This is my first blog, I have visited this site for the last two years to give me strength and hope in what I can only describe as a nightmare journey .......... but today is a good day and I would like to share my story with you in the hope that it will give someone else out there hope.
Just over 2 years ago, just after my 50th birthday, my Husband of 32 years experienced shoulder pain which is no unusual as he was a Tradesman.
X Rays and a visit to emergency and he was told he had a "Frozen Shoulder". Three months of acupuncture, massage etc. (no pain no gain theory) did not help.
Finally in March '10 he had an MRI, the next day we received the call from the Rhuemotologist "You have a tumour" and he needed to see my Husband today.
What followed was something out of a TV show, he told us that the tumour (bone) had eaten away the scapula (shoulder) and that it was aggressive as 3 months before the X Ray showed the shoulder intact. He told us we had to go to the Cancer centre the next day as appointments had been made with Surgeon, Oncologist ..... we were in shock.
The next couple of days were a blur ... the tumour was 17cm in diameter (the size of a rock melon - their description)and after a Pet scan & bisopsy was found to be Non Hodgkins Lymphoma of the Bone, a rare form of this cancer with less than 1% presenting with this.
Within a week he was having Chemo and the fight began. After 6 rounds of Chemo he started blacking out and we continued with radiation.
For a while we thought we were getting the upper hand, but no The Triffids (my nickname for it) had other ideas and decided nothing was going to kill them off.
In March '11 we were told the only way to save his life was to have a Forequarter Amputation (Arm & Shoulder) and it had to be done that week.
It does not take much imagination for those of you out there with your own battle to comprehend what we were going through at this stage.
The op was done on 31st March and the true drastic nature of what had been done really hit home. Rehab followed, learning how to walk (balance), he lost his right side (right handed), feed himself, write, dress .. the tasks have been endless
They hope they have it all and signs to date are positive (next round of Scans next month).
Despite Friends and Family helping us out, we have had to close our business and rent out our home.
My Husband has a fantastic outlook and not once has he asked why me, instead making the statement that at least he is still here.
We are trying to take away some positives, he can sleep in a bed for the first time in 18 months! (slept in recliner previously), we can dare to think about tomorrows.
And today he left for his first day back at work in two years in his modified vehicle (provided by funds from a benefit night from the local Soccer Club for which he had been President for 7 years), teaching his Trade at Tafe. It is only one class a week for now, but who knows. For someone who was told he would never work again I think it is an amazing achievement.
I know that our journey is far from over and that it can change at anytime, but for today I am going to savour the moment and maybe this blog may give inspiration in the same way you have all given it to me over the last two years.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.