I don’t really need to start this letter with the conventional “how are you?” because sadly I know exactly how you are. On Friday I sat in DtM’s clinic room and scanned the report for myself telling me all about your current state of health. And it did not make for pleasant reading. Not only were you happy to grow all your original tumours but somehow you’ve also wheedled your way back into my liver, and even taken up a new residence in my lung.
I guess the worst reality of all this is accepting that my bone marrow just cannot take the intensive poisoning we have used to suppress and keep you under control in the past. This is a very hard pill to swallow. What that means is this is probably the beginning of the end for our relationship. The options now lie between gentler chemotherapy, which is unlikely to have such sustained efficacy or enter the world of experimental medicine by trying the weirder drugs.
I’ve learned to become wiser on this whole journey. As a newly diagnosed 29 year old girl I thought I knew exactly how I wanted things to be with regards to my treatment. As a hardened and experienced 34 year old cancer patient I now know I have to face each decision at a time and cannot predict how I’m going to react emotionally to any of this. It feels like I’m on this roundabout that is gradually spinning faster and faster with no opportunity to jump off.
I was proud of myself for reaching the end of training and achieving my CCT. I am proud of myself for holding down a part-time Consultant role in the context of your existence in our lives. I am proud of our fundraising. I am proud of #hellomynameis. I am proud of Chris for reaching his current state of acceptance. Who knows what our future holds? Maybe DtM will persuade someone to give him some PD-L1 inhibitor on the sly & maybe I’ll have one of these miraculous, durable responses that puts you to sleep for a very long time. Or maybe the carboplatin will have no efficacy and I’ll be pushing up the daisies before the year is out. Nobody can answer that, but deep down inside I just don’t feel ready to stop trying yet.
So that’s where we are. I have no doubt the coming months will be tough on the both of us, but hoping more so on you.