Monday, 8 July 2013
Hopeless but cheerful
I have just been worrywarting with my lovely nurse, Helen, on the phone. As a family, we have churning round and round whether I should go for more chemo or not.
There are lots of points to consider. First and foremost, chemo has done sod all for me so far except make my life worse, with water allergies, hair loss, drug induced misery and growing cancer. It has disheartened and disempowered me and slightly make me feel like I have run a marathon, only to be told that the Persians had got there first.
So I grumbled all this to Helen. I pointed out that, now we know my time is finite, what is the point of putting myself through more misery and adding the chance that this may make the cancer worse. Mimble, whinge, feel-sorry-for-myself, I'm-scared and people keep asking me questions I can't answer interlude.
Helen talks to my oncologist and I suddenly have a Eureka moment.
The new chemo regime, Eribulin, is not going to cure my cancer. It is there to prolong and enhance my life. The side effects are minimal - mainly fatigue. I don't need to have all the other injections I normally have, because it shouldn't make me sick and hivey. I shouldn't need the steroids. I may not lose my hair.
Because the "hope" of "curing" the cancer is gone, this less brutal treatment regime is there to prolong my life and enhance its quality, such as it is.
My oncologist wants me to get to my next birthday. I'm with her.
It's a funny position to be in because all hope of recovering has gone. However, there is expectation that what time that is left can be better and longer. Not a position I ever wanted to be in but, now that I am firmly planted in hopeless land and no longer clutching at straws, I am firmly expecting these last few months not to be quite so bad.