2am and pain radiates throughout my abdomen down to my pelvis and around to my back, I'm lying here circling a recently found, rapidly growing tumour in my belly button with my index finger, every now and then pressing slightly too hard and making my body recoil in pain, lying here willing it to be a hernia, not another tumour, please not another tumour. When you're in my position you become a little self-examination obsessed, constantly feeling new lumps and bumps.
I know it's irrational, I have so many tumours we don't even count them at scans any more, we only discuss the larger ones, the ones that could cause a blockage, the ones that have had recent bleeds and the obviously new ones, but the little tiny pea sized ones that are scattered throughout my peritoneal cavity, the lining that separates the organs from the abdominal wall, they go unspoken about, ignored, they're insignificant in the larger scheme of things.
I on the other hand want to know about these little insignificant balls of cancer, they may not mean much to a specialist, but to me, they are little balls of impending death, sitting patiently in the background waiting to pounce, waiting to have a nice big growth spurt, so that they too can one day be spoken about like the other big tumours in the class, they want to be acknowledged as well.
It seems irrational to others I suppose because they probably think, "Well you know what your impending outcome will be, so why do you need to know about every single little tumour, millimetre by millimetre?". I need to know because that is me, just like I need to know every detail about the birth of your baby or how he proposed, I mean millions of births and marriage proposals have happened before yours, but that doesn't make yours any less important, so I WANT to know every detail, because it's YOU, not some random. I'm a nosy bitch who likes to know the insides of a ducks arse, I would like to sit down and discuss in-depth the total of visible tumours I have invading my body.
As I lay there still tracing the lump in my belly button, I am scared, again probably irrational, but when you can actually feel a tumour protruding from your body, it's an actual physical reminder that you're riddled with an army of lesions that are trained to attack their own home, their own body, your own body is slowly but surely killing you.
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but when a new tumour arises that I can physically feel or touch, I become somewhat obsessed with it for days on end, I'll be getting my Mum to feel it, my Dad, the next day I'll get them to feel it again "Do you think it's grown? I think it's grown overnight, well it's definitely bigger than what it was three days ago". I can't help myself and especially considering how I'm feeling at the moment after radiation and having the flu at the same time as radiation side effects, it's just one more thing to add to my shit list for the week.
The tumours that protrude from your skin can't go ignored, they're there poking out from you, taunting you every time you look in the mirror, unlike the intra abdominal tumours, these cannot be forgotten about, because they are right there, "remember me...na na na na na......I'm going to kill you and there's nothing you can do about it, keep getting radiation and paying for expensive drugs that make you feel sick, I don't care, you're not gonna get rid of me that easy ". I know this sounds morbid and depressing, but I can't, "we" can't always be the rock, we can't always be there to comfort you and tell you we're fine with our mortality, we can only play the cards we've been dealt, bla bla bla". We are human and humans get scared.
New tumours are scary, anyone who says they're not, I admire you for your bravery or I admire you for your ability to convince yourself or others you're accepting of this new soldier in your army, as I type this now my belly button "lump" (it still could be a hernia, you never know) is causing sharp shooting pain.
Today I have dictated this blog, in between micro sleeps, nausea and vomiting, all the while my Mum is going through the offers we've had for Melbourne Cup tickets, we're still holding out for the elusive and exclusive birdcage, just as Charlie did for his golden ticket. Making that public plea has gone against everything I've ever believed in, I mean don't get me wrong, I love receiving gifts of sentiment from people and I appreciate them so much, I just don't like to ask for them, but I don't work for a company that has a Marquee at the Cup and I don't know anyone else who does, so I just had to throw it out to the universe, as it's taken me this long to realise that as much as I love giving, I also deserve to receive every now and then.
The distraction of dress and shoe shopping and dreaming of the birdcage would give me something else to think about other than blood tests, port flushes, cat scans, palliative nurses, radiation, to be able to have some cancer thought free days would be amazing. We are incredibly grateful for all of you reaching out to your contacts to get something for a complete stranger. If any of you out there thought kindness was extinct, you just have to look at my Terminally Fabulous Facebook page to see that it still exists.
I'm hoping I will pick up soon, I have a cancer charity to attend on Saturday, so I need to get my shit together ASAP!
Love you all and stay fabulous rockstars ❤️🤘🏼🐎
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.