Oops, I hit the wrong button, will start again.
A week and a day ago my husband was a person living with cancer, who had sailed through chemo treatment with hardly any time off work. Scan results were showing his primary oesophageal tumour was barely evident and peritoneal cancer hadn't changed from scan in August.
A week ago our lives changed forever when he was diagnosed with an aggressive 4 1/2 cm secondary tumour on his brain (right frontal lobe) with a lot of swelling.
I had noticed mood swings and some personality changes in the last couple of months, he had been quite unpredictable in his responses. I put it down to stress, he hadn't been talking to anyone about his cancer and how he felt about it, so I thought he was just 'overloaded'.
Two weeks ago, he had a big week, played golf 2 days in a row with nights out after each (an annual event with work colleagues). He went to work next day and then had a sleep study that night (Tuesday) to determine if he sufferred from sleep apnoea. Wednesday he was tired, Thursday morning he played golf again, then had meetings in the afternoon and Friday he worked most of the day.
I expected him to be tired, but he was falling asleep at the drop of a hat, he also mentioned that he had a headache start on the Tuesday night and it stayed with him for the week.
I thought maybe he was a bit dehydrated. Thursday he met me to pick up my new car, when he arrived he wasn't himself, he seemed very vague and didn't seem to be understanding/comprehending as normal.
He thought it was Friday and then forgot that he needed to sign some more papers, (which obviously he shouldn't have done-in hindsight) immediately after he had been told that he had to stay to sign them.
Alarm bells were starting to ring. I asked him not to play golf on Saturday morning as it was forecast 37'C. He said he would be fine.
He didn't finish the round, came home early and slept.
Sunday morning he slept in till 10.30ish then while I was out hanging out washing, he got up and got dressed in his work clothes preparing to go to the office. He thought it was Monday. Now I was really scared, this was real confusion on his part. He was adamant that it was Monday and that our sons and I had no idea when we were telling him otherwise.
I convinced him eventually and he got changed, got into bed and then slept the rest of the day.
Monday morning he got up and went for his 6km walk with a friend but didn't take our dog. That was very unusual. As he was sitting at the breakfast bar eating breakfast he was falling asleep.
He went back to bed and I took our boys to school. On my way home I phoned the oncologist's rooms and told them what had been happening over the last week. They agreed he should come in for a head CT, it was booked for that afternoon.
Immediately he came out from the scan, I was told that they had found a 'lesion' and that there was a lot of swelling and they wanted him to be admitted immmediately. They had phoned his oncologist and we were to wait till he rang back.
I knew it was serious, I had no idea how serious.
It was all making sense now, the mood swings, the forgetfulness, the unpredictability, the vagueness, fatigue, headache and confusion.
A week ago today I was told that he may have 2-3 months, that treatment is to try and minimize the effects of the tumour, to try and provide quality of life, rather than extend life.
He has had 3 radiation therapy sessions, with 7 more to follow. His headache has gone and the confusion/vagueness has reduced, which is all good. His thought processing is affected, as his memory ability. He doesn't believe there is anything wrong, he feels normal and good. He can hold a conversation really well, it just isn't always accurate, in his mind it is.
Five days ago I was told he is not deemed 'competent'. I wonder if he ever will be again?
How I would love to be able to turn the clock.
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.