Friday, 28 December 2007

It is cancer...

Funny old thing this living - this sentient awarenes of our own mortality. It's a bit of a bitch really - a double edged sword. I've been face to face with my own mortality on more than one occasion but this threat, from so deep inside, has to be the most frightening of all. By a long shot.

And a lot of people have to face this everyday. It isn't just me. I want to say to anyone out there who stumbles across this blog, who has just been told they have cancer, or that someone they love has cancer, that it gets easier - in your head I mean. You have to acknowledge that it is so terrifying at times you feel you are going to implode with the stress of it all - full fight or flight mode but nowhere to go. But eventually - I phone my friends now, for this - you can talk yourself around again, to see that this is not the horror it used to be. That medicine, combined with diet and a positive mental attitude, means we can survive this.

So what's new?

The biospy reports are back and it is non small cell - that is cancerous but slow growing. In the grand scheme of things it's a bit of a lucky break.

They want to see me at the beginning of January and start 'radical treatment' immediately. They are talking about chemotherapy to shrink it and then, when it is small enough, they can cut it out of me. The prognosis is still very very good.

And I'm proud to report that I am getting much braver about needles (which is just as well really isn't it?!). When the PET scan people rang to give me an appointment for next week, they said we have to give you an injection, and I was like, what? Just one? No intravenous?! Fabulous! The woman must have thought I was going mad!

And the chemo thing is by intravenous for up to 3 hours, and you know what? I really don't mind at all. Whatever it takes really. That heart-pounding, chest heaving terror has gone now, and has been replaced by a much more manageable sense of sadness and resignation - resigned to the fact that this body is going to have to suffer a bit in order to livestrong. And livestrong I bloody well will!

So I have decided that this is not going to kill me. Not by a long shot. All the bloods were normal. I'm otherwise very healthy and people beat this thing all the time.

This is something I need to keep telling myself. Until it becomes a fact in my mind that I have nothing to fear because I am going to win this battle. And grow old the way I'm meant to.
And yet the tears come on a daily basis, and I have to just let them come, and then they subside.
Oh Bugger!
So the plan is to get writing again. I'll have lots of time on my hands and probably, I'm guessing, a deep need to escape the places I'm going to be in, physical and mental. I could do worse than immerse myself in the life and language of my beloved Andalucia!!!

Once upon a time....


CTaylor said...

Sorry to hear it is cancer Lisa but I'm so so pleased the prognosis is good. You will beat this, of course you will! Thanks for blogging about this Lisa. I really believe your blogging about your experience and your reaction and your thoughts will help other people who find out they have cancer but also people who find out a relative has cancer.

I do hope you had a lovely Christmas and that you weren't in too much pain x

Rob Spence said...

Actually, this is good news, isn't it? They know what it is, they can treat it, and you can get rid of the little bugger.
It's fatuous to say it, but still true, that others are worse off. So, bear up, old girl, what?

Pacha said...

You will beat it. You will. And you will write, live and love into old age.

And you will have dark horrible moments but know that a smile or laughter will be just around the corner.

Your determination is admirable.

And now...I am rather interested in how you are dealing with the bilingual aspect in your novel (at least that is what I understood from a previous post)? How are you doing that?

All best.

hesitant scribe said...

ctaylor - I'm so glad you think the blogging is useful. I never thought in a million years that I'd be discussing the things I am now, but I hope that it can be of some use to others. No one should have to go through this alone and without someone telling them constantly that it is going to be okay... and I am blessed in that I have so much love and support from so many places. And it really does make a difference.

Rob - cheers me dears! Chin up, what! Others are a lot worse off, it's true. This is a life changing diagnosis, that's for sure, but it is not the end, or the death sentence I first imagined. I'm reading lots of books on the role of the subconscious in healing, am working as hard as I can to heal myself.

I am breaking down every so often, no denial nor shame about it either - I get terrified, but you know, I am, as you say, inspite of it all, bearing up... and it is getting easier each day...

Next step is to make some plans for the future, for MY future, and to really start living life to the full!

hesitant scribe said...

Pacha - ooh something other than cancer - hurrah!!!!

Bilingual aspects of novel.... hmm. I've been having fun with that one, for sure. I have one story/section/chapter in which I've written in English but used perfect English for the Spanish people and broken English for the English person (er, me!), but then in other chapters I've gone about it slightly differently.

Sandra Cisneros is my inspiration for language/bi-lingual usage, in her fiction. A kind of 'say it' and then instead of re-iterating in the second language, adding to the phrase to give the monoglot a chance at working it out, or at least getting an approximation.

Phew. Does that help? Probably not!

Pacha said...

Sandra Cisneros is my inspiration too! 'Caramelo' was a revelation to me, a new way of seeing the world!

Now, the way you are writing THAT way around with the English and broken English sounds interesting. I do hope you will immerse yourself in the novel (although I appreciate that being distracted right now will possibly hard/impossible but it might get easier). Have you read 'Wierd English' by Ch'ien or 'The transcultural imagination' (I can't remember who wrote this and am cooking pasta and don't have time to look it up)...Makes for an intriguing view of all this bilingual literature.

My novel is based in Argentina (with purebred Argentinean characters) but written in English and it is...confusing. I don't emphasize the words I leave in spanish (by italicising them etc) and I am a little worried about how READABLE it actually is...

All my love, support and best.

Write yourself through and out and after this...

Caroline said...

Oh honey - I read this and cried! Fine lot of good I am!

You are strong and the fact that you have to fight is not fair! But you will for all those reasons that you hold close.

Write your novel and keep writing all about the cancer, because you know that one day (after it has all gone far far far away) someone will seek out your words. And your words are full of wisdom and truth.

My thoughts are with you and your family.


A. Writer said...

What a moving post. I'm so sorry to hear that it's cancer but I'm pleased the prognosis is good. You will beat this! I know you will, reading this post shows me how strong you are.

I agree with Cally, blogging will help other people as well as yourself.

Take care and my thoughts are with you! xx

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Lisa, you are doing brilliantly. Keep writing, the novel and the blog - I'm sure it is helping others, and it will one day be a terrific resource when you want to include a character with a cancer diagnosis in a future novel! And keep on feeling the fear and the grief, asking for help and crying when you need to; as you are already finding out, emotion is easier to manage this way than by stiff-upper-lip suppression and denial.

Chilli said...

Hi Lisa...

Just catching up with you via the blog, been suffering with horrid flu type virus complete with a rather fetching rash and working nights too so haven't been round to see you for fear of infecting you with the lurgy!

It all sounds very positive for you, keep strong, we all know that you can livestrong.

Catch up soon,


Anonymous said...

Relieved to hear all the positives Lisa. Echoing Rob's comments, it is good news that it is so treatable. Your positive attitude shines through your post and I am proud of you.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Just popped back to say happy New Year - because it WILL be, so there!

hesitant scribe said...

Ta to everyone for all your comments - I have taken everything on board and am trying (my utmost) to stay positive and all the rest of it!

But it ain't easy!

Zinnia - Happy New Year. It will be the year I get well again. You are so right!