Phew, I need to take a deep breath, where do I start…
The last month has been an absolute roller coaster, well I say the last month or so but the last few years really when I think about it! What started as a dry throat last month turned in to severe fatigue and exhaustion, it was so bad that I could barely make it up the stairs without taking a break half way up. It was the reason why I had to pull out of the Terenure 5 Mile and it was the reason why I had to come home early from Berlin.
I can handle the tiredness and fatigue fairly ok, but when I begin to get symptoms reflective of when I was first diagnosed or similar to when I relapsed then it gets a bit more difficult to cope with. I began getting pains in my leg where the tumor was, and pains behind my eyes just like when I was first diagnosed, I was also getting chest pains reminiscent of when I relapsed and that just made it too hard to cope with. When I was reviewed in hospital they said a full body pet ct scan was needed due to the symptoms I was having even though I was told only a month ago that I wouldn’t be scanned anymore, but of course this was a special circumstance.
While at home one of the nights my breathing got so bad that I could barely talk, then the panic set in, how can I be out of breath sitting on the couch! I went to bed but not long after it got so bad that my parents had to call an ambulance to take me to hospital, that was scary, not my idea of a relaxing night at home. I was brought to St Vincent’s and after spending the night being monitored I was moved to St Ann’s Ward, the cancer ward I actually began my chemotherapy treatment in back in 2015, I did not like that one bit, to make it worse, I was actually put in the same room that I started in! I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t in there for treatment, that this was different, hoping that whatever had me unwell wasn’t cancer.
Thankfully I was discharged on Tuesday morning with my scan due yesterday, something my girlfriend and I, my family, and my friends were all dreading! It’s so hard on me going through all of this but when I see the effect it has on those around me it makes it even more difficult, but that’s just how it is, I’m just so incredibly lucky to have such supportive people around me. On Tuesday afternoon I got a call saying there was a cancellation and my scan was moved to Wednesday, the next day, I made the difficult decision to not tell my girlfriend in the hope that when she got home from work on Thursday evening I would have good news for her, as opposed to spending Thursday evening worrying about the scan which was supposed to be the next day.
It was something I really didn’t like keeping from her but it turns out that it was totally the right decision to make because on Thursday afternoon I got the call from hospital saying I got the all clear! Wow. I got the all clear. It went my way. It went my way. Ironically, getting the all clear on the 7th of June is exactly 6 months to the day since I got my last all clear!
I can’t believe it, all the stress, the worry, the heartache, the upset, the fear, but it came good, it went my way, I wanted to keep believing it would but when your body is being beaten down and reminding you of what happened so recently it was just so hard to remain positive.
So in walked my girlfriend expecting to spend the night trying to not think about the scan to find a bunch of flowers and a little card from me apologising to her for not telling her, and that I got the all clear, and wow was she shocked, and certainly not mad 🙂
Even though I still feel unwell, l couldn’t resist a cold beer on our balcony to calm the nerves!
I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to avoid thinking about what I would do if it was back, I was asking myself questions that nobody should ever have to ask themselves, especially not at the age of 34. I won’t even get in to them as I want to put them behind me now, but I guess you can all imagine, at the end of the day, if I only had a certain amount of days left on this planet I would want to spend them outside enjoying it, not in a hospital.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, enjoy being free, enjoy being outside, enjoy your time with family and friends. Put down that phone, start looking up at what is around you and at the person in front of you! Enjoy those little moments, the small things that make you happy because you just never know. I haven’t been able to go out for a run in about a month now which is a pain, but I’ll get back there.
I feel like I definitely deserved to treat myself to something awesome after what I’ve been through and had been saving for a while to buy it, so the first thing I did the day after getting the all clear was go out and buy myself a drone, life is just too short, and it was totally worth the wait to buy it.
Up next is Thursday the 14th of June, my one year anniversary celebrating when I got the all clear from my 100 day post transplant pet ct scan last year, the scan that confirmed that the bone marrow transplant was a success. It is a date that my girlfriend and I are going to celebrate every year, and this year is the first one, one we can really enjoy knowing now that I am officially currently cancer free! A bit of bubbly and a nice meal out in Dublin is planned so we can really celebrate it.