Friday, 14 December 2007

... but looking on the bright side...

Things have been a bit weird this week. I'm not sure if it's really appropriate to blog about this, but then my father-in-law said, "You haven't updated your blog since," and I thought, yes - I do need to talk about it - so I am...

I had the results of the CT Scan really fast. Next day fast. And then you kind of know that something is not quite right.

My gallbladder surgeon called me in the very next day. He had that smile that medical people get just before they drop a bomb.

"I've cancelled the gallbladder operation," he said. And then those words... "I'm so sorry..."

It turns out that the pain in the left shoulder and arm is being caused by a 3cm pancoast tumour in my left lung. The surgeon said he thought something was wrong - a lot more wrong than gallstones, and so he ordered the CT scan to make sure. And thank God he did.

I saw the lung specialist yesterday, and he was very positive. He said worse case scenario is that I have lung cancer and cancer in the lymph nodes, but it isn't in the bones, and it is treatable.


I am focusing on this, and being as positive as possible. After all, I can't let this beat me, and I intend to fight it all the way - if anyone knows about visualisation techniques for cancer, do let me know :) Apparently it can be really good in conjunction with surgery/chemo/radio etc. I'm willing to try anything!

What else can I say? Everyone has been so wonderful, and I send out my thanks to those of you who know me - who have sat for hours listening to me sobbing, and held my hand to get me through the fear. I feel so sorry for my family... I hope I'm not going to be too much of a burden on them.

On the bright side, the lung specialist said we got it early, and that although the road ahead is going to be rough, it is do-able. Lots of people have open-chest surgery and survive so there's no reason why I shouldn't. And what's a bit of pain in the grand scheme of things? I'm in pain all the time anyway so should be getting good at dealing with it! And ginger - ginger is good for nausea...

I have to be brave, I tell myself, and I will get through this. [Repeat until it sinks in.]

It is an awful thing but laughter is a good medicine so do feel free to send me jokes ha ha.

Now is not the time to be frightened of a few poxy needles. We have much bigger fish to fry. I'm having another CT scan on Monday with a needle biopsy - so that'll be fun. I think the CT scanner is going to become quite a regular occurrence, and as for the old surgery, well, let's deal with that when we get there, eh.

At least I haven't been given a death sentence. It could've been far worse.

So... I'm officially off work for the time being, and as I say, people have been absolutely fantastic. I think I just need to keep hearing all the positive stories of recovery, and the cancer nurses are fab. They are at the ready with the hankies and I even got a cup of tea yesterday. That's when you know you're proper poorly!

I'll keep writing. It's good to talk about it, I think. It's good because it keeps me telling myself I am going to survive this.

Wish me luck for the CT Scan on Monday - fingers crossed they can reach the little bastard to get a biopsy.

Will keep you posted!


Jen said...

Oh, bloody Nora. That must be incredibly scary though it sounds as if you have fab surgeons/specialists on hand and you're be treated quickly which is the important thing in these situations.

Sending huge hugs and positive vibes.


Kate.Kingsley said...

Lisa, I am so sorry to hear your news. I don't know how you begin to deal with something like that, and I just don't know what to say. Your fighting spirit shines out of your post, and by the sounds of things the speed of discovery and treatment sounds good.

I'll be thinking of you, and adding my positive vibes to Jen's.

Best wishes,
Kate K

CC Devine said...

Best of luck for Monday. I think you've got the right attitude in terms of trying to remain positive and being aware of how that can help with the success of surgery/chemo/radio etc.

My thoughts are with you and keep writing! It will be cathartic and will hopefully keep you sane.

Cathy said...

Lisa, I am so sorry. Keep writing, keep fighting and feeling positive, however hard it may sometimes seem.

Many positive vibes from me too,


CTaylor said...

