Four days ago I had yet another operation, but this time it was for something a little different. In my previous operation, the right side of my sacrum and a disc were removed and replaced by a titanium disc and screws that were used to reattach my spine to my pelvis. Because of this metalwork it is not possible for me to have just proton therapy as planned, but a combination of conventional radiotherapy and proton therapy. This is just as effective at killing any potential remaining cancer cells but it also has a few unwanted side effects, namely damage to my fertility.
So to prevent my ovaries from being completely irradiated and obliterated (which alongside ruining my fertility would also cause me to enter early menopause) they moved them way up high out of the way of the radiation.
I was not a happy bunny the day before this op, in fact I would describe myself as having been thoroughly pissed off. At the time I would have blamed this on every single person or inanimate object that I came across and/or looked at me funny, especially my crutches which I told to fuck off at least once. However looking back I was scared. I was scared of the anaesthetic and going blind, and weirdly I was terrified of the cannulas because things that never used to bother me have started to unnerve me. I can only compare this to much how in A Bugs Life the bad grasshoppers learn that an ant on its own is harmless but an army of ants are badass, one cannula on its own isn’t a big deal but after you’ve had what seems like thousands, you really begin to dread them (or I do anyway).
But anyway in the end all of this was okay because I was a total wimp and asked for some numbing cream from paediatrics and so didn’t feel a thing when they put them in. I think I will be asking for that cream whenever I set foot in a hospital in the future, even if it is just because I have a light cold. So then they put me to sleep and next thing I knew I woke up with my ovaries moved to safety, hooray!
Things all seemed to be going pretty swimmingly until the day after the operation, which was a little bitch of a day. My blood pressure dropped a lot in the night so they monitored me closely, taking my blood pressure hourly throughout the night. So I was sleep deprived and in pain (since some idiot decided to put me on less pain meds the night after the op than I had been the night before the op) and then to top it off the doctors payed me a visit.
To be fair to them, my chemo and radiotherapy doctors are really lovely and brilliant but unfortunately for them they were bringing me pretty mediocre news, which I had kind of guessed after seeing they had made appointments to see me but despite this I really wasn’t in the mood to hear. It turns out that when the biopsies came back in full they showed that I had a different cancer type than they originally thought, called an Epitheloid Sarcoma. This type of sarcoma is even rarer than the MPNST they thought I had and, because of its rarity, there are no statistics on the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing it. Additionally, they told me that my tumour is a high Grade 3 i.e. It falls in the most aggressive category there is. Because of the above two points, I decided that I will now be having chemo because I figure lets just throw everything we’ve got at this motherfucker.
So yes, I will be having chemo, starting next year February-ish. This is a concern to me because I have been assured I will become bald and I have got a really weird shaped head which has a dent in it similar in size to the bomb crater in Carshalton park, for anyone who has been there. For anyone who has not it is massive, so big in fact that each Guy Fawkes night there is a massive bonfire in it and they set fireworks off from inside it. Luckily for me I’ve got some really lovely parents who I figure if I drop enough hints will buy me a Hermes headscarf. And in response to you mum, arguing that I can’t wear a silk headscarf because it will slip off, I maintain that double sided sellotape will do the trick.
Weirdly I don’t feel too worried about having chemo; In fact, I feel brighter today. Maybe it hasn’t landed yet because it all feels so far away and I’ve got to do all the proton therapy first which involves getting to Florida and actually staying there more than a week, or maybe it’s just the product of getting a good nights sleep. But whatever it is I’ll take it because I feel stronger. Im ready to keep fighting and do whatever I need to to get through this because although it’s frustrating now, this is just for now. In the scheme of life, it’s just a bump in the road and although it’s shit right now, it will get better. I will get better.