For months now I’ve been thinking what I could write about next?
Having finish my 6/6 cycles of chemo and the last one completely taking it out of me proving it was ONE of the worst ones yet, my blog got pushed to the back of my mind.
I think I found this one so horrific because it was my Aunty’s wedding the weekend before, where I had the best time ever! But jumping straight into chemo Monday (tired from the wedding after dancing my lil ass off) chemo completely wiped me out.
Then the post arrived Wednesday morning 2 days post chemo. And there it was my dreaded letter for my PET scan. This scan was to determine if i needed more chemo/ different chemo and stem cell transplant or if the cancer was only active in one area I could be treated with radiotherapy or finally if the cancer had gone. The minute I opened the letter, my body went into anxiety mode… scanxiety actually.
So not only was I now beyond tired, I was now in fear, and the scan wasn’t until the 10th of December. I knew already these next few weeks were going to be horrific. That they were.
My cough came back worse than ever, I have struggled massively with phelegm as I had a build up in my left lung but it was unable to move due to the tumour but this time it decided to move and cause me havoc!! (Sorry I know that’s disgusting but I promised I would always be honest, I actually found out at my surgical consultation it was dead tumour.. MING) due to my anxiety, I wasn’t sleeping and I just didn’t want to go out anywhere or socialise with anyone; because I knew the question ‘when is your next scan’ or ‘what’s happening next’ would come up and I couldn’t deal with the constant reminder. I even stopped going on my phone so nobody contacted me (now that’s a biggy, it works tho). I didn’t tell many people this time to stop the messages before hand, on the day of my scan and results day. As much as I appreciate the messages of support my poor lil head couldn’t deal with everything at once and decided this was the best for me. So if you didn’t get told or I ignored your message, I do apologise but you will understand if you ever experience scanxiety yourself.
The day of the PET Scan arrived and I was shaking like a brick, I’m not sure if it was down the the fact I had to eat before 6am or the fact I was bricking it… probably both. My Mum comes with me every time I don’t think I’d go through with it if she wasn’t there. She always sits in the room with me whilst I have the cannula, because yes believe it or not I’m still petrified of needles. I’ve got used to Pepper the Picc Line which is no pain at all. (This time it was put through my picc, I was so happy)
After the injection Mum has to go to another waiting room because for the next hour I start to become ‘radioactive’ and for 8 hours after, which we can never understand because I’m round her then anyway!! I asked if I was glowing the first time to which they replied no! I was disappointed. Once the hour is up they take you through to the scanning room. This is it. This machine will tell me what’s going on in my weird body. I lay flat with my arms above my head, fingers crossed, praying for it to be good results.
The PET Scan is pretty much like a CT scan (if you have ever experienced one) however your whole body goes through it extremely slowly and your face is nearly touching the machine, there is plenty of times I’ve wanted to shout out; ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!!’ Haha I wish.
After about 20/30minutes the Scan is finished and your on your way. FOOOOOD!
To take my mind off the results in 3 days I went to my mums best friends house (Janes) to keep her company after having a recent operation herself and also to see my bestfriend Emily. We did art crafts, ate Christmas food and decorated the Christmas tree it was perfect. That was until Wednesday came around I was about to set off and my phone started to ring. It was the hospital. Asking if I could come to an appointment on Friday at 11pm to see the surgeon. I instantly went into panic mode, “I think you’ve got the wrong person I’m not having surgery” “is it Ashleigh Rimmer?” “Yes” “I haven’t had my results yet I know nothing about surgery” to which she replied “I’ll ring you back” then the panic attack started and my Mum instantly came home.
Thank god for my Nurse Specialist who found out the information for me.. BUT I ended up knowing half of my results over the phone due to the mistake the booking office lady made. After my 6 R-CHOP chemos I was left with a ring which they wasn’t sure if it was inflammation or still cancerous….. biopsy it was no messing about now. I calmed knowing it was only a biopsy as id had one before… that was until Friday when me and my dad went to see the surgeon…GENERAL ANAESTHETIC that’s all I’m going to say.
Thursday came around and my consultant moved my appointment from 15:45pm to 13:00pm because she knew my anxiety would be through the roof. She explained everything clearly too me and was so apologetic, the lady who rang me was suppose to tell her the appointment time not ring me.. oh well! Basically this biopsy needed to be done to determine the next step. If I am left and no more treatment or stem cell transplant..queue the panic attack, all I remember hearing was “Ashleigh breathe”, but I couldn’t. I was petrified. The big C was really starting to test me.
Friday me and my Dad went to speak to the surgeon he was really nice but I honestly couldn’t stop crying because I had to be put to sleep for the procedure. After being a Cadet Nurse at college I did a placement in theatres.. let’s just say I wish I didn’t then I wouldn’t know as much as I know. My Dad was so supportive and the day was sooooo long I was seriously fed up. But it didn’t stop us smiling until I got home and instantly cried when I saw Connor and my Mum. I felt like I taken 10 massive steps back.
However it could be a hell of a lot worse!
To be continued….. I’ve just a small hurdle to get over…. hello biopsy arrrghh.