Six Months Ago Today
When I woke on 13th March 2013 I don’t remember feeling unwell. Before that day I’d not complained of being ill, no backache, bleeding or any other symptoms connected with kidney cancer. I went to the toilet for a wee and discovered I was bleeding which I knew was unusual but still wasn’t overly concerned, more puzzled. When I returned to bed I remember clearly saying to my husband, ‘I don’t think I’m very well’. then the strangest thing was I started crying. I agreed I’d go to the doctor that morning, got myself together and went downstairs to carry on preparing for the day ahead. Ten minutes later I collapsed. Actually it was more a slide as this enormous pain hit me in the side like none I’ve ever felt before and I slid down the cupboards in the kitchen. It was like a dead weight in my left side and I could hardly move and so started to drag myself across the kitchen floor. Our two dogs were obviously confused by this and followed me along patting and licking me! When I reached the bottom of the stairs I was able to call my husband who rushed down and so began this journey, from a pain in the side, via 3 hospitals to a diagnosis of kidney cancer in 24 hours. The rest is written in this blog. My first experience of hospital (other than giving birth there), cathaters, canulars and irrigation systems – oh the glamour of it all. From a career amongst fashionistas and superficial conversation to sharing my days with elderly poorly ladies discussing bowel movements. Here and now I’m doing ok and feel the need to get back on track with my life more than ever. I am nagged by a pain in my back which is conversely on the opposite side to where my kidney was removed but this is being investigated. Other than that I’m relatively fine, a bit limpy, a bit bored having closed my business but very relieved that the cancer was found and removed. I was lucky. As for questions I have loads. I knew nothing of this disease before it hit me. Cancer has affected my life in the form of my Mother’s breast cancer but I didn’t worry it’d get me. As I’ve written in my blog I have asked lots of questions, how long was it there, what caused it, what could prevent it, should I change diet….on and on but the answers didn’t come from the doctors that cared for me in hospital, there job was to make me better. I have received excellent care from my GP but more answers came from the James Whale Fund for kidney cancer. I avoided the internet for some time after refusing to Google my condition in case I heard stuff I didn’t like. The doctor recommended patient.co.uk and I tried MacMillan both of which were helpful but the real insight came from the JWF and I am very thankful. My business was very reliant on social networking and when this cancer struck me suddenly I quickly closed my business and came offline. I am very private generally about my personal life, the social network was mainly my business persona. When I started this blog, written from my hospital diary I took it offline 3 times before having the courage to leave it live. This was mainly due to the comments and messages of support and thanks I received for telling my story. This has made a huge difference to the way I am dealing with what has happened in a positive way. Today is a milestone, one I need to stop and think carefully about to decide how I move forward because that is the only way now. I’ll sign off for a week while I make those decisions and when I come back it can only be stronger. I have had kidney cancer and beaten it thanks to the wonderful medical team, my family, my friends and in it’s own way, the social network that has given me a voice to say how I feel. Grateful.