Hi Sybs, Sounds like you've spent a lot of time thinking about this (as you do). How did your face to face meeting go? I hope it all went as you were hoping. Long replies are good. I think we all enjoy hearing about how others are going. -s
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One month ago, as a 73 year old female, I was living quite happily on my own in a small, rented unit, doing my morning walks and taking heaps of photos (one of my passions). The result of on MRI taken on 21 August 2020 changed all that in a jiffy. What I thought was going to be 1 night stay in Cairns Hospital turned into 2 weeks at Cairns and Townsville Hospitals, with the above diagnosis, inoperable, no biopsy as it would have had a similar risk factor as full on surgery - thanks but no thanks. Now I have been back home in Cairns for two weeks, and things are going south very fast indeed. Almost complete lack of sleep at night, maybe 2 - 3 hours max, and then my latest mate, pain, takes over. During the day I am constantly nodding off, coming to again with more pain. At the moment I am not having any treatment, but am thinking of having a go at some palliative chemo, maybe it manages to shrink the mass a bit and relieve the pressure on the affected nerves, I might get lucky, who knows. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my GP and a specialist nurse go come up with a care plan - hope I'll make it, since today is not one of my best days (just joking)! Whatever the result of that appointment, I will be asking for a referral to the Cairns Hospital oncology and palliative care units. Why? because I have been incredibly impressed by the care I was given by all the staff at Cairns and Townsville Hospitals - I felt completely looked after. How do I feel about this latest challenge in my life-journey? Well, for one, although having traveled a lot both for work and adventure, this is one journey I did not plan - but then who does? 30 years ago I had cancer, and was lucky enough to get away with it without chemo / radio as it was discovered just in time and had not spread. However since then, maybe every few years, I would dream that I would be back in hospital with cancer - so the diagnosis did not come as a surprise. I am looking at this new challenge as a process to get through. I am not angry, I don't take it personally, so I am not wasting emotional energy fighting some unseen enemy. As far as I am concerned it's a matter of problem solving, and finding the best possible outcome. And as far as the "best possible outcome" is concerned, that's of course very personal and depends on our value / belief systems. One of my neighbours is going to be my carer and hopefully we'll sort out the paperwork for that within the next couple of days - she just dropped in to say hello. My oldest friend lives up the beaches, but we are in touch as much as I like - she understands that I don't want to be constantly bombarded with "how are things" messages 😃 When I don't feel like grocery shopping I just order Coles online home delivery - easy!! I still enjoy cooking and eating, and hopefully that lasts a bit longer. Mind you, I miss a good glass of wine with my evening meals - but there will definitely be one last blow out before all this is over 😂 I feel very calm
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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.