When lightening strikes twice

So, I have been pondering whether to post this for some time. For those of you that have previously read my blogs (thank you) will know that I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma in August 2017.  To cut a long story short (I’m never good at that by the way so advance warning if you’re reading my blogs make sure you have a nice brew in hand) I was put on Immunotherapy almost straight away, which was relatively new in the UK at the time.

This was one of the reasons I decided in hospital to start this blog as it was struggle to find any sort of information on side effects, success rate, life expectancy. My first treatment I was actually shown a Chemotherapy video instead (thankfully things have now progressed). I only ended up having 2 doses of the combination immunotherapy and then was hospitalised for some time due some pretty horrific and life-threatening side effects.

In spite of all this the Immunotherapy continued to work each time I went for a scan there was evidence that my melanoma was shrinking and in September 2019 I was told it had all gone. I was totally amazed no sooner had I started writing about this dreadful journey it seemed like it was going to be over. I truly believe this drug is a wonder drug and along with a moderately health lifestyle, lots of veggies, positive attitude and a bit of faith not to mention amazing oncologist and cancer centre was the successful cocktail.

When Lightning Strikes Twice

Fast forward to August 2021 I was coming up for my 3 years ‘all clear’ N. E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) I had been having regular 6 monthly CT scans when lightning struck twice. It wasn’t in the same location but the same shitty Melanoma this time it’s in the form of Brian Tumours.

See cancer doesn’t discriminate it prays on innocent children, on the elderly on the good people of this world and we can’t let it. It seems more and more people unfortunately know someone who does have or has died from cancer and that needs to stop. To stop this, we need to understand and research the causes of cancer and adapt accordingly. We need to know the warning signs to aid prevention.

In a world where we can’t really agree on many things, maybe we can at least agree that sharing experiences of cancer we can look at a prevention and hopefully one day total cure. See when I started my blog I did it in the hope that if I could just help one person (all right selfishly 2 including me) then the roller coaster would have been worth it.

So far, it’s not been quite the roller coaster of a ride I would have gone on more like the wooden rickety Grand National at Blackpool where you often wonder your fate at the end, come off a bit dishevelled.  But when you do you have a new found appreciation for your knuckles, the floor and the mug of a seagull that just 10 minutes ago nicked your chips.

Cancer Research UK

I was contacted to ask if I would like to do another article for today for Cancer Research UK as the lovely lady had been in touch previously when I was asked to start the Race for Life at my local Park to which I was privileged and honoured to do so. I thought about this for some time and I worried. I worried what my work colleagues would think, would people still think I’m banging on the drum saying woe is me, would people care, would it affect me, how would it affect those around me in particular my husband and children so just last week I declined.

However, the truth is people will always have opinions the world just wouldn’t evolve if it didn’t. Those who generally have negative opinions about all sort of illnesses and diseases are probably the fortunate ones who have ever had to really experience it. The only ones who unfortunately know how I am is me (some days that’s debatable), closely followed by my husband, children and amazing team of Oncologists, Skin care Nurse, Neurologist, Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist.  Hence why I have decided to share this experience to those who still want to read in the hope that it will do some good in the world and hopefully maybe put a smile on someone’s face.

This time it has affected me in more ways than before, each day is a different kind of struggle but I cherish the ‘good days’ and still grateful for every day I wake up. My physical, mental health, memory has been affected along with my speech and noise sensitivity. But if there is one thing that I won’t let it affect that is my creativity I love writing (my spelling is now more than questionable) and also doing crafts. I feel that this will help me get through this tough time.

Perspective

See it’s all about perspective we can’t always prevent the things that happen to us but we do have a choice in how we let them affect us. If any of you had read my previous blog, I mention that I read Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning’ blissfully unaware that I had cancer. Four years on I read another sequel the ‘Miracle Equation’ blissfully unaware that I had 3 brain tumours growing. Now if we were to look at these statistics 2 books = 2 cancer diagnosis it doesn’t make for great success. However, if I look at it from a different perspective the 6 principles of Silence, Affirmation, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading, Scribing are probably what gets me through each day.

Having said that though I do have a third book of the ‘Miracle Morning Millionaires’ on the shelf at home which not to tempt fate I won’t be reading anytime soon. Besides everyone knows that the third is usually a flop and to me now just to be healthy is worth more than any money can buy.

‘Nothing is stronger than a small amount of hope that won’t give up’ – Matt Haigh

‘I won’t give up’ – Rachel Cummings

The above quote from Matt Haigh I tended to write of late on my really bad days and it keeps me going not to give up HOPE.

I will try and post more often as long as people are enjoying them as long and

  1. I have managed to get out of bed that week or
  2. not been hospitalised.

So, for now if you’ve got this far then thank you.

I hope to see you again soon

Rachel x x x

26 Comments

  1. Michelle Jennison
    04/02/2022 / 21:31

    I am so sorry to hear about the relapse (is that what it’s called?) Cancer doesn’t discriminate, at present my uncle is battling stage 4 lymphoma and sadly it would seem he is losing. All I can say to you Rach is that each day truly is a blessing, see your kids grow that one day older, that one day closer to their graduation/wedding.

    Look to the future as far as you can. I can only send you positive thoughts, being ill is not something anyone else can relate to as we all experience it differently. I found pleasure in tiffany style glass working, my mum finds pleasure in her garden; what I’m trying to say is take as much time as you can to get the most out of your life. I love your blog and have shown it to my friends. keep up the writing xx

    If there is anything I can do, including sending some sea glass to you for your crafts (I craft with sea glass so I have quite a lot haha) please just message me on FB.

