The picture is of my family and I on holiday in Australia in December 2006. I look a picture of health dont I? Who would think that 2 short weeks later I would receive the most devastating news of my life.
This blog is mainly for my benefit, not to be self pitying or self indulgant but because I find it really helps, its a kind of therapy for me.
So, we returned from a fabulous family holiday in early Janurary 2007 and very quickly life got back to normal. Not for long though, on 27th Janurary our lives changed for ever. I wont go into all the gory details but I collapsed at home in terrific pain. I mean REAL pain, the kind that means you cant even swear ! I was rushed to our local NHS hospital and told initially I had kidney stones. This was quite comforting, kidney stones can be dealt with easily. However the next day I had a routine ultra sound and was told I had a large mass on my left kidney. Hmmm...not so good news but maybe its benign and harmless? No such luck, a CT scan the same day showed a very large malignant tumour which appeard to be invading my spleen and possibly pancreas. F**k. A very disinterested Registrar gave me the news straight from the hip and pronounced the prognosis was poor. An operation was possible but not for 6 weeks. 6 weeks?? 6 bloody weeks?? As you can imagine this completely knocked me and Martin (husband) for 6 and we returned home completely distraught, convinced Id been given a death sentance.
After a sleepless night we decided to pop in and see our GP, hes a great chap, more like a friend of the family really as we have had him for over 25 years. He was as shocked as we were, but quickly took control, told us there was a LOT could be done and was on the phone to a friend of his whos speciality was kidney cancer. We had an appt. with him later that evening. The family is in a private health scheme (thank God) so we decided to use this.
And so that evening we met Mr D. And how different was his attitude. It was like he gave me back a future. He could perform the operation necessary a few days later and was full of encouraging words about further treatment. We both walked out of his room feeling much more positive and hopeful.
So it was on 6th Feburary, at the ungodly hour of 6.30am, we went to the Priory Hospital, and I signed a consent form for my operation that read more like a post mortem. It really scared the life out of me and I was convinced I wouldnt survive the operation. I think its the bravest thing Ive ever done walking into that anaesthetic room and being put to sleep. But I had no choice. This was my only chance.
A few hours later, much to my surprise, I came round in ITU. In AGONY!! My first reaction was 'Blimey, Im still alive!!'