Having cancer that you know will return is a troublesome thing. Paranoia can set in. Every ache or pain anywhere in your body immediately raises fears that it’s back or its spread. Sometimes I need to accept I’m a man of fifty and aches and pains are inevitable. But I’ve known with previous treatments when the game is up long before they’ve got me to a scan.
Today, in the area near my hip/right buttock that benefited from radiotherapy a few weeks back, I now have a tickling feeling. It could be nothing. But it feels remarkably similar to what preceded previous tumour pains that I’ve felt in the same area.
If it shows as evil on my next scan, chemotherapy session four will be the end of my NHS treatment. Other than painkiller prescriptions. The tickle will turn to pain. My appetite will reduce and, sooner or later, I’m done for. The pace at which lung cancer spreads and kills suggests buying an Oldham Athletic season ticket for 2018/19 would be pointless.
It all feels a little too close now. When I had a range of drugs to work through it was easier to handle. As those options expire I realise I’m very close to staring death in the face. 10% chance of making it to the end of 2021. I still don’t feel fear. Just love for those around me. I still hope for the miracle of a drug trial keeping me going.
I’ve never wanted to be an old man. But I definitely want to get well past this half century. Another year saves the kids £100k in inheritance tax. Surely I can retain an acceptable quality of life to get past that curse. Please.