It’s four years since my stage IV diagnosis. I can’t quite believe it. I remember when I was first diagnosed and confronted with the fact that I only had a five percent chance of living five years it seemed unimaginable that I would still be here. And yet here I am.
I am indescribably grateful to be here. It has been very hard at times but also wonderful – I guess that is life with or without cancer.
In mid July I had my remaining adrenal removed. The tumour on it had grown enormously and I was quite sick and uncomfortable. I think this was my eighth major surgery. I found recovery hard and depressing but four weeks on I’m doing much better. I’m still uncomfortable but I’m back at work this week and just generally feeling more human.
Quite honestly though, four years of treatment and surgeries and worry have worn me down somewhat. I very occasionally think that perhaps it is all too hard. But these thoughts are fleeting. I think about my friends Libby and Priscilla who would wish to be here with their children and I think of Violet and know I will persist so I can be her mummy for as long as possible.
And so on we go. Next week to Sydney to be screened for a clinical trial. Sometimes the fear of my situation is overwhelming but all I can do is keep on keeping on.
“But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”