Those of us who have been following our journey and have read our most recent blog post will have known that two weeks ago we received some devastating news. Our entire family was brought to it’s knees. Those that know me well, will know that family means everything to me, Joe and our boys mean everything to me.
Two weeks ago we were told that Joe had cancer in his liver and that our options were limited. Life as we knew it had ground to a sudden halt, we were bombarded with long words, hospital visits, operations and an uncertain future.
For two whole weeks, we’ve barely slept.
For two whole weeks, we’ve struggled to eat.
In two whole weeks, I feel I’ve aged 10 whole years.
For the last two weeks, I have been an emotional wreck, struggling with feelings of complete and utter hopelessness. I am not one who practices a specific religion or attends church regularly but I have prayed, every single day, to ask god for his help and to our family in heaven to watch over us.
For the last two weeks, I have felt guilty for spending any time at all away from Joe, in between his Laparoscopy last Friday and the surgery that was potentially looming as closely as this Friday the 5th of May. It was all going so fast, no time to digest what was happening. I didn’t know if we were going to loose him on the operating table. I didn’t know what kind of a future we faced post surgery if we made it that far.
I faced having the conversation with my children that Daddy was really poorly.
I faced loosing my best friend, my soul mate and the only one I have ever truly loved.
I faced bringing our children up alone.
The prospect of being on my own with out him by my side terrified me.
Yesterday we took the trip to the Royal Free Hospital in London to meet with the Professor / Specialist Liver Surgeon that has taken the lead in Joe’s care. We waited a good hour and what felt like an entire lifetime for our appointment. We were expecting to come away with a plan and a date for surgery or to be told that the operation to remove half of his liver was not an option. We were not expecting to hear what came next.
Some one was watching over us. Some one heard our prayers.
The specialists at the Royal Free had requested and re-examined the samples taken previously and along with the biopsy taken and the repeated MRI and CT results are for now happy to rule out cancer. The liver condition Joe has (PSC) mimics cancer and can indeed cause cancer in either the liver itself or as they suspected in the bile ducts. The brushings that UCLH took and confirmed were suspicious for cancer turned out to be abnormal cells but unlikely to be cancer. This also means that if the PSC develops to the stage of needing transplantation, it will be an option.
We are not off the hook so to speak just yet, with frequent scanning and blood testing, along with a life long follow up to keep watch for potential deterioration.
For now we are in a state of disbelief and shock, mixed with happiness and relief.
They were so certain before.
For the first time in two weeks, I can breathe deeply.
I can see clearly.
A weight bigger than the eye can see has been lifted from our shoulders.
I believe in fate. I believe this was the wake up call we all needed. To live a long and fulfilling life, you need good health. Health is important and when you have it, you need to make a conscious effort to make sure you keep it. We have been incredibly lucky. We have been on this rollercoaster ride and have been able to get off unscathed. I am sensitive to the fact others still are and can’t get off.
I never want to encounter another experience like this again. I will do whatever it takes.
“Catch!!” said cancer. We grabbed that ball with both hands and threw it right back.
While this has been one of the most difficult times in our lives, there is always something positive to be taken from it.
That for me is perspective.
Don’t take anything for granted.
Focus on what really matters.