Oh God Lisa, what a horrible shock. I'm so sorry. But you sound positive and your surgeon/specialist sounds positive and, as you said, it's been caught early which is a good, good, good thing. Thinking of you and joining the others in sending you positive vibes. xx

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Cancer in the lung and the lymph nodes? Blimey - that would make you a lungatic AND a lymphomaniac!

'a bit weird' - you have a delightful gift for understatement. I'm guessing 'everything has been turned upside-down and it's bloody terrifying' is probably closer. Great that they're on the case. I'm not much for visualisation myself but I have a couple of friends who would recommend Shakti Gawain's books, tapes etc - look her up on Amazon. Being a word bird, I'm more into affirmations; you could try saying out loud, ten times, something along the lines of 'I, Lisa Ratcliffe, choose to have a healthy body and a healthy mind'. Make up your own; they're supposed to be most effective in the present tense and with your name included. The idea is that by saying them, your conscious mind has a positive influence on your subconscious, and thereby on the rest of your body/mind/emotions etc. I haven't a clue whether they work or not, but sometimes they make me feel better! EFT is a useful way of managing difficult emotions, I haven't used it myself for physical pain but I've heard that some people also find it helpful for that, check here - if you can ignore the Americanisms the content is good. Very best of luck, and please do keep us posted. Will be thinking of you.

Helen said...

Hi Lisa. Just wanted to reiterate what everyone else has said. Good luck for Monday, will be thinking of you.

B.E. Sanderson said...


I have everything possible crossed for luck, and I'm winging positive thoughts your way (from this distance, they still should be there by Monday). Keep your sense of humor up. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine. So, in honor of that, here are a couple silly jokes for you.

What do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?
Hot Cross Bunnies

What do you get if you cross a German Shepherd and a giraffe?
A watchdog for the second floor.

;o) Hang in there.

Caroline said...

Hugs honey.

Thinking about you

KayJay said...

I'm sending lots of love and luck your way. Keep writing, keep that spirit and allow yourself a damn good blub/scream/shout as and when the need arises. You've got a lot of people out there in the ether rooting for you...
KJ x

Rowan Coleman said...

Lisa what shocking frightening news, but how wonderful that it IS treatable. Stay strong and positive because I truly believe that the human spirit can beat anything with enough determination, we are much more amazing creatures than we give ourselves credit for. I'll be thinking of you.

Graeme K Talboys said...

I've got it all crossed and I'm sending out vibes that have the windows rattling at this end. These people know what they are doing. I've had two friends go through this sort of thing recently and they are both still here and in the clear. And don't feel you shouldn't moan about it or weep or rant. We'll listen - it's what we're here for.

Big healing hugs and strong, calm thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, positive vibes and hugs from here too. xxxxxxxxx

Fiona said...

You can beat this - I read a few days ago, how very high recovery rates are now have caught it very early which is great.

I like Paul MacKenna's CD - not especially related to cancer but they are definitely all about positive thinking.

My mum's beaten cancer twice - the first time she was 42 and she's now 75. Sending you big hugs.

Lane said...

I'll be thinking of you on Monday along with everyone else. There's lots positive vibes being sent your way.

As you say Treatable and Early are the words to focus on. Stay strong Lisa.


hesitant scribe said...

Hello Everyone, and thank you sooo much for all your lovely fab comments!!!


*fillin' up!*

Now I'm certain I'm going to be alright... with all these postive vibes...

Keep sending them...

Lisa x

Helen Shearer said...

I'm feeling tremendously small for thinking that my petty problems are that big a deal. I have no idea how I would deal with something as big as what you are going through. My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer about ten years ago and she was terrified, but she made a conscious decision to beat it and she did. She refused to let the negative feelings enter her mind. I think you should focus on all that is good and funny and inspirational and let the rest of the novel racers worry on your behalf. We're a tough bunch and we can help you through this. Sending oodles of positive energy your way :) xoxo

liz fenwick said...

((()))s. Everyone has said it so well. It's early and can and will beat it. Sending vibes and love.
liz x