Here we go again, we're at that part of my disease roller coaster, where my stomach area is starting to feel more crowded than a gay bar would if Madonna did a special appearance. I have a tumour in the centre of my upper abdomen near my stomach that causes me to regurgitate my food. I have basically been regurgitating everything that I eat or drink lately and it's painful to wear a bra as it puts pressure on one of my tumours in particular. Once again my ass is harder to break into than the Tower of London, I'm taking more laxatives than an entire community would take in an old age home and I'm still sitting on the toilet praying to the shit Gods for just one pebble, just one plop! I don't think I'm asking for much.....am I? For once it would just be nice to take a crap like a normal human being, without having to insert enough dynamite up my ass to blow up the Isle of Wight.
My palliative doctor advised that we should contact my radiation oncologist to see if he'd be willing to do more radiation on that spot. As we were driving to the consultation today, I knew things had grown, as every bump or sharp turn hurt and caused massive discomfort. My mum was trying to drive so carefully that she could have been confused for Morgan Freeman when he was driving Miss Daisy.
So I hobbled into the hospital, a little slower than usual, took my seat in the waiting room of "Fear", I understand that most people in the waiting room are there for treatment and they are completely curable, but for me walking into the oncology day procedure ward, is like walking into a room full of your old exes and your mortal enemies. It's extremely nerve racking and uncomfortable, I get butterflies in my stomach before I even walk through the doors and I squirm nervously trying to avoid seeing people who are bald and going in for their treatment. It's just too raw, I can't handle the thought of what these people are about to go through. The memories of Chemo will be imbedded in my mind until the day I die, taking up residence like they have squatters rights.
My friend Aleana was staying the night at my place the night before, so she was present at the appointment and I told her to come in with Mum and I to the consultation, which she was unsure about, but I assured her my radiation oncologist would be totally fine with it and he was.
We sat down and he proceeded to look at the scans on the computer, pointing out each tumour and measuring them in front of us, discussing how solid they were and which ones had grown or remained the same and my feelings were confirmed, the tumour located in the area I'm feeling the pain has indeed grown and next came the big question..........so can we radiate and if we can, do you think it will work?
Drum roll please...........YES!!!!! We can try more radiation on that spot, but he doesn't believe it will stop the regurgitation and it's really just a gamble that it will make any difference to my discomfort, but if you don't try you can't succeed, the same as if don't try you can't fail, so while I can still have it, I'll have it. There will come a time that I can no longer do radiation, the body actually remembers where it's had radiation before and the organs around that area become more sensitive to being damaged, the body can also get used to it and become radiation resistant or it can also cause more serious or painful side effects, such as stomach ulcers.
When we left the appointment I went to the front desk to pay for my consult and my friend Aleana and Mum stepped away out of my sight. When I returned Aleana had been crying, you see for Mum and I we've almost become numb to these sort of consultations, unless we hear that's it, no more treatment is available or treatment will no longer improve your situation, which we have heard on previous occasions, we probably won't react in any other way than calmly listening to the Doctor and trying to process the information, but for Aleana this was the first time she had seen this, she had never seen the extent of my disease in actual life size pictures, she had never heard all of the big words and she couldn't quite figure how I could walk out of that meeting smiling and not crying. For me that was a great consultation, he said yes and unless he says no, I'm not going to cry, even though I've been completely shitting myself the last few days with the pain I've been in.
Aleana was also present in the resus room at the Emergency Department with Dad and I in March, as Mum was in Ireland, when the doctor said he didn't know if I was going to make it through the night, my Dad had no one to lean on. My sister in law was at a conference, my brother had my niece who had some sort of virus and Dad really doesn't have "friends", that seems strange, but he works on his own and they've moved from country to country so much, he's never really had the opportunity or energy to make new friends. Aleana happened to call just as we were told the "bad" news and she asked if I needed her there, YES!!!!! My Dad had just ran out of the room in tears, he needed someone else there and Aleana just happened to be near, she had her daughter Kyla with her, an amazing, beautiful, caring young girl, she was so composed while I lay there "dying" in front of her, I was in a pretty bad way, but Aleana held it together for Dad and she was a much needed rock that night, for that I am eternally grateful.
So here we are on the radiation roller coaster once again, I swear there should be some sort of rewards program, on your 10th radiation treatment you get a free car, yeah a car, I think we deserve it.
So for now I sign off still scared, still in pain and still shitting myself (metaphorically of course), I will never be ready for death, I'm just not brave enough, I wish I was, but I'm not, I'm a big old scaredy cat.
I of course will keep you all updated and remember even if you're feeling like crap today, don't forget you are all fabulous rockstars and make sure you stay that way ❤️🤘🏼
My name is Lisa Magill and I have been navigating the minefield that is cancer since just months after turning 30, people have been saying to me for years that I should put my thoughts into writing and as time has progressed I thought I had left it too late, well here we are nearly 4 years in and for some unknown reason I've decided to start to write today.