incredibly wonderful and trusting man, John decided that as scary as this appointment might be, I could still up the scary stakes a bit by driving the MG to Oxford for a bit of pre-scan fun. That’s the MG he recently bought as a project to do up, but since the cancer business returned, super fast tracked the repairs and got it insured (in my name!) taxed and on the road with its top down ready for me to drive us to The Churchill, Oxford.
“I didn’t know it went that fast” he casually remarked as it reached 110 mph and somewhat less calmly, “RACHEL, that’s reverse!” as I tried to change ‘up’ from 3rd gear to 4th, not realising I was already in 5th on the dual carriageway.
Anyway the rest went as planned. That’s if you can plan bumping into most of Holmer Green in a cancer centre of excellence in Oxford. Liz (we regularly play cancer and surgeon top trumps) was in for her 3 monthly CT scan and my next door neighbour was having a spot of radiotherapy.
Now, if you have kindly read this far, I can reward you with some pretty amazing news.
The cancer, on its return visit, is definitely confined to my liver. And, as far as my oncologist would commit himself, just in the right lobe. Ok he won’t say for sure it’s NOT in the left lobe. But no one can see anything yet. Apparently once you have had cancer, you don’t hear phrases like “It’s not there” or “it’s all gone” only “We can’t see anything” or “there is no evidence”… Still it’s the best sentence I have heard for the last 14 days!
And this means, I can go and visit my liver surgeon again next week on Tuesday to discuss how he is going to get the little squatters out of my liver. And pretty soon I hope. So no chemo for me, thank you very much. At least not before surgery. We still have to discuss the validity of mopping up again afterwards.
As ever, I have been overwhelmed with all your endless kindness and good wishes. My poor long suffering family and friends have gone through every step with me and continue to remind me why I love them so much and how lucky and blessed I am.
I will be sure to bring you more news from the liver factory next week. In the meantime, amuse yourself with my holiday snaps! Much love x