Pause to Say Thank You

You know that pivotal moment, the one that stands you still and stops you in your tracks so that you hesitate long enough to look back? That was kidney cancer for me. Despite all the pain, discomfort and worry. Putting to one side the drips, drains, catheters and of course the surgery. Not forgetting (how could I) my hospital stays and the seemingly endless wait for information and of course results. I have a lot to be thankful for. I didn’t know I was ill, I had no pain or discomfort to speak of – or at least I didn’t recognise it. The day my kidney tumor introduced itself though painful was to say the least, quick! Not knowing what I faced at that time meant I didn’t have much time to worry. In fact, the first moment I remember thinking I was in trouble was when my ambulance had to pull over and give me morphine, even then the pain took over the fear. The nature of my tumor meant that I would have no chemotherapy or radiotherapy and the fact it was removed along with my kidney intact meant that no further drug treatment would be needed. Just the watch and wait. Even today, eight months on there are people I know, neighbours and some friends who are unaware I’ve even had cancer. This partly down to my initial reluctance to tell people and also that I’ve been able to get up and out and carry on as normal without making too much fuss. As I said, a lot to be thankful for. The issues I still face are ones I deal with privately and have written about on this blog which has helped me come to terms with a lot of what has happened. By sharing this it has helped to know that others going through similar or the same may have been helped. This is not something I share or discuss openly and is only publicised here and via twitter. So Thank You. Of course thanks go to my family who, as far as I am aware have never read this blog, nor would most know of it – they don’t need to, they lived through it with me Thank You. Friends who have send messages of support, called, sent cards, bought flowers and just been there from the shock discovery through to the treatment. Thank You. Then there are those friends who have stayed. Now that the big cancer song and dance has died down, normality is settling in and you are still here. The messages, calls (and cakes) still come. Without asking you know when I need you. Without saying, you know who you are. Thank You. For the many messsages, tweets and emails of support and thanks for my blog. To those of you still battiling with and continuing to fight cancer and those like me who are praying they have seen the back of it, Thank You. To the James Whale Kidney Cancer Fund I owe thanks for listening to me when I had questions that had no answers. For supporting this blog via twitter and enabling others with kidney cancer to both read and get in touch. Because of this communication I have been introduced to some of the most inspirational people and especially those who I can relate to and empathise with. This has meant our kidney cancer journeys have not been made alone which in turn has meant they have been made that bit easier. Your support helpline and the website are both informative and insightful, giving readers the chance to see not only what kidney cancer involves but what it means to individuals. Thank You. A big Thank You goes to The Sharon Fox Cancer Centre How can I put into words what visiting your centre has done for me. The blog post I wrote at the time was one of the hardest because it made me cry. I hadn’t anticipated the overwhelming emotions that would engulf me by simply walking in the door of your centre. That realisation that I had cancer was one I will never forget and one that I hadn’t understood fully until I walked in the door. Meeting the incredibly brave people that work with you and rely upon your charity simply took my breath away. Thank You. The people I owe a huge debt of gratitude for are the medical team, doctors, nurses, health care assistants, paramedics and hospital staff. I have written my kidney cancer journey from personal experience, some good, some bad, some could be better but it could have been a whole lot worse. I am truly thankful for the intervention of those who diagnosed and removed my cancer. A special thanks goes to my GP and local medical centre who’s staff have been incredibly supportive and still are. Thank You. I never gave my cancer a name as some advised, I get the whole think of someone you don’t like and name your tumor after them but it didn’t work for me. It didn’t actually feel real until it was out and now I feel as though I didn’t know enough about it, weird but true. However, I have blamed my tumor on all those things I should never have done, the one drink too many, the one job too much and the times I should just have said No. Now I can say Thank You for the opportunities still left to take and the choices yet to make but, having been stood still – I will think twice before I say yes. Thank You

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