Hello – it’s me, WeeGee! I wonder if there is anybody out there any more?! I suppose I’m about to find out…
I’ve been trying to write this post for quite a while: it’s one of those “I don’t know where to start” kind of posts y’see. There’s always the beginning – I suppose I could start there except I’m not too sure where the beginning would actually be. Or I could start by telling you what I’ve been up to since I last wrote, but that was a long time ago and a lot of life has happened since then, and most of it isn’t really relevant to the story any way. Or I could start with the news I came here to share – just come right out and say it, like, because when you’ve got something to say, nine times out of ten you might as well just come right out and say it*.
So here’s the thing. On the 6th December last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, or if we want to get particular about it, invasive ductal carcinoma of no special type. The cancer is grade two, stage 2b and for those of you who really want to get to the nub of it it’s neither hormone nor protein receptive. In the main scheme of things, it’s a fairly fancy pants kind of cancer. Thankfully there is no distant metastasis (cancer lingo for ‘it hasn’t spread beyond the attached lymph nodes’) and the prognosis is, at this stage, good.
I don’t know what to tell you about getting a cancer diagnosis. On the one hand its pretty straightforward. You go along to the hospital, a bunch of doctors do a bunch of tests and then you go back the next week and they break the news to you very gently indeed. They tell you what you need to know and send you away with your treatment plan, a SERIOUSLY MASSIVE supply of leaflets, and a life changing diagnosis. The life changing diagnosis bit is the bit that isn’t quite so straightforward….
Since I got my diagnosis I have cried precisely three times, which is intereresting because I’m pretty sure that’s actually less than I would have cried in my ordinary life without the diagnosis. I’ve been every shade of angry under the sun, I’ve been hopeless, sad, overwhelmed and so very sick and tired of the whole damn thing. Every so often I’ve forgotten about it and then I’ve been surprised because how do you go and forget about something that came along and changed EVERYTHING?
In life there aren’t many things that can’t be undone. Usually when things go wrong, you can put them right, learn whatever you need to learn and then move on. Cancer isn’t like that. You can’t wish it away or reason with it. Once the cells have gone rogue it really doesn’t matter that you think they are a bunch of disloyal little bastards. Once you have cancer, that’s it – you are in it up to your neck and you just have to get your head on straight and get on with it. Even if it really does feel like another fine mess that you’ve gotten yourself into….
Still, all is not lost and there’s still plenty of WeeGee awesomeness around. I’ve gotten pretty good at putting one foot in front of the other over the years and I’m putting my skills in that area to very good use at the moment. I’m doing my best to get used to living with cancer** and I’m going to write about it here – I feel sure that writing about it will help me through it, and if it doesn’t it’ll give me something to do with the ridiculous amount of time I have on my hands all of a sudden.
Treatment wise there is a long old road ahead of me. I’m currently two cycles in to eight cycles worth of chemotherapy***. After that there will be surgery and after that, most likely another six months worth of radiotherapy. None of this is how I expected to spend my fortieth year on planet Earth, and I’m still getting used to how I feel about it all. That said, there is every hope that the treatment plan will lead to ‘a complete metabolic response’ (more cancer lingo, basically meaning CURED) and, I’ve always said “Hope is Important”****
In the time honoured tradition, I thought I’d leave you with a song. It doesn’t mean anything in particular, its just that I like it and I thought it would be a nice little bit of normal to round things off….
Love you all lots, like jelly tots, WeeGee xoxoxox
* There are of course some things you absolutley should NOT just come right out and say but that’s a matter for your own judgement
** For the time being at least
***The first one was on Christmas Eve, so that was really, like, festive. Ho, fucking, ho.
**** I wasn’t the first person to say it. I pinched it off a band I love of old.