A YEAR AGO TODAY… I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER

I can’t believe it’s taken me a year to write this post. I’ve tried so many times and just cried my eyes out and left it alone. Today, a year on I’ve decided if I don’t do it today I won’t do it and I miss my quiet little corner of the internet. So her goes.

A year ago today I walked into our local hospital for a follow up appointment. I was clad in my mum uniform Levis, a linen shirt and some Supergras (very Kate Middy) ready to take JJ to soft play afterwards. It was following up from a CT scan I had a couple of weeks before as my GP thought a might have IBS, crones at worst and today I was going to find out. Was it going to be good bye gluten, bye bye meat and hello green tea? Unfortunately it was none of the above.

In true Prue fashion I got lost so a lovely volunteer showed me to where I needed to be which seemed odd. It was the renal unit full of old men with sallow skin. I sat down and thought the hospital must have had to reshuffle some units to accommodate for covid. Shortly after a nurse come along and ushered me into a room with a Doctor sat in the corner, she took a seat in the other corner. I instantly knew something was wrong this room just didn’t feel right. The Doctor spun in his chair and moved closer to me, scooting to the edge of his desk all I could notice were his big tortoise shell glasses, he then reached for his mask whilst saying,

‘I’m going to remove my mask because I have some very distressing news for you.’

With that I threw my arms up in the air whilst getting to my feet, ‘I have cancer, I have cancer don’t I’

He just looked at me and shrugged. I instantly started listing all the reasons why I can’t have cancer.

‘I have a baby, We only just officially adopted him. We go to adoption panel in 2 days for a second or third. I’m a good person. I don’t even feel that sick.’

But that was it, it didn’t matter how much I convinced this man with the big tortoise shell glasses of all the reasons I couldn’t have cancer, I did and now I belonged to a club that no one ever wants to be in.

Before we left they took all the blood and samples they needed to investigate more and I was given a date to come back for a biopsy the next Tuesday. 365 days later and I still see that doctor face and his big tortoise glasses when I close my eyes.

I called Greig and he come to take me home. We just sat on the couch in silence and cried. So I knew I had cancer, no Idea what kind, no idea how or why and no idea if I was going to die.

The next 3 weeks were absolute torture, we stayed up all night watching The Big Bang Theory. When I did sleep it wasn’t sleep, my brain was running on overdrive thinking of all the things that needed to be done. All the things I need to write down that I wanted JJ to know, songs for my funeral, what my guests will eat at my wake, bed time books I would record so JJ could hear my voice, videos I needed to make for all the special milestones in his life even a provisional list of women I know that I thought were good enough for Greig to marry. My biggest concern was that I would be the second Mum that JJ had lost. How was Greig going to explain how he had a birth Mummy that went away and now his forever Mummy was gone to.

I never even knew how dark my brain could go until I was there. The only saving grace was that we had a blue eyed, blonde haired boy who didn’t have a care in the world and needed us to carry on.

Also somewhere in this 3 week period we decided to call my cancer Deborah hence the #fuckdeborah that floats around these parts.

I got my final diagnosis over the phone (because covid!) I have a rare neuroendocrine cancer, most common in over 60’s, only 6 in 100,000 people have it and that I would be off to see an Endocrinologist the next week to get all the information and talk treatment plans. Finally it felt like a bit of relief that we knew what it was and that we were going in the right direction because by this point I just wanted to be doing something to feel productive. In my ideal world they were just going to chop it out, I was going to have some great scars and we were going to move on but that isn’t the case unfortunately. I started on monthly hormonal giant butt jabs the next week and a couple of months later that was joined by an intravenous radiation which takes place 2 months apart. There are four treatments and I have to isolate for 2 weeks before (covid) and 2 weeks after, because I don’t want to pass on the radiation to others.

So, my day to day life and how its change. Well, what hasn’t changed really.

I finished up all the jobs I had lined up in the workshop and slowly shut my business down. It took me a long time to come to this as I felt like it was me giving up but to be honest I didn’t have the headspace for it and when you’ve just been dealt the cancer hand the thought of doing anything but spend time with my boys didn’t really matter.

Most days are pretty low key. On a good day I try to set a task for the morning and afternoon. This could be simply opening all my mail and sorting it or going with Greig to pick JJ up from nursery. Bad days are spent on the couch with my heat pad on, Louis tucked under my legs and some day time TV.

My lovely Greig has taken over everything. He cooks, cleans, does our life admin, weeds my garden and waits on me and JJ hand and foot. My wonderful mother-in-law and sister-in-law have also been here from day 1 backing him up. Having JJ for sleepovers, taking him to play groups and just really being the best village anyone could ask for.

I think what I’ve struggled with a lot and still am (it makes me cry every time I talk about it and type about it apparently) is grieving my old life. I loved my old life. My business, my independence, socialising, traveling the world, being a mum. It’s an ongoing struggle for me as I see people jetting off on lovely holidays (I’m currently uninsurable), getting promotions at work and finding dream jobs, seeing people posting there outfits for a girls night out knowing I’d last about 30mins on a night out before I needed a nap or my legs would give in. I just miss it all.

Then we have Motherhood with cancer on board. I guess it’s more like Motherhood from the back seat. I haven’t been able to lift JJ for awhile now so I can’t go anywhere alone with him or put him in his cot at night. It breaks my heart when he checks on me on the sofa and says ‘you rest mummy you’ll feel better after a sleep’. He’s such a kind, sensitive little boy and he knows things are going on, always asking about my doctors and what happened at the hospital. He tells me I’m brave and strong and I wish I felt that as much as he believes it.

But for now it’s Motherhood from the back seat but if that means being here for his first day of school, first cricket match, first broken heart, learning how to drive a car and seeing him get married then I’m ok with the back seat for now.

Thank you to each and everyone of you. This passed year has been the toughest of our lives and we couldn’t have done it without your support, kindness and love.

We shall keep carrying on kicking Deborah’s butt, leaving no stone unturned and making the most of every second because life is so precious. Go hug your people a little tighter tonight.

Love you, mean it.

Prue x

 

One thought on “A YEAR AGO TODAY… I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER

  1. I cannot imagine what this last year has been like for you and your sweet family. I cannot imagine not being able to pick up your sweet JJ. Your words in this blog post really brought some light for what it’s like behind the scene, the real life. #fuckdeborah ♥️

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