A New chapter in my cancer journey

July 2017

America was amazing and the kids had a ball.  In LA the excitement started off spotting supercars, however after a few days the novelty wore off as almost every other car they seen was a supercar.

We did two days at Disney and one day at Universal, as my fitness was not great I was happy to sit and people watch while my husband and kids did all the rides.  It was while I was sitting on a summer seat watching the world go by a lady sitting opposite me looked directly at me, walked over and sat down.  As we got talking I told her I couldn’t go on the rides she said “yes you’ve got cancer, my husband had cancer too”.  As we chatted on about things she asked me my name and told me everything would be ok and she would be praying for me.  Just then the kids arrived back so I said goodbye and thank you and left.  Anyone who has been to Disney will understand the chances of bumping into someone again in the park is pretty slim, however a few hours later I took myself off into Starbucks for a coffee and there was the lady again she just looked up at me and smiled.  I still think of that lady and her words to me which were rather comforting as I still hadn’t told my husband about finding the lump so it was just what I needed to hear at that time.

When faced with incurable cancer you think a lot about the end of life and what it means.  As I have mentioned before I was brought up in the church and had always believed in God however as time goes buy and family life is hectic I hadn’t been to church in a long time.  I found a book written by a medium who connects with the spirit world.  His book to me should be read by anyone who has fear of dying as he explains that whether you believe God from Christianity telling’s is the One or believe the Universe is the One or the moon is the One or Mother Nature is the One.  The facts are we are all energy and you cannot kill energy.  The body is a physical being to allow us to live in this dimension.  The body grows old or sick and dies, however the energy within us, our souls cannot die therefore we go on to another realm.

I know many of you will go WTF is she talking about and I am not trying to question your beliefs or preach to anyone but actually having this understanding has allowed me to come to terms of death. If everyone in the world was allowed to believe in whatever makes them happy and comfortable in life then why should we judge or force people to believe in what we believe.  I think if everyone just focused on themselves and didn’t worry about what other people believe in then the world would be a happier place.

We shouldn’t be dictated to about religion and who’s religion is the truth while others aren’t.  There’s no getting away from it we are all going the same direction and will all die at some stage, whether you are buried or cremated it is only the physical body that goes through this as the energy otherwise referred to as many as our souls is released from the body on death.

I have also read a lot of books written by people who connect  with the angels.  I have read a lot about the afterlife, angels and spirits and have had a few appointments with Mediums which I know a lot of people are sceptical off.  However when you have this person who you have never met describe someone you knew who passed away in such detail and refer to things that they would never have got no matter how much FB trolling they did then you have to at least question the scepticism.  Anyway I know its not for every one, but I have got great comfort from these readings and the books I have read as I believe there is an afterlife and I will still see my kids grow up into men and have families of their own, even though I wont be in the physical form.

Well getting back to my American holiday we had a great time in LA we did the Hollywood hills tour seeing many celebrities houses and the famous Rodeo drive were Julia Roberts had an unsuccessful shopping trip until her knight in shining armour Mr Geer took her on a personal shopping trip.  There is a store on Rodeo drive which you have to pay $1000 just to get into it, to prove you can actually afford to shop in it!!! so we just looked at it from the bus as you can imagine and as there were no Primark’s or H&Ms on the strip we gave the stop a miss.

After 5 days in LA we drove north to Santa Barbara stopping overnight here then further north to Monterey having a stop over here to visit the famous Pebble Beach golf course and harbour a special request from my hubby who is a keen golfer.  Leaving here we headed north to San Francisco were we left the hire car and stayed 4 nights.  All I can say is if you plan to go to San Francisco take plenty of cash, in actual fact if you plan to go to America take plenty of cash!! I don’t know where and when I got the impression that America was cheap but believe me it is anything but.  What people had forgot to mention to us was there is a tax added onto everything at the till.  Which basically would be like us only being notified of the VAT on an item when we got to the till.  Also tipping in America is a must with many restaurants taking a 20% tip on a table of 4 or more diners even at breakfast time!!!

