Cancer


As most of you will be now aware, I lost my son on 10th December 2022 to secondary liver cancer. His battle with this terrible disease was short and thankfully almost pain free due to timely medication. He never really stood a chance because his cancer went undetected from the 4th August 2022 when he was first admitted to hospital with a huge infection that presented as abscesses and was everywhere, in his stomach, his liver, his kidney, caused problems with his lungs and his heart in the later stages.
He fought off the infection and it took him 4 months to do so, but he got his CRP rate (infection rate) down from 367 to 25 during that 4 months. We had a whole 24 hours of celebration over his ‘win’, especially as his consultant was shocked that he had managed to accomplish this massive feat and against all odds.

To be completely thorough at that time, his consultant ordered one last CT scan to determine that all of the abscesses had indeed gone and he was on the mend. The results came back 24 hours later and that was when his diagnosis of secondary cancer was revealed. A biopsy quickly followed, the results of the lung drain carried out just one week before came back before the biopsy results were in. The lung fluid had revealed lymphatic cells in the lung.
He had only been holding back the cancer with the mass infection which was in effect preventing the cancer from spreading. Curing the infection created the perfect conditions for the cancer to travel around his body unchecked. By the time the biopsy results had come back, he was already in the end of life stages of cancer, 5 and a half days later he died.

That was two months and 10 days ago exactly on 20th February 23.

On the 31st October 2022 I noticed a small lump that had appeared on my left side just under the rib cage on my back. I was shocked to find it, it was hard and round and was roughly the size of a penny. I went to the doctors on the 1st November 2022 and was told by the Nurse Practitioner (better qualified than a nurse, less qualified than a GP) that I had a harmless lipoma that was annoying but ultimately nothing to worry about. He told me to keep a check on it from time to time to make sure it was remaining around the same size and he sent me home with a nothing to worry about diagnosis.
Now, from the first November to the 22nd of December (the day after Dan’s funeral) I never paid much attention to that lipoma, I was watching my son die and my world had shrunk to just him and him alone.
It wasn’t until the day after Dan’s funeral (22nd December 22) that I realised I was experiencing a lot of back pain especially in the left side of my body, I checked the lump and was shocked to find it was now roughly the size of a small egg. I made an immediate appointment for the following day with the proper GP, not the pretend one. I appreciate the nurse practitioners are helpful on a large scale in a Doctors surgery for any normal sort of ailment, but lumps and bumps in my opinion should always be checked out by a properly trained GP. I wish I’d had that thought at the time but my mind was consumed with the unfolding tragedy of my lovely son’s rapidly declining health. I accepted the first feasible diagnosis and went on my merry way.

I saw my GP about the lump on the 23rd of December and he immediately raised an appointment for the 19th January for an X ray appointment at my local hospital at 9am in the morning.

My GP phoned me with those results before I had even left the hospital and he had organised an MRI scan at a hospital that is roughly 50 miles away from me that would be carried out on 30th January at 9.10am.
I then received a further appointment for the 31st January at the same hospital in Oswestry for the results of the MRI scan with the Professor who would be overlooking my case and working on the diagnosis. Skip to the 31st of January, I met with the Professor and he was unsettled with the findings of the MRI scan, he had ordered a biopsy to be carried out that same afternoon. It was no longer taking weeks between appointments, it was now taking hours. I was very alarmed at the swift change of pace, but the Professor refused to be drawn on any further details until he had the facts in front of him.

Followed was the longest 10 days of my life since my son’s diagnosis and subsequent death from cancer. The range of emotions and trauma I went through, from hoping it was cancer because at least I wouldn’t have to continue through my life without my son for much longer to knowing deep in my bones that I have to beat this because cancer had already robbed me of my boy, it was not taking me down too. I have too much to accomplish both in his name and my own before I get off this mortal coil.

My whole life had already crumbled and become unrecognisable in any real way, but now I was stood in the middle of a complete wasteland of shattered dreams, hopes and wishes, that was all that was left of my previous life. I felt like I was frozen in time and I might never recover from it all. I determined to push my way through regardless, I had no other choices.

On Tuesday 14th February I received the news from the biopsy. I thought I was prepared for everything and anything. Still heavily focused on my intense grief over losing my son to this dreadful disease, I think I may have pushed away the reality that it could happen to me to.

It has, I have adenocarcinoma, originating from the right lung which is the primary source. The lump on my back is actually a secondary cancer that has spread from the primary source.
When I heard I have lung cancer, I immediately began to blame myself obviously thinking it must be smoking related and I had done this to myself. I haven’t and it isn’t smoking related in any way at all. Apparently, it is more likely to have been triggered by the intense trauma of my son’s final months that culminated in his untimely death. When I was originally told the news I immediately began to feel guilty because I was being told that there was a large possibility of receiving controlling treatment to prolong my life with a good quality of life and I could survive even while living with cancer. My guilt stemmed from the fact that I was being given all of the options that had been taken away from my son. Why did I get to survive and not him.
It has complicated my thinking enormously over the past week but I am coming to terms with the fact that regardless of what I would wish for, the reality will always remain the same. My cancer has hopefully been found in time to be able to effectively treat it. My son’s was only found at the very end with no time left to do anything except make him comfortable in his final days.

Regardless, the upshot is, I have a chance to have this treated with targeted treatment radiotherapy to shrink the tumours which should reduce the amount of pain I’m in and allow me to have quality of life between treatments. If the treatments work and I respond well to them then there is no reason why I couldn’t live for another 10 – 15 years which I will happily take. I have things I wish to accomplish in both our names and for that I need time.

It is, as they say, in the lap of the gods now, how my body responds, how quickly they can get the cancer under control and how long they can keep it at bay. They cannot cure secondary cancer, they can only control it’s progression. I am officially on borrowed time and the last leg of my life journey, come what may.

