Friday, 1 February 2008

I Am Frightened Now...

Hi every dear person that has commented on my latest sad news and thank you for reaching out to me during this very difficult time, I truly appreciate it. You are dear, brave souls for I think I understand how very tough it is to try to find words, to try and empathize with someone who is in a very serious situation. Please don't ever feel tongue tied with me, I am not the type of person who would ever take offense at well intentioned comments, advice or thoughts that you want to share and I am not afraid to discuss my illness and highly likely death. No that is not what I am afraid of, not of discussing it but definitely of going through it. Most of all I am horrified and heart sick at having to leave my sons, particularly my youngest son who is only 6. We are so close and share such a bond that the pain he will feel at his loss of me absolutely terrifies me and I will not even be there to comfort him. My heart is breaking at this. I probably sound heartless in regards to my eldest son, I am not, I love him dearly and I worry for him too but the major difference is that he is 20 and no longer dependent upon me and he also has a great relationship with his Father, which I am very thankful for, so I know that while he will be terribly sad, he will be okay in time, I also know how very well loved he is by my family so he will have the support of them also. You may quite possibly think I am being negative or giving up, I am not, I am simply trying to be realistic, I know, according to the statistics I will be lucky to have 18 months left with treatment and possible surgical removal again (if indeed that is possible which we are not sure of at this stage). When I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer I had a T3-4 tumor the size of a golf ball in my rectal passage about 6 cm up (nice huh), no-one searched for it as I was only in my early 30's and quite frankly not one specialist believed that it would be bowel cancer. By the time they had eliminated most other possibilities, which took months including the laying open of a fistula in my rectum, millimeters away from the tumor and still not finding it, it had spread through the bowel wall which is what you don't want to have happen. Bowel cancer can be survived up until this point, once it goes through that bowel wall in enters the blood stream and lymph nodes which is what happened to me. Anyway I had to fight so I did, I had months and months of chemo 24/7, I had intensive radiotherapy everyday for 6 weeks straight, I then had the cancerous part of my bowel removed in what was a huge operation and a very slow recovery, followed by post operative chemo just to try and kill any cells that were floating around or in my lymph nodes - which they were. I think this was when I took a small break of about 6 months, then cancer cells showed up again so this time I went on a Clinical Trial which I was very grateful for but it was also one of the hardest things I've done in my life, all of this whilst trying to take care of my little boy who was 2 when I was diagnosed. My Mother wasn't talking to me, my two sisters were so absorbed in their own lives that they barely had time for me, a fact that I am still getting over. So the trial lasted 9 months or so, I had a small break less than 6 months and the cancer appeared in my liver. I was lucky I was told as it was only in two or three spots that were separated from each other reasonably enough that they could operate. So back to hospital for more surgery, after waking up they told me that they had got all that could be seen but unfortunately it found in surrounding lymph nodes and although they cut as many as they could out it was highly likely that there were more that were cancerous. I cried. I recovered, very quickly. I decided that if I have to die, at least it would not be for a while, I could keep on having treatments that would hopefully last me a long time in between each one to really drag the final death out. That was when I was told I was in 'tentative remission', that lasted approximately 6 months and now here we are with it back right next to the original site. So, although I don't wish to be negative, I also don't wish to live with my head buried in the ground as I have so much to do, so many things to put in place for my boys, I need to know what is going to happen to me and I need to be able to accept it somehow, although it will take every bit of strength I have. I have decided I will have this treatment even though it will be very rough on me, I will have the surgery if it is an option for me but I am afraid that this will only buy me a short time. When you have such a lot of cancer in such a relatively short time the survival rates are almost Nil. I will fight, I will do everything in my power to live BUT I must accept in order to be authentic and in order to make the most of this chance to farewell my boys in the best way possible, the way that will help them the most. I would not have a chance to do that if I were in a car accident or had a massive heart attack, so although I am angry and hurting, I must look at this knowledge of what will happen before it does as a gift not to be wasted by living in denial. It is very difficult to accept, I HATE that it is happening, it is not fair to my Sons, they have done nothing except be born into this world, I hate that I am the one to inflict such pain onto them but if I can lessen it even the tiniest little bit by accepting and preparing then so be it, consider it done. This does not mean that I am not raging against this inside but I have been through enough to know people do die of this, good people die, strong people die, wise people die, young people die, people that don't believe they will, die. If sheer will power can stop it then it will be done but I do know that some of the best and strongest people that have lived on the face of this earth have been taken by cancer. I will leave a legacy of dignity behind for my sons, even though it is a very undignified death, especially as it tends to go to the lungs after this and not being able to get my breathe scares me terribly. Anyway enough of that, I will deal with each challenge as it arises. In the meantime I must make the most of the times when I am well.


  1. Jen-
    I just want to reach across the earth and hold you.
    my heart is with you.

  2. Ohhh!!Jen. I'm with Meg I just want to reach and out and give you a big hug. While I was reading, I could hear myself saying to myself "Just Breathe", I was so overwhelmed for you.

    As you know I've been in Tassie and this week getting Madeleine ready for school. Please know that you can contact me anytime, and if I'm able to help out (even in a small way) I'm here for you.

    lots and lots of heartfelt hugs

    Leeanne x

  3. Hi Jen,
    I've been off the air for a little while and just caught up with your news.

    I'm devastated for you.

    You still amaze me. The clarity of your thoughts at such a time. I'm sure that what you are thinking is the correct way to feel. Thank you for sharing your journey with us in such an honest voice.

    Little Jack is such a special boy and he is special because of YOU. (you know I have a unique little fella too.)

    What can I do for you, but love you, send you peace, pray for you as you go into what must feel like battle number 5010.

    Love and hugs and peace to you my friend.

  4. Dear Leeanne, thanks for you kind words and offer of support, I appreciate it, I will be in touch as I still want to catch up for that coffee and chat. Hugs xx

  5. Hi Wendy, thank you for your comment, although I feel I must just clarify that I am not at all interested in what the 'correct' way to feel or deal with this is! I only know what I feel and that is my truth not anyone else's but if my thoughts and feelings can reach out and connect with someone who is going through any type of trauma then I have accomplished something of value. Thank you for your love and prayers I truly appreciate it, some wonderful people have connected with me due to this blog and I am so very glad I started to share. Take care Wendy, I still want to get together for coffee and a chat sometime soon xx

  6. Dear, dear Meg - I feel you reaching across the earth and I feel that your heart is with me, thank you so much for all your beautiful, encouraging emails - you are an unexpected delight in my life xxx