I find that I struggle to live in the present. For me, it is usually the ‘what next’, future ridiculous ideas, or worries about the future.
At the moment, clearly, none of us have any choice but to live in the present. We have ‘Coronavirus deadlines’, dates when we hope some levels of normality will return. Beyond that, for many people across the world, we have gone from a recognisable future, to one that has become fairly abstract.
Where to now Mrs?…
Many people have asked me ‘what comes next?’ in terms of my cancer treatment. How do I know that I have, in cancer terminology ‘no signs of active disease?’ The truth is, I have no idea. Last week I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with my radiologist, but instead, we had a quick, 5 minute chat over the phone.
I have to book appointments- an appointment with my gynaecologist to have a look at my ‘lady bits’ or (womb) to normal people. This is because with Tamoxifen, the drug I am on for the next five years, there is a one in 500 chance that you can develop endometrial cancer. A small risk, but nevertheless higher than the normal population.
After that, comes a mammogram and an echogram in July followed by a visit with my surgeon. October brings a visit to my oncologist, followed by another appointment with my radiologist in February, before the cycle begins again.
So that, as they say is that. At each appointment, you just have to hope that there are no signs of active disease and get on with living life. Somewhere into that mix, I will have to throw a reconstruction surgery, but at the moment, that is likely to be 2021 rather than 2020.
It is strange because, looking back on this expedition, if I had been allowed a mastectomy followed by a reconstruction on day one, I would have jumped at the chance. Now, it seems less important somehow. I do forget somedays that I am a boob short of a Page three calendar, but then I remember, and it feels alright.
I guess you just get used to your body. Mine is still here, still allowing me to function, albeit somewhat decrepitly (is that a word??- if not it should be). I have to be grateful for that.
This lockdown is hard on all of us. The kids here are hopefully going back to school in some fashion next week, and for that, myself and the kid are very grateful. It has been tough- we have had more bad days than good. He has not learnt to speak Russian or play a mandolin. He has however, apparently developed a love of The Great British Bake Off and Nailed It! baking shows.
I have no doubt that there are kids all over the world who will be enhanced by this lockdown experience. We will be counting our lucky stars if we both make it out alive. With that in mind however, I am not on the frontline of what is happening right now in the world, so for those that are, you have my eternal gratitude and wonderment.