My son never had the opportunity to have treatment because they couldn’t find the primary source of his cancer and to make matters worse the secondary had gone straight to the liver which processes a third of our blood vessels every single day. He never stood a chance. It is a blessing of sorts that he went so quickly and without pain or the realisation he was dying before he actually died. It is no small blessing that he is not here to witness me being this poorly with a very uncertain future. He would have been devastated by this news and in his weakened state of health it would have created an impossible situation for us both.

What I do know and believe deep in my heart is that he would have wanted me to fight this, take every treatment offered and live my life to its fullest before conceding defeat at the very end. We do all have that one guarantee in life and that is we are all eventually going to die. How and when isn’t normally known to us and like my son, when it does become apparent, if we are lucky we don’t have time to dwell on the horridness of it all before we are no longer here.
I know what I have is not curable, I know there is a limit to how much the health service can do, I know there is some kind of open ended time limit as to how long I have, but in the meantime, I will continue to work through my grief process and come to terms with my deep and dreadful loss of my boy, but I will begin to bring my life back out into the sunshine and take each day as it comes with hopefully as many smiles as there will be tears.

I owe us both that much.

Published by gemstrong63

So, One blog year later, I've been spanked, hard! I have spanked myself almost as hard, I have spanked others even harder. I'm now heading for a different road, one that still includes all the best bits of me, all the naughty bits, all the spanking bits, all the hot steamy bits, and I'm creating characters to play out my delightful erotic fantasies, I hope you enjoy the new ride as much as the previous one…

14 thoughts on “Cancer

  1. Dearest Gemma, this news hit me like a punch in the stomach.
    I often think of you and your ordeal, to which another blow has been added.
    Since we don’t know when our life will end, we must try to take each day that comes as a gift, even if it is often difficult. I’m telling you this after I’ve had cancer surgery twice. On the other hand, isn’t the present also a present?πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear Luisa, I am truly sorry for the shock this post delivered to you but you are completely correct in that each day should and will be treated as the gift that it is and the present is indeed a present worth having. I will fight this cancer, surgery is not an option because it has already gone to secondary cancer, but with the right treatment and a positive mental attitude from me, mountains can be moved and I will live my life as fully as I would wish to. Failing is not an option. I have been through all the trauma of losing my boy and somehow have survived that mountain of pain, this cancer will not be the thing that takes me down. I am resolute! I love you dear lady, you always make me feel safe and heard. I am glad to have you in my life, our talks help me enormously. I am just sorry you had to go through cancer surgery twice yourself, but, you are the living proof of your statement, the present is very much a present and you are living every minute of it on your own terms. I can only follow your example and make the best of what I have right here, right now. πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dearest Gemma, I’m really happy to see your determination to overcome this obstacle too. Mountains can be moved as you say, and they can be climbed one small step at a time
        I’m here, this blog helps me stay connected to so many people, some of whom are the ones I feel closest to my heart. One of them is you.
        Then follow my example and consider each day a new gift. Try, if you can, to devote yourself to something else (I dedicate myself to writing): it doesn’t ease the pain or, for my part, the depression that is always present, but at times it takes over the mind and distracts it from the abyss.
        Sending you all my love πŸ₯°

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Once you’re in the shit, you’re in the right shit.
    I am so sorry, dear Gemma.
    I have been living with cancer for over 25 years, and I am doing quite well.
    Your thoughts that you still want to finish things for yourself and for your son certainly help a lot.
    Do you still remember the days when we wrote about completely different topics?
    We actually had a very good life. So please, may it continue.
    I think of you, Gemma. Full of love and good feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending love and prayers your way, I wish I could do more than that. You’ve been dealt a horrific blow. I wish nothing more than for better days from here on out. I’m sure your son will be a guiding light watching over you to get you through this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My older sister died from multiple myeloma; every test they ran pointed to her having CHF but after meds and, shit, open heart surgery to remove the lining of her heart, she wasn’t exactly getting any better. A doctor not associated with her case suggested testing for multiple myeloma and, sure enough, that’s what was wrong with her but by the time they discovered this, it was too late and she died a week later.

    My mother learned that she had fibromyoma, some kind of blood cancer. Got her on meds for it, she was doing well but then she wasn’t. By the time they determined she had leukemia – which shocked us – there was nothing they could do about it. Before all of this went down, wow, she was so… chill about what was going on with her even though she had a similar cancer that took my sister. She never stopped believing that she could be “cured” but, at the same time, she was very much at peace should the inevitable happened.

    It’s a shock and a half to get this news and just as shocking, say, for me to hear about this with my mom and sister, both of whom had survived breast cancer. I’ll pray for you and for your doctors and, with all my heart, hope that they get it out of you and it never returns. It might be difficult but stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My Beautiful sister I am here for you. Day or night. Call me. Message me. I will do my best to answer. When you are ready to chat let me know and I will make it work whatever time you want it to be. I love you to pieces and am wrapping you in warm white light of love and healing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am so sorry, my beautiful friend. This is heartbreaking news. You must feel so scared, and angry. Life has dealt you more than your fair share of heartache. I know that you are a warrior at heart, but even warriors get tired. I hope that you are able to rest and somehow process this next difficult step. My heart is with you ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you Nora, my gorgeous friend, I am going to be honest and say, I’m still reeling from it all. At the moment, I am still and just learning to breathe slowly. I am just absorbing the blows as they come and I’m managing them the best way I know how and allowing my emotions the room to rail against my current life situations. This warrior woman is definitely tired but currently undefeated and I’m hoping to remain that way for the foreseeable future. It’s nothing less than my boy would have expected from me and nothing more than I can give.
    I know you have me in your heart my dear friend, as you are in mine. I will get through this.πŸ’žπŸ’–

    Like

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