Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Cancer Clear and Very Grateful
As some of you know, this time last year, I was diagnosed with DCIS ( ductile cancer). It was picked up at a routine screening and meant I spent either side of Christmas as a patient on the cancer unit at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital - I cannot praise the staff and my consultant enough.
At the time, I was told I should have further follow up treatment: 3 weeks of radiotherapy. I was reluctant: I don't believe in unnecessary medical intervention, and I trusted my surgeon when he said he had removed all the cancerous cells.
Friends piled in on either side of the argument. I listened, but made the decision not to go forward, even though the consultant told me there was a 70% chance of the cancer recurring. My daughter was about to give birth; it was important that I should be there for her, not wiped out by some treatment.
I also prayed. Some of you also know I am a Messianic Jew. I don't ram my faith nor my personal beliefs down anybody's throat, nor go on about it. But I am. And I felt strongly that I was being told to trust and go ahead with my decision despite the facts.
Yesterday I went back to the hospital for the first of 5 annual checkups. Given the dichotomy of my decision and those ''facts'', you can guess how the days before the appointment felt. So many conflicting emotions: I now have a little granddaughter. My writing career seems to be having a late bloom. Was all this about to come crashing down around my rash ears?
No, it wasn't. At the end of a scan and an ultrasound, I have been declared free from cancer for another 12 months. The news is slowly seeping into my subconscious which has been overthinking and catastrophizing for the past week.
The chances of being 'free' from cancer, given the odd were so stacked against me are not only an amazing relief, but a witness to ''other'' things than can come into play. Sometimes, I think we have to go with our ...instincts, gut feelings, God-breathed advice. Call it whatever suits you. I know what I'd call it. And I am grateful.