Well here we are on Boxing Day 2020 and Christmas is technically over. I could start off by reminiscing about the good things and the not so good of 2020 – but we don’t really need to go there – do we! But what a fecking year!!
So since I last updated my blog I have had another lot of scans in November. Time seemed to go so fast in between these two scans but so much had happened. My MRI scan of my brain showed a really good response to the last treatment on the four small tumours that they had found – and there was no sign of them. The main tumour site was also stable and the small change that was detected previously they put down to scar tissue. For the first time this year my brain was stable and I could relax. I was so relieved. When I have received my results in the past, I have accepted what they had said be it good or bad and immediately I have looked towards the next scan or thinking about the other scan results. But for the first time I was actually genuinely happy, I was smiling and thought this could be okay. My PET scan results however showed a small tumour in my liver that was showing more activity than they would have liked. So for the first time in over a year the cancer has returned to my liver. I knew that this could happen as there is still no cure for Stage 4, but I wasn’t expecting it. I haven’t really worried about the cancer in the other parts of my body so this was a bit of a reality check. So my options mentioned at that time and following their MDT meeting was sterostatic radiation treatment to the tumour or cyro-ablation. Following an MRI scan it not only showed up the one tumour but also another 3! What is it with me and the number 4?!! But thankfully the other 3 are ‘sleeping’. So the medical professionals opinion now was to take a wait and see approach. Initially I accepted what he was saying but after processing the information I became upset, scared and angry. I was angry – why was I being left? Why weren’t they going to do something? So I spoke to my oncologist the following day when I was having my Herceptin treatment this week. He explained things really well and I felt much more comfortable with the situation after talking to him. He said that I WAS having treatment through my Herceptin and Pertuzamab and that systemic treatment was the best course of action to take as there is no cure for stage 4. He said that he didn’t want to change my treatment until he absolutely had to so as not to exhaust our options too soon. When we discussed the topic of time he said we were still talking years, but that is a question that he cannot give a definitive answer to, infact no doctor can – only god. So I have to trust in my oncologist and the cancer specialists in Bristol and I will keep fighting and doing everything I possibly can to help myself.
I am on a really supportive page on Facebook for women who like me have Stage 4 Secondary Breast Cancer. We are all at different points along this journey. It is so great to have people who really understand what you are going through and can help support you along the way. One lady advised me to “live in today and tomorrow you deal with when it comes.” This reminded me of what I have said in several of my previous blogs and how I am trying to live my life with cancer. Living in the moment. It is so very important, especially now as noone really knows what is going to happen, and I don’t want to waste time worrying about things that may not happen and enjoy life to the full – spending time with loved ones, people who are important to me and making many more memories.
These two pictures show me on Boxing Day 2019 and today.
As we begin to prepare for the end of this year, I think about those who have lost loved ones or who’s loved ones are suffering – whether that be from Covid-19, Cancer or any other illness. As I reflect I am thankful that I am still here, and will keep fighting all the way. Others have not been so lucky. So count your blessings. Think of what you do have instead of what you don’t. Whether you are in Tier 2 or Tier 4 we have so much to be thankful for – sometimes we just need a reminder, a moment to think about what is it that is really important to us. So as we face an uncertain 2021 be thankful, stay safe and take care of one another.