Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today I am all clear!

Great News! The small lumps they found in my lungs are still the same size.
 If they were smaller or gone then it means the chemo had an effect on them which means they would have been cancerous.

Again, if they had grown then it would mean that they were something to be concerned about. How it stands now is that they are probably something left from a previous infection and the very effective scans I have had have picked up something which I could have had for years. They will be monitored but it is unlikely to be cancer.

When I leave the lodge on Friday I will be cancer free. As free as anyone is that is. There are always risks of reoccurance but there are also risks I could get hit by a bus.

It has been a hard 6 months but this 6 months has bought me time in which to live, which I would not have had if I had delayed getting any help when I first found the lump.

It had been a time of constant change and I have had to find lots of new 'normals'.

Surgery ' normal'
Chemotherapy 'normal' (varies moment to moment so never actually achieved a normal for this one)
Radiotherapy' normal'

And now, going home and being me 'normal'..just with tired bits as I get over the radtiotherapy.

It has been a rollercoaster but I have had amazing people around helping me. Every little 'like' and comment on a fb page, or my blog or emails sent, all helped to remind me of the good out there: the love and support.  And those of you who have shared your own stories with me have been the greatest inspiration of all and have helped put the worst aspect of this condition in the naughty corner where it belongs.

By worse aspect, I mean of course my imagination.  

Years of being brought up to fear cancer mean that when  you yourself are diagnosed, your world falls apart.  And whilst we have all sorts of endings with cancer, we should not presume it will be the worse case scenario.  

Cancer is becoming chronic;  you can live with it for a long time in many cases.  Keep that imagination in it's place and let common sense rule and the journey is a little easier. 

We all have active imaginations and we like to be prepared however you do not necessarily need to plan your funeral on the day of diagnosis nor sit through family gatherings listening to music and finding your mind giving you an opinion on whether or not you want it for your funeral.

If you are interested, Chumbawumba 'Tub Thumping: when I fall down' is still my favourite. 

But hey, we are only human and going from being fit to suddenly having a huge health label means a lot of rapid change.  
You also have information overload at a time when your brain is still trying to work out the first sentence given to you.  

To coin the phrase of one of my favourite philosophers "It's life Jim but not as we know it"
(You have no idea how pleased I am to be able to put a StarTrek phrase into my blog teehee)

So it is ok some days to hide away: feel crap and even spend the day crying under the duvet.  You go through a kind of grieving process as you lose your existing sense of 'normal' and are flung far from your comfort zone and on the days when this is most apparent you just have to go with the flow.  And understand that it is ok to do so.   I know now that it is ok to deal with it in whatever way feels right at that moment. There are no rights or wrongs.

Early detection is EVERYTHING and this goes for all kinds of cancer.

If you have any worries, any doubts please do not put them to the back of your mind. Go to the Drs..get it sorted and remember,even if you are given the diagnosis of Cancer, you will not be alone.

You will meet amazing people along your journey: survivors all letting you know that it is possible to beat this thing and thanks to modern medicine (sod the shark cartilage: it only works in sharks) people live with cancer just as they live with heart disease and all manner of other conditions. We LIVE. Might not be forever but no one lives between that final bit we get to LIVE. And boy will we appreciate it!

So, whilst my life will be run around checks and scans and hospital appointments, in all other ways this part of my journey is over.  

It really has not been all bad. There have been some perks.

  • I have not had to shave my legs for four months. 
  • Ditto underarms 
  • I have started to do the things I really enjoy instead of focussing only on work. 
  • There has been lots of time to stitch, read and garden 
  • I have met the most amazing people with whom I have shared tears and laughter...though mainly laughter. 
  • I have been reminded how amazing the ladies in my blogging-crafty world are. Thank you for your support and prayers. 
  • I have started a charity which will help others, turning this experience into a positive 
  • I appreciate all the good things in life and have stopped worrying about trivial stuff 
  • (Property tax in Ireland?  Sod it lol) 
    I aim to live my dreams now: not save them for the future, because the future never comes,  we only have the present.
Everyday has perfect moments which I make a point of putting in my diary.  

So..I am off to have a perfect moment with my physiotherapist.  Thank you all for your support through this time.  Hopefully now though, my wee stitchy blog will be just that.  A wee stitchy blog xxxxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Oh Gaynor, I am so pleased for you. Now's the time for your body to repair itself and recover from the treatment. Go home Friday and have a wonderful time with the family

  2. Great news!! Time to celebrate!

  3. Doing a happy dance with you!

  4. Woohoo, what a blessing indeed Gaynor!! So happy to hear your wonderful news...enjoy everyday just for the being (something my papa always said)!

  5. Glad to hear things are looking good!! Thanks for keeping us updated.


  6. I am so happy that you are all clear! I will keep you in my prayers to remain that way. You have done an amazing job on your journey....I am amazed at you and your positivity!

  7. YAY!!!
    So pleased for hte good news . Enjoy being back at home with your family , and look forward to doing what you like .XXX

  8. Congratulations Gaynor! What wonderful news!

  9. This is wonderful news! You are an amazing person, and I look forward to reading about the rest of your life's journeys.

  10. Gaynor this is fantastic news and I am soo soo soooo thrilled for you, while I have not enjoyed reading about your journey with Cancer I have found it very enlightening but look forward to hearding about life without Cancer :) Much Love Fiona xx

  11. lol Fiona, it wasnt a journey I would have chosen but I think it is really important to let people know what I went through to hopefully encourage them to do very simple checks which can ultimately save their lives. And it really wasnt all that bad..challenging at times but not that bad ;-)

  12. Great news indeed! Yahhoo! I know you will miss the center, but home is best!! Big Hugs!

  13. What wonderful news. Thanks for your grace in handling all you've been through and sharing your journey with us.

  14. Great news! I love your insight on things. I wish you many, many blessings.

    Bobbi (15 year survivor) TYL

  15. that is such good news to hear, i wish you well for the future - thanks for posting about your experiences over the last few months - it's certainly made me more breast aware!

  16. I am so pleased to read this post, WOOHHOOO!!!!! fabulous.
    Much love xxx


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