Week Commencing 28th August 2017
We had just been given the news from the skin care nurse that the cancer had spread to various areas in my body (mainly my chest and liver). There was however some query over whether the cancer had spread to my foot and brain. I had an x-ray straight after the meeting with the skin care nurse to look at the foot but the scan on the brain was arranged for a couple of days later at another hospital. It turned out nothing had shown up on my foot. To me it did seem a bit random (I did think well I can cope without my toe as my balance is pretty rubbish anyway). It does however seem that cancer has no sense of logic from what I’ve experienced so far.
From the discussion with the skin care nurse she said they would need to determine if the cancer had spread to my brain as the course of treatment would be different and the brain would be the priority. She did mention that sometimes an area can show up when signals are sent to the brain. I do remember coughing during the scan so I was desperately pinning my hopes on this.
The skin care nurse mentioned that once the oncologist was back from her holidays she would be discussing forms of treatment with us. We had asked what sort of treatment was available chemotherapy and radiotherapy were out of the question as these have been shown to be ineffective against melanoma. There was discussion of immunotherapy (which I had never heard of but I will go into a lot more detail in future blogs) but this would be dependent on the results of the brain scan.
The days leading up to my scan and the day after I remember sitting in the living area and reciting out my affirmations, much of the time trying to hold back the tears (for those of you that don’t know what affirmations are they’re basically things that we tell ourselves on a daily basis but say out loud to make them come true). I also spent time visualising that there was no cancer in my brain. To some people all this might seem a bit ‘wacky’ but it seems that modern society has began to embrace these sort of practices which ironically have been around for century’s. We now desperately cling on to things such as meditation, mindfulness and affirmations as a way of escaping the day-to-day stresses of life but also as a way of achieving our own personal goals and finding purpose in our lives. Maybe we should have paid more attention to these wacko’s growing up they could have taught us a thing or two about life.
I had been practicing this type of thing for a few months prior to my diagnosis. I am definitely no expert or claim to be but I do believe that there must be some connection to the mind and body so why not give it a try. Your affirmations however need to be something you truly want i.e. I am a model. However sitting there in your onesie with a bag of tortilla chips saying this will unfortunately not get you there. You would need to affirm what steps you would do to achieve that i.e. I will stop eating junk food, I will spend time creating a portfolio and I will grow at least one foot (I made the last bit up but you get my drift). What sort of started me on meditation and affirmations was I read a book recommended to me by a good friend. Normally I would struggle to read a full book or get past the first few chapters but something in this book grabbed my attention and I kept on reading. I enjoyed it that much I have now read it twice and bought copies for my mum and sister. The book is called The Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod. The guy is inspirational and much of the positive attitude I have had since my diagnosis I genuinely believe came from this book that struck a chord with me. I will go into Hal Elrod and his S.A.V.E.R.S another time.
So I went for the scan and all the way through I said my affirmations in my mind. I’ve also continued to take little gifts/mementos given to me by those nearest and dearest to me including a faith type angel, some wood from an the oldest oak tree in the UK (which my dad brought back from the village where he grew up in Wales) drank water from the well near the church and also brought a fidget cube which I ‘borrowed’ from the kids. I’m not sure if any of these help towards getting better but it brings some calm to my thoughts before important scans, meetings and treatment. So if your reading this and you think that sniffing a badgers arse and rubbing sawdust in your eye while you hop in on one leg will have the same desired calming effect then I say go for it, don’t worry what anyone else thinks.
About a day or so later I got a phone call from the skin care nurse. She told me that she had good news for once and hoped that I didn’t mind receiving it over the phone. She said that my scan was clear and there were no signs of cancer in my brain. The next step now was for my appointment with the oncologist to discuss my treatment. I couldn’t wait to get started. As soon as I put down the phone I phoned my family and friends. I spoke to my mum and dad who were away at their caravan and I just broke down in tears. I was so happy I felt like I had won the lottery. It might not have been the Euromillions probably more like one of Bully’s special prizes but it was great news and a win never the less. All I had to do now was figure out what the heck I would do with a speed boat and how the hell to get it home.