Today was a good day. A really good day. This afternoon we met with the Oncologist from Charing Cross Hospital.
Firstly, he was personable and engaging - (which, believe me, are not qualities you find often in the NHS) - and wasted no time in telling, and showing us, that all the additional scans had come back clear. It was fantastic news.
Secondly, I'm now scheduled for my first of six chemotherapy 'treatments' next Wednesday (22nd). Essentially, every three weeks, I will go for a check-up and blood-test and then, providing my immune system is up to it, go back the next day and be given the treatment. There is then a further injection adminstered, the day afterwards, to bolster my white blood cell count.
This was all very positive and exactly what I needed to hear in terms of finally being able to forward plan. Obviously though, there is a downside ...
a) I'm going to feel like crap. I know that. And that will get progressively worse as I continue through to June. Nonetheless, I'm hoping this can be mitigated by healthy eating, a little exercise and just being sensible.
b) I'll probably lose some, if not all, of my hair. I've already said that I'll give the cold cap a go but I'm also looking into my wig options, so that I've got something ready should I need it.
c) It's unlikely that I'll ever have kids. Not that I was planning to, or even thinking about it, but at my age an 18-week course of chemotherapy followed by 5-years of anti-oestrogen drugs, will rather put the kibosh on things!
However, clearly the main thing is to get better. And now we've got some dates in the diary, I'm feeling much more positive that this will happen.
First though, I need to get a microchip put in my tumour. A kind of 'tit tag', that will allow them to keep track of where the tumour was should the chemo successfully shrink it out of sight. That, of course, is best case scenario. The next best is that the tumour shrinks to a size where surgery is feasible, have it cut out, and then follow up with a little bit of radiotherapy.
So while it's definitely going to be much more of a marathon than a light jog, at least we're up and running!