Monday, 17 August 2015

I've had the results of my scans

I've had the results of my scans......

We had been fairly petrified of what we were going to hear, a bad result meant we could be given a scenario of how many years I had left, but praise the Lord and hallelujah, the results were, no secondaries! This means my cancer has been contained, so my surgery and chemo etc should all be effective at knocking it on the head! (We will need to wait until treatment is finished for those results). So at this moment, after the scan results, I am very grateful and much relieved!

But....

I have to say "But". Why? Not because I am the most negative, pessimistic soul ever, but because I am a realist. I like to have all my facts and figures, know what the reality is, decide on my course of action. I also say "But" because I need to look after everyone around me. I need to be careful with their emotions and feelings. I care for them because they care for me. If after my treatment, I was to say I'm "all clear" they will quite rightly rejoice and feel relieved!! However if after 1 year, 5 years or 10 years, my cancer comes back, they may think, she told me she was all clear, what has she done to herself? Did she not look after herself? Didn't she do all the correct things she was supposed to do? I know they may think this, because I've thought it myself of other people. Have you not been a little bewildered by people you've known who have gone through all the chemo etc and said they've beaten it, but a year or so later it returned? I was. I now know that it comes from a complete lack of understanding of how breast cancer behaves, or rather misbehaves! This is how it goes, the surgery, chemo and radiotherapy should kill off anything that exists. The hormone and targeted therapies will help to reduce the risk of recurrence. So BC can then just decide to pop up again either as a repeat of the first time or as secondaries in other parts of the body. This is where my "But" comes in, I know my statistics, I am aware. I have less chance of recurrence than someone who smokes dying prematurely, 50% of smokers will. Most smokers live in a dream world of denial. I'm not in denial. If cancer dares to strike me again in the future, I will be prepared. If I told people it was beaten and then it came back, how puzzled and mystified would they feel? I have accepted, that albeit in the low percentages of chance, there is a possibility it could return, the rate is approx 25%. (To all smokers out there, look at me and realise that I have a better chance of living longer than you!!! That might make you give up!!). The recurrence rate is roughly the same for all Breast Cancer club members. It's the only cancer where you can't say after five years it's all clear, because it can come back after even 20 years! You can however, say that your cancer has been treated. Treated and cured, I have learned, are two different things. Now please believe me when I say I am incredibly positive and I am not being negative in any way, I am just being realistic. I have a future. A future filled with laughter and love, my future. What this future will have to contain though is for any lumps, bumps, aches or pains that arise, I will have to view them with a little more suspicion. Now trust me, I can handle that! The answer I will be looking for is, there is nothing wrong. I will not be spending my life thinking it may be cancer, now that is negative! However it is a conundrum, looking for lumps and aches all the time is negative, but ignoring them is negative! What's the one thing that we are all persistently told? Examine yourself, get it checked out. So why then after a diagnosis would you not follow that advice? It is the most positive action ever. I've saved my life once already by finding my lump in time, I'm definitely up for saving it again should those pesky blighters dare to return!! I believe taking a pro-active stance is positive. This can't be viewed as having a negative outlook. So when I say I have "no secondaries...But" you now know that it's a positive thing to say "But", it will help those around me to deal with possible future shock and most importantly, it may well just save my life! Again.