In August 2018 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. After chemotherapy, radiotherapy and two surgeries, I was told it had been eradicated. I have a stoma, complete removal of my rectum and most of the lower bowel. They tested 19 lymph nodes, all clear. I have another endoscopy which found a single polyp which was removed, my many blood tests all showed no cancer markers, scans of my abdomen confirmed no cancer.
In August 2020 I was hospitalised with pneumonia. I had a CAT scan which showed three tumours in my left lung - cancer. Then a lung cancer expert told me a week later it was almost certainly not cancer. Then a PET scan confirmed it was cancer and also a tumour in my right adrenal gland. It hasn't spread anywhere else, so the pneumonia was a blessing in disguise.
So its been a roller-coaster. Significantly, I never saw that expert again.
So, I am getting chemo again, then we will see how well its working (it seems to be - I can breathe without a whistle at the end of each breath).
So, I am responding as I did the first time, with dark humour, talking to friends who have had cancer, sharing online with everyone what's going on. My partner has been magnificent, my friends are great.
So, I feel I have plenty of support, but my big concern is my elderly parents, they are scared witless and it is draining to sound cool and collected when I give them my weekly updates, as well as calling them every time I have a medical appointment. They basically need an update on EVERYTHING and I am finding it draining after a seven hour chemo session to ring them when I get home and tell them everything I have been through that day.
Any suggestions on setting boundaries?
I am very sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with cancer again.
Like yourself, I've never felt the need to hide the fact that I've had cancer. I am quite open about it with everyone. Talking about it and laughing about it helps everyone (including ourselves) cope with what is happening and going on in our lives. It's a good release, but I guess that it also comes down to the type of person that we are.
In regards to your parents, at the end of the day they are just worried about you.
Ultimately you know your parents best, but I would suggest being reasonably direct and honest.
Explain to them that after the chemo you are emotionally and physical exhausted (I know I was) and that you will talk to them the next day after your treatment. Or maybe if they are really concerned that you will send them an SMS after the treatment that lets them know that you are OK, and you will then talk to them the next day.
I hope this helps.
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