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No going back to cancer
9:04pm Thursday 15th March 2012 in Melanie O'Neill
Today I went to see my oncologist, an appointment I’ve known about for ages but never gave it much thought as to what the appointment was for. So when I set off to The Christie this morning I began to think of what might occur. More chemo perhaps? Recommending Tamoxifen, a drug to reduce the chances of reoccurrence that brings with it some nasty side effects whilst inhibiting the oestrogen production and is normally given for 5 years or perhaps more talk of surgery. For a moment I dwelled on the negatives and the ‘what if’s’, stomach churning and fretting about an appointment I had already pre-planned in my head that hadn’t actually happened yet. We all do it, I’m sure, but I wanted to be prepared. “Right” I told Carl on the way. I want no more chemo, nor do I want Tamoxifen. I will finish my Herceptin and then I want no further medical intervention. Will you stand by me and my decision no matter what?” A silly question that didn’t warrant an answer.
After all the toxins I’ve taken in from the radiotherapy and chemotherapy, I’ve decided against any more treatment and taken a holistic approach now to cleanse my body. Not a difficult decision to make after all the reading and research I’ve done recently, but thanks to the nasty doctor who told me the treatment may not work (in his opinion of course which now counts for rock all!) the despair and anguish led me to an alternative route. So thanks nasty doctor for putting me on a new path. I’m out to prove you wrong!
So after a 2 hour wait I finally saw my wonderful and ever supportive oncologist who examined me and declared that the treatment had worked very well. Like I predicted, he offered me more chemo to which ,you guessed it, I declined and to my relief I wasn’t down to have Tamoxifen anyway. He listened and made notes as I confidently told him of my new approach and he beamed at me and said “Good for you”. After holding out his hand for me to shake and recommending I see him in 6 months’ time, I grabbed him and went in for a hug. To say he was a little taken aback was an understatement but I just couldn’t help myself. For the last 12 months I have hung on his every word and in those 20 minutes I sat with him telling him I was now in control and he still gave me praise and encouragement. What a guy! I was elated to say the least. I felt empowered today walking out of that hospital. I looked at the garden Carl and I ate our lunch in during the first couple of chemo sessions I had back in the summer of 2011, and said farewell. The quiet room for resting and the café on the way out, I smiled and said goodbye. You see today I turned a corner. I’ve not only taken control of my own life I’ve said it out loud. And what’s even better I’ve received the kind of support I was secretly hoping for.
There’s no going back for me. No going back to The Christie, no going back to cancer, no going back to the silly things that used to stress me out and no going back to an unhealthy lifestyle. I wonder what life has in store for me now? I can only imagine the road will have twists and turns as life always does, but hey, bring it on, I’m ready for it now! Today is the start of the rest of my life.