I am at the beginning of what is going to be a long and difficult journey.
Since my diagnosis on 22 February I cannot help thinking I am in a dreadful nightmare and I am going to wake up to find none of it is real, unfortunately, no luck in this regard. I have been fortunate to have always kept extremely good health, so much so that I have taken it for granted; that illusion has been well and truly shattered.
Today I commenced radiotherapy and chemotherapy and despite my trepidation about having to take six tablets a day; 3 after breakfast and 3 after dinner; I handled the medication better than I could ever have imagined. Bouyed by my success, I went to the hospital for my first radiotherapy treatment, which was a piece of cake. It is only the first day but thus far all seemed to be going well; then this illusion was also shattered when I saw the radio oncologist after my treatment.
She informed me that the PET and MRI had shown suspicious lesions in the liver which they believed were metastasis from the rectal cancer. Suddenly my optimism and hope collapsed; I still hadn't come to terms with the prospect of surgery and having a temporary colostomy that is to follow the chem/radiotherapy; now I was being hit with another complication. My sister, who was with me, burst into tears but I was too shell shocked to show any emotion; I was still hoping this was just another nightmare that I would waken from. Suddenly my stage A or B low grade cancer had become a D and despite the assurances of the doctor and nurse I am very afraid of what the future holds and whether or not I will survive.
On Friday the medical oncologist, radio oncologist, colorectal surgeon and liver surgeons are meeting to discuss my case and what the best treatment options are. My present treatment will continue as planned as will the surgery to remove the tumour from the rectum but I am possibly facing surgery on the liver as well as another course of chemotherapy; it is all very frightening and daunting.
Tomorrow is day two of 25 treatments and I hope I am able to tolerate the treatments with minimal side effects; I will keep you posted as I continue this frightening journey through uncharted territory.
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