My Sequel to Mountain Lion.

https://csn.cancer.org/node/299213

This is a sequel to my favourite ever piece of writing about what it’s like to go through cancer diagnosis and treatment. It’s in the link above but I’ve also posted it before in the post called ‘Roar’. I didn’t write it but wish I had. I have lost count of the people I have told about it. Everyone who has experienced the cancer ride relates to it. You really need to read it.

So you’ve beaten the lion. But everyday you have to open the fridge. For a while you expect the lion to be there everyday. But it’s not. Eventually you can open the fridge with no fear. Some mornings you even forget about there was ever a lion in there. Some days you even forget about what the bear did to you.

Ten months after my lion I opened the fridge and found a mountain lion cub. No one was sure if this cub would turn into a mountain lion or not. It may just run away and grow up somewhere else, or if I kept it it may turn into the most ferocious mountain lion ever seen and kill me. But when you’ve had a run in with a lion you try your best to avoid another. The guys who know best about lions say they can take the kitten away, just to be safe. As it’s not a full grown mountain lion they don’t need a full grown bear to kick it’s arse. A bear cub will do. Even bear cubs scratch.

Three more times I’ve opened that fridge and found a mountain lion cub.

Once I did just ‘watch and wait’ to see if it was going to leave or get bigger. It did get bigger and that meant a bigger bear cub was needed to sort it out before it became an adult. That one tore a chunk off me.

But everyday you’ve got to open the fridge. Imagine that? How mentally exhausting to live in a state of perpetual uncertainty and fear. Because it’s such a horrible way to live most people who have had a brush with a mountain lion find that they do their very best to make the best of every day. That adds to the pressure. Many survivors find it a great help to lend a hand to others still running up the mountain.

This year I found another cub. Just sitting there one day.  These Cubs clearly loved me. Another bear, not adult, but adolescent was found to dispatch this cub. The mountains the cubs live on aren’t as tall. But by the time you’ve spent 3 years running up mountains you are totally knackered.

Being a lion fighting, bear cub finding, mountain climbing person can be pretty dull for those around you. They’ve never found a lion in their fridge. The first time they are curious, they are pushing you along. By the 3rd or 4th time it’s only those who are absolutely closest to you that even turn up to watch let alone lend a hand.

Most recently I opened the fridge and whilst there was no lion, nor cub, there were a few footprints in the butter. Lion experts looked and couldn’t be sure if there was a lion around without the help of yet another bear. Yet another climb up the mountain. It wasn’t a lion. It was something the last bear had left behind. Even the Bears, the savage lion killers can cause problems you know.

So.

I never wanted to climb the mountain. Not once. Not twice. Not     thrice . Not forth. Not fifth.

Those who have never found a lion in their fridge won’t get that.

 

But those who have will.

 

 

 

 

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Paying my debts.

Today was results meeting at Bath. With the power of Facebook memories this time last year I received a call from Nick saying ‘no cancer found’ following my partial vaginectomy. This time 3 years ago I was apparently losing my sanity at 4.30am ready for a CT tomorrow!

Of course I already knew the most important thing. That whatever it was that was causing my bleeding wasn’t cancer. This knowledge means you can waft into your meeting with a relaxed and chilled attitude, bearing festive gifts and treats, and pay off gambling debts. It also means you can take your son along too so he can shake the hand of the man who saved his mum’s life. Safe in the knowledge that it’s all going to be good.

A few days ago I got the copy of the letter between hospital and GP. It states that the bleeding was coming from a patch of inflammation that has occurred at the site of previous surgery. Very unusual apparently, but there you go. I’m getting used to being unusual. It’s been removed, it may return it may not. The letter also states that my vulva and anus ‘are perfect’ Excellent news!!

Nick shows me some fascinating pictures taken while I was under, of the aforementioned bits and pieces but also of the inside of my bladder.

My bladder is clean as a whistle cancer wise but very ‘irritable’. He gives me some advice on what to do to cheer it up and calm it down.

I think my bladder and I need to do exactly the same thing in 2017!!!

 

 

 

Letter to ITV

Dear ITV

The timing of this interview was possibly not the best for me personally. I was sat quietly recovering from my 5th surgery for HPV related cancers and precancers.

That aside, I felt the use of a ‘celebrity’ to voice concerns about such an important topic reckless and hugely irresponsible.

As I have witnessed across social media in the following week many mothers are now choosing not to vaccinate their daughters. Ms Messenger’s comments have created panic and the number of women supporting her ‘hunch’ is frightening.

This was a far too important discussion to give to ‘mother with a hunch’ This subject needs to be revisited with a longer time slot and tempered with evidence of what the vaccine is actually trying to prevent; a hideous disease in terms of both fatality and treatment.

I know This Morning has been very supportive of promoting Cervical Cancer prevention and awareness weeks and I hope this continues.

I also hope that the, in my opinion, totally irresponsible, section does not directly cause a rise in cancer in the future. What a legacy for a television programme that would be.

Yours faithfully,

Three whole years.

Never when I first started writing this blog did I think I’d still be doing it three years later.

To be fair when I first started writing I didn’t think I’d be alive in 3 years time.

But here we are. And I do mean we. Because if you’re reading this you’ve come along for the ride too. You may of been here from the very beginning. You may dip in and out. You may of just stumbled across it.

It’s been tipsy, turvy, up and down.

Its been angry, frightened, ecstatic,  humorous, passionate, blunt and always, always honest.

Today is a good day. Today I got a call saying ‘all clear’

The relief in Vera base camp is palpable, but so is the exhaustion. The soul sapping, mind numbing, body aching….knackerdness….that comes from this ride.

Thanks for hopping on, or for taking a long haul flight with me.

I hope we don’t have to go on another ride anytime soon.

Happy Christmas. Healthy New Year.