If I live for another 15 years I will have the pleasure and privilege of seeing my nephew and niece celebrate their 21st Birthdays. If I live for another 12 years I will see them reach 18 years. I saw my Oncologist today for the results of my recent scans - not good - I was told I have 2-3 years left. I am feeling a bit numb at the moment - it has not really registered and I don't really want it to. I had been on oral chemo and a drip from October last year. I stopped the oral in February due to side effects and then stopped the infusion 6 weeks ago. My lung and liver mets have increased - especially the liver which they are mainly concerned about. I now go back on my oral chemo - Xeloda - only- for 3 weeks to see how my body copes/reacts, then another scan!! My Oncologist believes the Xeloda was keeping the mets under control and that the chemo was not really doing anything positive. So now with a bit of trial and error and elimination we will see how I respond to my original drug by itself. God I hope he is right - I want my 15 years and I will do everything in my power to hopefully make that happen. cancer is a disgusting word and an abominable disease
10 Comments
Contributor
Hi Cats, Postive vibes your way - you have 21st birthday parties to attend!!! Nicole xoxox
0 Kudos
Deceased
Hi CATS There is a really great article out there called "The Median is not the Message". It was written by the late Stephen J Gould, who survived twenty years with mesothelioma which has a median life expectancy of eight months. Just Google "Median is not the Message" and you will come up with lots of copies of it. Now back to reality. It is great to hope for another 12 - 15 years so that you can see your nephew and niece reach eighteen or twenty one. It might happen and I hope it does. The reality is that it is unlikely, so what other more realistic mileposts can you put in place? They are six now so they must have started school. So maybe a more realistic goal is to see them finish primary school - that is quite a transition for them. Or to see them achieve something that they want to achieve at their age. Smaller steps but ones that are big for them. I'm in much the same boat with my grandchildren. It is very unlikely that I will see them reach eighteen or twentyone. What I have told my oncologists is that I want to be alive, with a good quality of life, long enough for them to know what a grandfather is and to be able to do grandfather things with them that they will remember. In the meantime lets all hope that the Xeloda works in controlling the mets. Cheers Sailor Ah to throw off the shackles and fly with the seagulls To where the green waves tumble before a driving sea wind. Eric Bogle, Safe in the Harbour
0 Kudos
Contributor
Thanks Nicole - most of my friends have teenage and 20+ children and I get invited to their parties which is great BUT to attend the two most important parties, being realistic, thanks to advice given here,(by the wise water bird)! I think maybe I will keep it as a dream. But I will grasp your positive vibes and one never knows - as so many people have said to me - miracles do happen and the latest - nothing is incurable......
0 Kudos
Contributor
Thankyou sailor, once again you provide a commonsense approach and enable me to put things into perspective. I did read parts of The Median Is Not The Message - my Dad was given 6-8 months,he died 6 years after diagnosis - so I understand what you are saying. I totally agree with you - I too want a good quality of life for however long I have and know my two feisty little redheaded darlings will remember their 'crazy' Aunt. To see them finish Primary school is a good start - then we will see what the future holds after that. Thankyou again. You sometimes quote Eric Bogle - is he a singer or am I confusing him with someone - great quotes.
0 Kudos
Deceased
Hi CATS There is only one Eric Bogle and he has written and performed many great songs, one of them, being Safe in the Harbour. I like it so have quoted bits of it from time to time. The complete lyrics are a bit too long to put here, but the first verse and chorus are: Have you stood by the ocean on a diamond-hard morning And felt the horizon stir deep in your soul? Watched the wake of a steamer as it cut thru blue water And been gripped by a fever you just can't control? O to throw off the shackles and fly with the seagulls To where green waves tumble before a driving sea wind Or to lie on the decking on a warm summer evening Watch the red sun fall burning beneath the earth's rim But to every sailor comes time to drop anchor Haul in the sails and make the lines fast You deep water dreamer, your journey is over You're safe in the harbor at last Cheers Sailor
0 Kudos
Regular Contributor
Oh Cats, WHile my situation is so much different to yours, I think we all have that same reality to some extent. I remember saying in the Staffroom at school about a year before I was diagnosed that i would feel really ripped off if I were to die young as there was so much to do. At that stage I felt I had all the time in the world as my parents were in the 80s and in relatively good health and my grandmother lived until 92. Now ,I would also love to have 15 years as I retire in 2 years and would love some of that retirement time(paid a huge amount in Super for the past 30 odd years!). However, I also think that I would be content with 6 years to see my youngest son graduate from uni. We have reached one 21st this week but I would love another 5 to see the next. Grandchildren I don't know about! Anyway, I guess the point is that we strive for the goal and cherish what milestones we are allowed to enjoy. You're right - miracles do happen - all the time. Sailor, I do love that song that you quote. May we all be safe. S
0 Kudos
Contributor
Good luck CATS! Based on what I have read in your previous comments/blogs it sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your niece and nephew. Regardless of how long they have you 'in person' that relationship will be with them forever 'in spirit'. So keep building on it, keep treasuring their funny little ways, perhaps consider writing birthday cards for those future events, so that they will have something from you at their 13th/16th/18th/21st whatever it may be. You might be able to hand it to them in person, don't we all hope that is the case or if that is not possible, you have still got it 'covered'. Write them letters now, while you can, telling them how much you want to be there to celebrate with them at these events. That will be special to them whatever the future holds. Just something to think about........... Jill xo
0 Kudos
Contributor
Soooo sorry Cats for sounding flippant and upsetting you and others with your situation. I was really just trying to be positive - failed miserably obviously. The reality with my own situation is that I have a three year old and a five year prognosis. So my own 'realistic goal' is to see her start primary school - then to see her finish primary school - my dream is not that dissimilar to yours - to be at her 21st .........probably why your blog struck a chord with me. I do agree with Jill........Being a parent and not an aunt - I have begun the very difficult emotional process of gathering together a 'memory blanket box' for her 'just in case' things start to happen earlier - letters of advice, birthday cards and gifts. At the advice of a frind I found out that you can 'buy the naming rights to a star' which I have done which comes with a constellation chart which I think is quite nice - and I have gotten into scrapbooking about our time together and my life. This is an extremely difficult process - but wonderful at the same time and brings me a sense of peace when I know that it is there - I know from your previous discussions you have a councillor and I have had to work with mine to be able to do this - I wasnt ready before working with one. I think of people that have passed in my life and wish that I had something similar. You sound like an amazing Aunt - your niece and nephew are so very lucky to have you in their life - I am sure that you will always be a big part of their life......... I hope that this is more helpful than my last post, Nicole xoxoxo
0 Kudos
Super Contributor
Hey Cats So sorry to hear of your news, that sucks big time! I hope you are feeling a bit less numb by now and giving your cat plenty of cuddles. I have a very non cuddly cat coming to stay for 10 days. I told her last night she was coming to mine "for a little holiday" and i was gonna be boss - not her. lol I can live and dream! IT must be bloody hard not knowing if you are going to make the milestones you have set yourself. My pancreatic cancer friend is making a scrapbook with her daughter. It is just beautiful and contains memories they have of one another and i felt very special when she showed it to me. Thinking of you and sending hugs. Julie xo
0 Kudos
Contributor
Thanks Julie Enjoy cat sitting - you can make it wonderful or terrible - it is your choice!!! AND as for you being boss - sorry, won't happen!!
0 Kudos
Post new blog
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.