Whenever I have succumbed to the 30 litres of 'post toddler night-riot rocket fuel (coffee)' I've chucked down my throat, I have had to unplug 'Old Man Wheely Legs' and we do some kind of crazy drug-machine-human tango to the bog. Dragging my bag of fluids, to empty my fluids to be replaced with more fluids, to the fluid despenser, fluidly.
It's one of the only times I feel I actually look like an ill person.
So as I sit here crossing and uncrossing my legs, I've concluded I shall just piss myself. Because that's less uncomfortable.
So, what's happening with me?
The boob got cut up and then thrown into the 'body-part bonfire' underneath the hospital. Or plonked into a jar of vinegar. Whatever it is they do with chopped off bits.
When it was dissected, some Cancer was found.
This may not sound like a surprise to the muggles (I had cancer of the bap after all) but the hope is that chemo gets rid of everything in the boob which puts you in the 'complete pathological response' bracket. I didn't quite make that but it's almost clear. This is medium news.
The NHS deem me as Non-Curable due to a belief that the Cancer has spread to my lungs.
This is called Secondary Breast Cancer - it has left its primary residence and travelled to a second home.
Once this has happened the 'door for cure' slams firmly shut.
There is no going back.
I am now on palliative care. Palliative is a term that I would associate with people very close to the drop off zone. Obviously this is not always the case because have you seen me lately???
5 of my chins have gone, leaving me with just 3. I've jumped out of a plane, my ass can again be contained within a 4-man tent as opposed to a marquee, my hair is growing back at about 2 millimetres a month and my scalp is the texture of a Kiwi fruit. I've been camping 3 weeks post mastectomy, body slammed my 2 sons regularly AND I haven't shat myself for at least 4 weeks. I FEEL GREAT!
Numbers and labels eh? Puh!!!!
Let me tell you, I have asked the million dollar question...how long have I got? What is my number?
And let me be clear on this....no one really knows. Of course I did push for this to be answered but maybe not for the obvious reasons.
If you chuck my current info post mastectomy into a date generator then it spits out 4-5 years. I've already had Inflammatory Breast Cancer for 1.5 years so my 'C' in GCSE maths leads me to calculate (with a calculator) that computer says NOOOO hope for you living more than 3.5 years.
Now I'm not being naive nor am I in denial when I tell you that that info is Grade A, 24 carat bullshit. And honestly, a few of my medical team would agree.
Although that is a number. It is just a number. There is so little research on IBC that really nobody knows. There are people that will be given 10 years and then be gone in 10 days, there are people that will be given 1 year and out live us all. And there is of course no immunity to other deaths when you have Cancer....I could still be eaten by a shark or choke on a chicken foot at Nandos. No one really knows.
A prognosis does make you get your admin together....we (Scouse and I) now have wills. We also have medical and financial power of attorney over each other....every time Scouse and I argue over the remote he says 'don't wind me up...I have legal powers to switch you off remember' and then I remind him that in fact I have the same power over him. That shuts him up.
One thing 'the number' generated was an impromptu midnight convo two days ago...
Me: Oh good. You're awake. Listen. We need to talk about something that's really bothering me since they gave me my number. I've been lying here stressing about it. I've played out in my mind.... the horrors of the end. And beyond all the really obvious emotional stuff that we talk about, there's another thing that's really stressing me out. I need to ask you do to something for me. It's so important that you must promise me you'll do it.
When I die...
Me: I'm worried I'll not really be dead and they'll bury me alive and I'll wake up in a coffin. Can you please promise me you'll double check that I'm dead?
Him: Of course Hun. I'll come back and stake you like a vampire. Night Night.
What a guy. ❤️
The prognosis gives me a number.
I imagine it like this....
That number is lying by the side of the road. I see myself in an open top car with my 3 boys around me travelling down that road, Ally is smiling down from the sky, and we go zooming passed that number.
I stretch my fist firmly towards that number and confidently erect my middle finger.
The car keeps on driving, right off into the distance and disappears.
I'm not kidding myself, but really, fearing something and fixating on it will not change the outcome.
Exist in fear and sadness or live in strength and happiness.
Either way, you end up the same.
But you control your car.