Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster. I started the day in a very dark place, crying for much of the morning and feeling terrified about my mortality. I was also frustrated that I was being dripped bombshells but no one was really giving me any straight answers. My best friend Tina came in in the morning and also a friend who I hadn't seen for about six years; it was lovely to see them, but I was exhausted by the time they left and so tried to have a nap. I woke up an hour later feeling like crap, in a hot, noisy ward. I suddenly felt very claustrophobic, and with the lilac curtains drawn around me, I felt like I was in a purple prison. My boyfriend came back from his coffee, and I said, "Get me out of here now, I need air, I feel like walls are closing in." We went downstairs to get some air, which made me feel better, but I knew that I needed to get out of here as I am going stir crazy. I am surrounded by people who are visited by noisy families and old people with dementia who keep calling out. Added to that the fact that I can't sleep in this place and I feel like I am going a bit nuts!
Yesterday, I asked for people to send me healing, and wow! It made such a huge difference. My sister and brother-in-law came to visit me with my cute-as-hell niece, and we had a nice chilled out afternoon catching up. As the afternoon wore on I noticed that my energy had changed considerably and I felt very calm and positive. The biggest thing that I noticed though was that my pain was really subsiding in a way that the painkillers were just not doing. I was able to breathe in and really fill my lungs without pain and the constant spasms in my liver were subsiding to a point where I felt really quite comfortable and was able to move much more. In fact when my friend Tim came in to see me later on, he said I looked so much better and was moving much more freely and easily. So thank you so much for sending all that amazing, positive, healing energy, it's working. Please, please keep sending it. I have woken this morning after having no pain relief all night and have very little pain.
I believe that all of this positive energy set me up to cope with the visit that I received from the oncologist yesterday evening to give me the bottom line.
He came to visit me about 8:30 p.m. and he told me that the bottom line is that chemo is my only option, as they can't operate to remove tumors. I said that I wanted to consider all of my options and look at natural ways of healing, as I really don't want chemo. His response was abundantly clear... He told me that I do not have the luxury of time to explore options and make decisions. I have advanced liver cancer and basically, if I don't start chemo immediately, I am a dead woman.
Oh, right! You have my attention.. The cancer in my liver is very bad, the lung is not so much of a concern as I am not having symptoms, but my liver is really struggling, and I need to start treatment immediately. I didn't argue. There are times when you need to shut the hell up and listen, and this is one of those times. I asked him what the prognosis was for this type of cancer, and his response was, "If I tell you what the average life expectancy is, I can't un-tell you," so I decided that I didn't want to know. I will just put all my fighting spirit into this and draw on the spirit and energy of all of those around me.
I quizzed him about the chemo and from what I can gather, it won't be as horrendous as the last lot I had. They will not be giving me killer doses but aiming to help me feel better and slow down the growth of the cancer. It appears that I have a talent for growing aggressive cancer, a talent I would rather not have! My boyfriend says that cancer loves me a lot, as he does! I may not even lose my hair... here's hoping. But quite frankly, that's the least of my worries. I hope that I will be able to carry on with reasonable normality, I have a business to run! I think this will really help me to keep going and stay positive.
I am genuinely astonished that I have had no symptoms and was completely unaware that I had such an aggressive tumor growing in my liver. I have been doing some serious, heavy weight training in the gym and really pushing myself. I guess the fact that I eat healthily and don't eat sugar, dairy or gluten has meant that my liver has not been under a huge deal of pressure. I went to my friend's engagement party on Saturday night and drank a lot, and I think that may have saved my life, as it blew my liver out and it decided it had had enough, rather than a slow shut down, which would probably have not shown symptoms until it was too late. I have felt a bit tired at times, but nothing too bad and to be honest, I just put it down to the rubbish weather.
I feel strangely calm about all of this. I guess now I know the bottom line and when treatment starts, I have some certainty. I am still going to explore natural treatment to support my body and see how I get on. The first task is to switch to a completely alkaline diet, which from what I can gather is basically a vegan diet. I understand nutrition and supporting my body far better than I did the first time round, where I ate all of the wrong things. By supporting my body as much as possible, I hope to make the chemo less traumatic.
My biggest fear is that I will lose my fertility. I have just started to have periods again after the last lot of chemo, and I was so happy that there is a chance that I could conceive naturally once I came off the Tamoxifen. I asked the consultant about this and asked if I could speak to the fertility doctors and save some eggs. The bottom line is that I may not be able to harvest any as my periods are not at all regular yet and time is not a luxury I have. Apparently, the drug that I will have is not known to have such a detrimental effect on my ovaries, but as it's a fairly new drug, they don't really have any track record. So it's Russian roulette with my fertility. But I guess adopting is a better option than being dead! I can at least stop taking the Tamoxifen now as it clearly didn't work!
I am able to go home today, subject to the pain team giving me a suitable cocktail to keep the pain under control, which is a huge relief as I can get out of this hot, purple prison and actually have some sleep. I did sleep better last night but I am exhausted and I need to be in my own surroundings to process and come to terms with all that I am dealing with.
I am in fighting mode and I have my Shera energy (childhood cartoon characters HeMan and Shera). What a week.
Until next time... x