After all the weeks of being in limbo I finally got to see my oncologist. I wasn't surprised by what he told me. So there's no question that I have secondary cancer in my lungs. From all the scans I've had they can say it's definitely not lung cancer and its definitely not "nothing". It's the bowel cancer spread to my lungs and it's not going to go away. He said not cureable but definitely treatable. The positive in all this is that it's only 2 small spots which so far have grown slowly and there's no evidence of spread anywhere else. I don't have any lung symptoms either. The treatment for lung metastasis is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy won't cure me. It's used to shrink any tumours and keep the cancer at bay. I don't see any point in having it at the moment and neither does my oncologist. There's not much point in putting my body through something so harsh when it's not going to cure me or make any improvement to my quality of life. It could shrink the tiny spots so they don't show on the scan but they'll still be there. I feel ok at the moment so I'm staying as I am. I'll be on active surveillance with scans every three months. There's no telling how it will progress or at what pace but so far I've managed 14 months since my surgery ...which in the scheme of things is pretty good going. I already beat the statistics for bowel cancer with krukenberg tumour.
I don't really know how I feel about it at the moment. I'm not about to die tomorrow that's for sure. Right now things are stable. I know people who have been having treatment to keep their cancer at bay ...some for a few months, some for years. It's a very individual thing. There's always the small chance that if nothing else pops up I could have surgery on my lungs and treatments are advancing all the time.
I just have to carry on and make the most of things right now ... live for today, carry on as normal.... which means doing what I can, when I can and while I still can. Yes it's shit ... really shit and really frightening but I've got amazing support.
I've spoken to people about it because I've needed to but I don't want my whole life to revolve around the fact I've got stage 4 bowel cancer. I need to be realistic and optimistic but I don't want to go on about it non stop ...which is why I've written this blog. I need other people to be realistic too. So... please don't tell me I can cure myself by eating X, Y or Z. Yes, there are plenty of things I can try to do to help myself but no, there isn't a conspiracy around a cancer cure. Please don't tell me not to be stupid when I say it will eventually kill me and please don't tell me you could get run over by a bus tomorrow! You could ... but most likely not and the thought of dying from being run over by a bus isn't going to be hanging over you every day.
Losing my little dog Libby had a far worse impact on me than any of the cancer stuff. She was what kept me going on a day to day basis. No, my entire life didn't revolve around her, I have friends, a great hobby, amazing family but she was always there at the end of the day when everyone else goes back to getting on with their own lives. She was my reason to carry on through all the shit because she needed me.
I've now got another dog, Tommy. He's given me a purpose again. I've only had him for a couple of weeks and I've done nothing but worry if it's selfish or not to have him here when I don't know how long I'll be able to look after him. The truth is if I didn't have him he'd still be stuck in kennels. No one can predict the future. Realistically I doubt I'll live to be 70 but I'm alive now and I've got so much to give. Tommy and I have been good for each other already.