    Sending much love

  2. Katie Tyer
    04/02/2022 / 21:32

    As ever Rach.. you’re writing really moves me. Sending you the biggest hugs and sending lots of love from us all xx

  3. Jeanette
    04/02/2022 / 21:45

    Aaaw Rachel… You have done it again my lovely.. Made me laugh and cry…. You keep at it…. So proud of you.. Sending love and positivity as always xxxxx

  4. Amanda Jepson
    04/02/2022 / 21:55

    There are no words that can possibly say how proud we all are of you, you are the most beautiful person ever, we love reading your blogs, you are a total inspiration to mankind, and we think about you every single day. Keep fighting beautiful lady and if there is anything, really anything that we can do to make your road to recovery easier, shout up my love xxxxxxxxx

  5. Hayley
    04/02/2022 / 21:56

    Rach you are an amazing person that is loved by anyone lucky enough to have you in their life x I love reading your blogs xx

  6. chris jepson
    04/02/2022 / 22:07

    Such strength and damn right stubbornness not to let this beat you Rach is so inspiring. I for one am interested I reading every word of your blog. Whilst it’s terribly upsetting to read through your struggles, it makes me immensely proud to have you as a cousin. Lots of love and positivity from the Jepson’s, take care and keep fighting xx

  7. Debbie
    04/02/2022 / 22:08

    I can’t wait for the next instalment. I love the way you wrote, so educational, blunt and honest xxxx

    • Nick
      04/02/2022 / 23:37

      Inspirational doesn’t come close, what an amazing person you are. Long time no see but proud to remember you and your smile (and the fact you are maybe the only person I met smaller than me). Love and positivity to you and yours, you got this

  8. Kavito
    04/02/2022 / 22:17

    Rachel, you’re amazing. I’m smiling at your wonderful way with words while simultaneously marvelling at the way you have expressed those
    dark experiences in such a light way. Your strength and resilience shine through. Lots of love to you, big hugs xxx

  9. Sarah
    04/02/2022 / 22:20

    Well done you are so brave to be sharing your story . You are a very good writer and I believe it will give you pleasure to get it written down and out of your head. May you have the strength to carry on .x although it a very sad read thanks for sharing. Wishing you a full recovery. Xxx

  10. Jan
    04/02/2022 / 22:27

    So sorry to hear you’re going through this again Rachel. As much as I enjoy reading your blogs (you write with such honesty and humour) I really wish you were not in the position you now find yourself in. As for spelling, don’t question it….the ‘Brian’ tumour made me smile. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re amazing. Xx Sending love and positive vibes your way xxxx

  11. Sandra
    04/02/2022 / 22:39

    Don’t stop writing Rach, you’re very good at it. I’m looking forward to your next one. Hope your good days are a plenty! Xx

  12. Eileen
    04/02/2022 / 22:51

    So sorry you’re having to go through this again Rachel. I followed your first blog and will be following this one. You are such an inspiration. I don’t know where you get your strength from, you are amazing and a fighter and I hope you have more good days than bad. Keep going 💕

  13. Lisa Gillibrand
    04/02/2022 / 23:04

    Rachel, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve got this on your plate. For what it’s worth (and appreciate that it’s not much), I think you are an absolute legend. Your positivity is inspiring. I’m going to read every word you want to share xxx

  14. LAURA
    04/02/2022 / 23:38

    Super blog Rachel, keep writing you are amazing, onwards and upwards xx

  15. Chrisi Nicholson Bennett
    05/02/2022 / 01:07

    Ahhhh Rach, I love the way you write, you make us laugh & cry in equal measure. You are a warrior, you keep going, you never give up! Please keep writing, we will keep reading & sharing. You are an inspiration to so many, love you lots x big hugs my lovely cousin x

  16. Colette
    05/02/2022 / 02:17

    You truly are a wonder, Rachel. You’re the most inspiring person and I love how you think and, how you write. Always thinking of you, lovely lady 💕 xxx

  17. Lindsay
    05/02/2022 / 06:33

    You have a talent with your writing Rach x Keep sharing x Your attitude and will to fight another round like this is admirable x love you forever, Linz x

  18. Alison Rodwell
    05/02/2022 / 10:38

    Rach, you have such a beautiful soul and are such an inspiration. Sending much love to you all Ali xxx

  19. Laura
    05/02/2022 / 11:00

    Thankyou for sharing your feelings to help others. You’re inspirational and I’m wishing you a speedy recovery💖. Lots of love Laura xxx

  20. Cathy
    05/02/2022 / 14:23

    You are such an inspiration Rach ! I love your blogs and your writing is ace – makes me laugh and cry – keep going chick – you’re a gem 💎

  21. Cathy
    05/02/2022 / 14:24

    You are such an inspiration Rach ! I love your blogs and your writing is ace – makes me laugh and cry – keep going chick – you’re a gem 💎 💕

  22. Lidia
    05/02/2022 / 15:27

    Absolutely inspirational, your strength is incredible! Keep writing and keep fighting, Rachel . Sending much love and well wishes to you ❤ xxx

  23. Rachel
    Author
    05/02/2022 / 15:56

    Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. As long as you keeping reading I will do my upmost to keep writing and hopefully putting a smile on your face at the same time. X x

  24. Lindsey
    08/02/2022 / 22:31

    Rachel …again amazing abs inspiring words … keep up the fight lady … 😘

  25. Rachel Becker
    15/02/2022 / 13:42

    Hi Rach, I’ve just found your blog. So sorry to hear your news. Sending you lots of love, thoughts and all my good vibes! Love Rachel

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