Almost a year ago I had a stroke. While being treated for that stroke the doctors discovered I had papillary thyroid cancer. In May I had a left-sided neck dissection that removed the tumour which was ‘bouncing on my jugular’ that contributed to the stroke. They also removed my thyroid. In July they pumped me full of radioactive iodine and in November I moved back to Glasgow from Bristol to recuperate as for ten months I was working and trying to juggle nearly dying twice into my working day.
Last week I had another dose of radio-iodine up at the Beatson; the West of Scotland’s specialist cancer centre.Today was my appointment with my consultant where I got my results and found out where exactly I stand as I’ve learned over the last year that consultants don’t mess around with bullshit and will tell you if you’re likely to die or not.
Well, as of today the chances of dying from cancer is near zero. I am in remission. The work done last week in Glasgow wasn’t what saved my life; that was done last year in Bristol. The term ‘cured’ isn’t used in case at some point it does flare up again, but as far as my consultant is concerned I don’t need to worry about cancer anymore. Sure, they’ll need to monitor my health and blood to make sure I’m ok, but I’m as of today done with cancer. This means I’ve now got the rest of my life to sort out and in that regards there’s ideas, even some vague plans, knocking around but this feels (and is) a second chance.
So as of now I’m a cancer survivor. I’m working with my GP and physio to sort out the damage the stroke did as well as get rid of the pain from the slipped disc; that’ll stake some time to deal with so for now, I’m still signed off work though I’ll take the next three weeks to recover, chill and make my decision as to what’s next.
And breathe out…