Anyway aside from the cost it is bloody freezing! bearing in mind we had been in LA and the California coast were it had been 30+ degrees everyday then boom on with the trousers and fleeces wow didn’t expect that either.  Apparently it is down to being situated right at the Golden Gate mouth where it is near cold ocean waters which draws in wind and fog during the summer.  So a bit of advice if going to San Fran take a few hoodies, although every shop sells them as they have obviously seen that many tourists like us arrive expecting 30 degree temperatures.

While in San Francisco we did the tram ride, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf  were I ate an amazing lobster on sourdough bread sandwich which is a must at Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz which was amazing.  I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it but I did it was really interesting and surprising the kids loved it too and still talk about the facts they learned.

Leaving San Francisco we flew to Las Vegas, all I can say is Whaoooo!!! when you think of Vegas whatever image you have in your head times that by 100. The hotels are huge.  Although we could not go into the casinos with the kids watching people of all ages at all hours of the night and day playing slot machines was surreal.  We had a laugh as we said can you imagine Granny and Grandad, sitting down there at 8am playing the slot machines!!!

It was an experience I must say and in hindsight we said we would have preferred the extra few days in  Vegas than San Francisco. We did the helicopter ride at sunset out to the Grand Canyon which was probably my best bit.  Seeing the red rock millions of years of Geological history was breath taking.  While flying over the canyon I thought to myself of the total insignificant part of evolution we all have here on earth 80-90 years if your extremely lucky 100 years when this planet has been here for millions of years and will hopefully be here in another million years unless it is destroyed by the human race.  Well it was a safe flight and was great to be heading back into Vegas when the lights were coming on a very special trip.

After our few days in Vegas we headed on our final leg of our road trip to New York at which stage I was shattered and could quite as easily flew home at that stage but we had a few days in New York so we needed to get the sights and shopping in.  We were staying on 11th Avenue so walked quite a bit each day.  We took the Hop on Hop off bus tour of south and north and didn’t even bother to get off at any of the tourist attractions we were all happy enough to see them from the roof of the bus.  I think we must be the only tourists to go to New York and not see the Statue of Liberty, as that meant changing to another bus and we couldn’t be bothered.

Well our final day came and we were all ready for home, well apart from my eldest son who I think will live in America when he’s older he totally loved it and said he would quite happily live there.  Although this is the same boy who thinks when he passes his driving test will be driving an Nissan GTR.  Haha what utter disappointments has he to look forward to.

So while we were packing our cases I said to my husband I need to go to the hospital tomorrow as I have found a lump in my neck, I could see the shock in face as well as the sheer panic.  He said “why didn’t you tell me” I said there was no way I was spoiling the holiday for him as I know he is a worrier but in a quiet way.  So he would have tormented himself when all I wanted for us was to go away and forget about cancer for a few weeks.

The holiday was amazing and one that has created lots of memories I hope for my kids to remember in years to come.  One thing that scares the hell out of me is that my kids will forget about me.  As my husbands father died when he was nine years of age he has very few memories of his dad.  Although both my parents are thankfully still alive I try to think back to when I was 11 and 13 and although I have memories of special occasions and events but not really day to day life so how will my kids remember day to day life especially if I’m not in it.  Therefore the only way I can make sure they remember me is by doing very special things together which thankfully due to my pension pay out I have been able to do.  I have had to explain to my kids that in reality the only reason we can do these things is because I have cancer and if they had the choice I would like to think they would forfeit the trips for my health, which unfortunately is the sour grape in our mouths when we go on any of our trips.

I was back to reality within an hour of getting home as I was enroute to hospital again were it was confirmed 99% that the cancer was in my lymph nodes however a biopsy would need to be conducted the following week to get 100% confirmation.

Oh well the holiday was amazing but now I needed to gear myself up for whatever lay ahead.   Until I had a CT scan of my body and a brain MRI I wouldn’t know what extent the spread of cancer was.  One thing I was contemplating though was asking for a new Oncologist I just felt I had come to the end of the road with my Oncologist and didn’t have the energy to fight for the right treatment which I knew was a Platinum chemotherapy or a newly trialled Parp Inhibitor.

I think I was ready to turn the page and start a new chapter in my Cancer journey.

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