Thinking about catching up

I’ve been thinking………

Should be my catch phrase really. I don’t know if others have the kind of Pac-man-busy brain I do, but I tell you, while it can be entertaining, just like Pac-man, it can also be a right pain in the arse! (Just like Pac-man).

Anyway I have been thinking, about writing. There’s been a niggle in the back of my arcade-game mind telling me I should be blogging! I won’t go too far into the reasons behind my absence other than I just got busy blah blah and I didn’t make time blah blah. I wasn’t inspired BLAH BLAH! I didn’t, for a change, have anything much to say. Life was, dare I say it, kind of…….normal!

As I was chatting to my gorgeous sis the other day, she kindly said people were actually missing my blogs (which made me feel all lovely and tingly inside), and I realised I just needed to start. Open up WordPress and tap those first few keys. Tappity-tap-tap – that’s all. But I still didn’t feel I had anything to say. I had….GASP….writer’s block?!

So I did what any self-respecting writer with writer’s block would do – I wrote about my writer’s block! THE END. No just kidding.

If anyone is actually still reading and following this, let me say I had another reason for dusting off the old blog-a-roony. When Nige was first diagnosed, in those first few weeks, I trawled the internet like Forest Gump trawled for shrimps. There was a ton of information out there about lung cancer, but none of it burrowed below the surface. I craved a real life story. So when I came across people blogging about their illnesses, I devoured every word – it made me feel less afraid and alone. There are incredible stories of some really brave people out there. I would go back through posts as far as I could and follow the story of their cancer and treatment, hoping to pick up tips or find a miracle cure. Holding my breath as I neared the more current posts, willing the “character” to be alive. But sometimes the blogs stopped without explanation, and so I was left to wonder. Did the person die? Let’s face it, this was probably the most logical egress for a person with an illness, but logic wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to see the end of the story. I needed to see it, whether happy or sad. I needed every last depressing and desperate detail. I was anchored to the laptop by both hope and despair – an unrequited love that had me clinging to the narrations of others. And so just incase there are a whole bunch of Julia’s out there lamenting the sudden cessation of my words, I’m going to continue Nige’s story, and mine, for as long as I can.

Here’s a quick update to bring us up to speed:

Late in September we discovered that the Immunotherapy hadn’t worked on Nige and that the cancer had decided to spread itself to his liver and progress in his lungs. As you can imagine this was devastating news. It had been impossible not to pin a huge amount of hope on this “miracle” treatment. There was a small chance that the growth could have been pseudo-progression (where the body’s cancer fighting cells swarm around tumours making them appear larger in scans – which is by the way a very simplistic explanation), but if this wasn’t the case and we continued on with Immuno, the effects would have been deadly. So it was off to Chemo Nige went. The good news was that his brain was almost 100% clean, his bone looked to be healing, and his heart looked good.

Fast forward and Nige has now had 6 rounds of chemo – a chemo that specifically targets adenocarcinoma of the lung – Pemetrexed. The effects have been relatively mild, allowing him to get back a semblance of a “normal” life. Something we weren’t sure we’d ever live again. After two rounds results of a scan showed that the chemo was working – the cancer was shrinking. The relief was intense. Nige started to feel better soon after the first round, and from there he has just become stronger and stronger. We moved house during all of this and Nige almost single handedly unpacked our house. I offered to help from my spot on the couch drinking tea but he wouldn’t hear of it (haha – I was actually busy working at my new job :)) Anyway the point is, this possibility wouldn’t have even entered our minds a few months earlier. It was incredible and to see him trotting around the house made me the happiest I’ve been in a while. A small piece of my Nige was back. Yes I still fussed around him a bit at first, but I could clearly see how important it was for Nige to be able to DO something – to be useful. To think about something other than cancer and surviving. I’m so proud of him.

Today he had a full body and brain scan. We just know the chemo has worked on his lungs, because his breathing is easier, he has more energy, and he really looks and feels so much better. The bit we’re not sure of is his brain. While there haven’t been obvious symptoms of any tumours in this area, the fear of having to go back to “the mask” keeps Nige and I on edge.

We should have the results from the scan back by early next week, so will share with everyone then. I’m feeling quietly confident.