Giving thanks

Its Thanksgiving in the US, and so people are giving thanks for the things they appreciate. We dont celebrate this holiday in the UK, though I joke with American work colleagues that we give thanks for losing them as a colony. Laugh a minute with me! After receiving the latest results yesterday, we should be giving thanks in our house.

They came back to say the tumours havent grown too much. A little still. The liver is the area that is still giving cause for concern, but the plan is for no treatment this side of the new year. So we can be thankful for that right?

So why did I feel so deflated after the news? I should have been happy. But I felt down, depressed. It was because yet again, the plan is to wait and see. Wait for something to happen. We know it is coming, but dont know when. What we do know is that it is coming very slowly. Oh, but it could suddenly move and go really fast. Great. So, I have to be watching for something that is going to happen, but we dont know what will happen exactly, or how soon, or even how quickly it will take hold.

It is impossible to plan, impossible to understand even. How do you take action against a threat that will happen, but you dont know when, how or even what to look out for. In know how the security forces feel when dealing with the threat of terrorism.

That is why I felt deflated. I need, almost crave knowledge. As a caregiver I want to help, I want to care, but feel right now that I am not able to do anything constructive in defeating this disease. I feel no one is. We wait. We plan (I think?).

And if I feel like that, how does my wife feel? She has been repeatedly told that the end is nigh, only to pulled back from the brink numerous times. Nowadays she is told the end may be nigh, may be a long way off, or may come at you fast. And if it does come, boy you need to be aware and tell someone. That must mess with your head, surely? It messes with mine.

So in a way, I am giving thanks, but also not. And like a defending army, we keep our powder dry, and wait to defend our position. (Sorry for the fighting analogy – I dont usually use those for cancer).

Additional worries are the nasty cold that has spread around our house, and hit my wife. It has decided that her chest is a great place to live, and so she is coughing and wheezing. After our previous scare with chest infections and pneumonia when she was hospitalised and eventually had a stroke in 2018, I am watching her like a hawk. I dont want to wait and keep saying it has passed, when in reality it is getting worse.

So that is something else to take away the good news of the results. Just as one threat recedes, another comes in to take it place. The life of a cancer sufferer is never ending, and there is no break, no holiday. It is a reality that she lives with constantly. (And on a note, that is from our experience – I appreciate other people may have different experiences, so dont claim to speak to everyone with a cancer diagnosis).

Hopefully she will have a good nights sleep, and the cold will start to leave tomorrow. A trip to see our daughter in the school play is planned, and would hate her to miss that, for both their sakes.

So to finish, Happy Holidays if you are from the US, and for everyone, enjoy the World Cup. England are on a roll!

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