I’ve been quiet on here recently as I’ve been waiting for events to happen then I can tell you about them.
First off. On the 1st of May I was just on my way out and the post man dropped the post through my front door. I mediately checked the pose, there it was;
(Miss Ashleigh Maggie Rimmer and in the top right hand corner, St James Leeds)
I instantly knew it was my clinic appointment, (gosh they come around so quick. 3 whole months have passed already) I dropped all my bags at the front door and sat on the floor, I immediately opened it. I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer.
Thursday 23rd May 15:30pm Haematology outpatients clinic.
(All that went through my mind was 15:30pm again!! Why is my appointment always so late in the afternoon, so therefore I have to wait around all day)
Then reality hit…
This is my life forever? Constant check ups. Constant worry, then I would question myself. “I don’t think I can do this?”, “I cant go back to that dark place, my life could be taken away from me again”.. dramatic I know but at the time I couldn’t stop these thoughts.
I don’t know if any of my readers saw the post I shared on Facebook, a piece wrote by a lady for her friend, it explained the constant fear, worry and anxiety that someone who has had a cancer diagnosis goes through every day. From the minute they wake up – to the minute they drift off to sleep.
People often think once an individual is in remission they are ok. As physically you begin to start to look and feel healthy again but not mentally. Every day is a constant battle and I for one am not afraid to admit that. You learn to put on that brave face every morning. Which let me tell you takes strength but its ok not to be ok at some point it catches up with you and results in a mini break down which I’ve experienced first-hand, especially at night when everyone is asleep and I’m struggling to drift off.
My counsellor helps me a lot with this though. I still attend my sessions but I’ve been moved to monthly sessions now which I’m slowly getting used to. But with my first check up approaching these thoughts are classed as ‘normal’, if you can call it that haha!
Anyway enough of the negative. On a more positive note I went to visit my special little lady, my Grandma Vina. Having not seen her in a year due to me not being able to go into the care home because of my immune system, I was so excited (but nervous at the same time) to see her.
Her not recognising me was my biggest fear.
However this wasn’t the case at all. after I’d found my lady balls and stopped crying due to how much she had changed, I started chatting to my Grandma my Mum left us to have some 1:1 time for 5 minutes and I asked her “ do you recognise me Grandma?” to which she replied “yes I do, its Ashleigh” well that was it I was off again, crying like a baby, (I wondered why she was looking at me funny). We have never told my Grandma that I’ve been poorly due to her dementia, we didn’t want to upset her and we had fear that it might be the one thing she remembers and constantly get upset every day. So as a family we decided it was best to just try and carry on like things were normal. Which worked fine.
I absolutely LOVE being able to go and see her again and I definitely ensure it is a weekly thing. Seeing a smile on her face when I walk in makes me smile.
Fast forward a few weeks and it was..
Wednesday the 22nd of May the night before my clinic appointment approached. I was so nervous, I felt sick, I couldn’t sleep. Everyone was asleep in the house and I remember tossing and turning. So I got my phone out. The last time I remember looking at the clock it was 1am.. great. I don’t think I’d ever felt this nervous before; but then I remember the last appointment when I was told my good news I was physically close to being sick I was that nervous.
There was a lot riding on this appointment though. (In fact every appointment there is). The pressure is sometimes unbearable.
The car journey to the appointment is the worst. You could cut the tension with a knife, with being so late in the afternoon I have a constant knot in my stomach and its not a short journey either. I was also panicking at the fact this time I had to have a needle, as pepper the picc was no more. Would you believe I’m still petrified of these??
On arriving I always go up to my ward J94 for my bloods taking, I find it much more relaxing. It was so nice to catch up with everyone. In a weird way I had missed them. My specialist nurse had a massive surprise for me….she was pregnant and expecting a girl!! I was so happy for her, I will honestly miss her so much when she is on maternity leave for a full year! (this is when the panic set in a full year without her, what will I do at appointments haha) she has honestly been amazing and without her I definitely would have crumbled.
I braved it! 3 bottles of blood later and I was running down to clinic as they were waiting for me I couldn’t believe it. Normally I’m still waiting to be seen 30minutes after my appointment time. I couldn’t wait to see my favourite consultant, I hadn’t seen her since before my last PET scan and when I received the remission news as she was on holiday. So I had everything crossed that she could continue to give me good news today.
“Ashleigh Rimmer please”
Those dreaded words.
I walked into the consultation room and she was amazed it was me. “you’re a total different person from when you started this journey, you look amazing” she’s so kind and as much as I loved the compliment I just wanted her to tell me my blood results and get this over with.
“Your platelets have completely come back to normal and all your other counts are still normal, in fact perfect”. The knot in my stomach instantly went away.
I’m due to go back in another 3 months for another routine check-up. Before this I will have one final CT scan to check up on the old lung. These results I will get at my next check-up.
So all that’s left for me to do now, is keep doing what I’m doing, carry on living life to the full and get work and university rung so I can get my start date to return.
Hallelujah, I’m getting there…. Slowly
Lots of love Ashleigh Maggie xoxo