‘And if I don’t have chemo, if I do nothing?’ I asked
Her eyebrows did a small dance of deepest sadness, like I was a recalcitrant child. ‘I would think seven months.’ Her eyes were sorrowful
‘Then what?’ I said rather sharply, ‘death?’ she nodded. I was surprised at the accuracy. Also a little shocked followed by: I’m glad we had a good summer this year, I should have hated to miss that!
‘Do you have any more questions for me.’ Said she. I said that I didn’t but thought: ‘I’ll show you!’ and came away rather cross but quite determined to live – ‘for at least eight months’ I joked with my friend as we shared a hot chocolate in the sunshine that felt like midsummer.
She told me again that it is pointless to speak of complementary methods of treatment to doctors. I had posited that diet could slow the growth of cancer, she had shaken her head sadly but with total certainty, ‘It might make you feel better but it has no effect on the cancer.’ I demurred at least in part for having guzzled pints of green tea and missed out on roast dinners and pork crackling for nought. In fact I have discovered the most delicious ways with stir fried veggies so it has not all been wasted and I do feel healthier than before I discovered the cancer advent. Which is maddening.
Yesterday, a day later, I felt elated! I do not have to decide whether to get the outside of the house repainted, I thought as I looked at my front door. I bought compost for bulbs and cloth for new trousers, caroused the pound shop and a toy shop where I bought some small toys for the children next door. I also thought seriously about buying a smart phone but came to my senses when I remembered what problems I have with a perfectly ordinary telephone. I also ate a delicious chapatti with oodles of butter that the lovely Saima made for me and felt pleasingly naughty.
Then I looked up lung cancer on the net and became exceedingly morose. It would appear that I have stage four lung cancer though my brand is not the most aggressive but is the most common type. My spell check assures me that cancer should be in the plural – is this a conspiracy? I polished off the remainder of the very nice red wine that we brought back from the restaurant the night before, after our trip to look at the sea, and allowed television to wash over me until I took my gloom to bed. I slept.
At four I woke on full alert – none of the soft dream infested waking that I usually enjoy and I fretted for bit then I talked to my body. Not the usual hectoring cursing ‘good talking to’ either and I included the cancer in this soliloquy, I explained my position of wanting to inhabit this faulty carcase for as long as possible. I also pointed out that if I die we die together and entreated it to cool it. In fact it will be good if it can shrink and we can live together amicably enough – I do not expect magical results from this process but it cheered me until I felt impelled to write this third cancer piece.
I have a happy life I have finally found somebody I love most of the time. I actually like myself and I enjoy writing immensely. I have valuable friends and a family that I would rather not leave just yet. Dying does not frighten me but there are so many things that I want to do first and seven years sounds more feasible to me, so if this can be arranged I shall be very grateful.
Now I’m off to get an appointment for a haircut and a date with new found dressmaker.
I have no intention of dying, have arranged for a second opinion AND a date with an oncologist. Hedging my bets? Who knows?
Meanwhile it’s green tea time! I expect to keep the faith….