5 years since diagnosis

posted in: Cancer 0

It’s coming up to 5 years since Husband was diagnosed with cancer. Its a cliché but time goes so very quickly. He says that when he was first diagnosed he half thought he’d die within a year. He could have done. Yet he’s had 5 years. It goes so quickly, though, especially when you’re working hard.

We’re coming up to his three month blood test. He feels and looks well but we never know what the cancer is doing. If we don’t know and can even forget about it at times then we are really blessed.

COVID continues to spread uncertainty and fear around the world. It comes to something when cancer isn’t the scariest thing in town. It’s impossible to plan anything and that in itself is stressful. A business expert advised on television that businesses should write off 2020, just survive as best they can and plan for better times next year. Good advice for anyone fortunate enough to be able to do that.

If Husband’s blood results are stable we won’t care about anything else.

We’re waiting for a call from the hospital. At least we’re not having to wait in the corridor of despair at the hospital. We sit nervously around the telephone well past the appointment time. They must be busy. That’s so sad. We try to talk about work but can’t focus. One step at a time. Cancer monitoring appointment. I’ve been feeling increasingly sick all day as we wait. There’s always so much waiting with cancer.

I look at him. He looks so well that it’s almost possible to forget the cancer, to not see it. But it’s there.

The phone rings. It’s the nurse practitioner. “Your results are grand”, she tells him. The haemoglobin has gone down by .2 but we know that that’s ‘not statistically relevant’ as they always tell us. Every .1 is relevant pyschologically though. It’s just never good to see numbers go in the wrong direction, however slightly. Each .1 has quite an impact, however hard we try. The platelets are also down but not by much (331 down from 354), white cells are up and, most annoyingly, the proteins are up by .6. They went up by .4 a few months ago and then went back down so there’s no clear cause for concern.

The next test will be important in giving an indication as to any possible trend. Husband remarked, “It won’t be good if they’re up again next time” but we know that for now the numbers are still good – 3.4. That’s less than a tenth of the protein test result pre-chemo – 43. These results indicate some stability and that’s something to be very very grateful for.

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