I got an early Christmas present this year – and it’s all I could wish for!
After three months off treatment due to a nasty episode of infectious colitis that landed me in the hospital, my body is FINALLY healthier.
And I’m making enough progress that the doctors have said I can start treatment again in the new year.
It’s a weird thing to wish for, chemo on Christmas… and in the past it was the last thing on my list with Santa.
But right now, chemotherapy is my only lifeline.
Three months ago, that stream of life was swept away from me after I suffered horrible side effects.
I rushed into A&E in a delirious state and was found to have colitis, causing septic shock,
I was very ill and my body was too weak to cope with the cancer treatment anymore.
I had to pump so many drugs that I ended up looking 9 months pregnant.
Earlier this year, when the drugs that kept me alive wore off, my cancer started to grow.
A tumor started to damage my liver and I needed urgent surgery to have a bile duct stent.
It worked and my liver started to improve.
But, last week I had to be hospitalized again – to have my stent replaced.
Well, that’s the plan, but like most things related to cancer, it doesn’t go to plan.
The operation failed and I fell into a spiral of panic.
After being released from the hospital and being told there were no more surgical options, and knowing that my body could start to fail if I didn’t return to chemotherapy soon, I was in a dark place. .
It was truly a race against time, finding a way to get me back into treatment before my cancer started growing back into its ugly head.
So this week, while most people were playing the game of dodging Omicron, I was playing it, AND running the oncometer.
There’s nothing like the last-minute scans and checks a few days before Christmas to make you rethink your wish list with Santa.
All I wanted all week was a green light to go back to treatment.
And yesterday, I received my Christmas miracle – I started from scratch in the New Year.
You would think I could jump for joy and celebration.
I am full of praise for my son, Hugo, who anxiously watched and listened while I took the call from the doctor.
And instead, I just slept for hours. It was like a huge weight fell off my shoulders.
Honestly, the idea of going back to treatment makes me feel even more tired and sicker than I do now.
I wish I didn’t have to go through the more grueling rounds of chemotherapy, but otherwise, I certainly wouldn’t get to spend another Christmas with my family.
I was given another chance, and a great sense of relief rekindled faith in my body for fast and healing.
It’s so frustrating not having control over my recovery, literally nothing I’ve tried has made me feel better.
I had to try to learn how to eat sensibly again and walk further down the road.
It’s really slow and really hard.
I made progress, slowly but it was often two steps forward, one step back – the mark of a body ravaged by cancer for five years.
So what’s next?
I was about to embark on a new course of chemotherapy – a mixture of daily pills and intravenous drugs.
I’ve never had this cocktail before, and to be honest, it didn’t make me very happy.
The drug is called Ionsurf, and it is used as a last resort for metastatic bowel cancer.
Not to sound negative, or ungrateful for this opportunity, it’s not one of the ‘big gun cancer drugs’.
Now this is my fourth and supposedly last ‘proven’ standard dosing opportunity.
However, the doctors have reassured me that the plan at the moment is to take the drug now, in hopes of going back to the powerhouse drugs I’ve been on before, or a clinical trial. new ready.
That powerhouse chemotherapy didn’t stop my cancer-killing work.
It just started ‘killing’ me in the process – the side effects were brutal.
So right now, we can’t risk me staying on it.
In another glimmer of hope, my latest set of scans shows that my cancer is growing slowly rather than rapidly at the moment.
And while the location of my tumors meant I was living on a knife edge (because they couldn’t work), the slow growth rate could be the difference between my liver working or failing. collapse.
If we can put my cancer back to sleep, then I have a chance to knock over the can – yes, I mean death – continuing down the street.
I trust my oncologist and my team, so when they told me this was a good option, I went with it.
So with more valency to look forward to in the new year, I’m just focusing on the here and now – Christmas!
I’m running a Harry Potter movie marathon with my kids and I need to wrap up hundreds of gifts I bought last minute.
It’s time to treat yourself well and enjoy time with the people you love
Like everyone now, I hope not to use Covid to be able to see their parents, siblings and family over the weekend.
I’m aiming to get through Christmas without worrying or thinking too far ahead.
In the five years since I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and said I have an 8% chance of living to see that 5-year milestone, I’ve known that you have to do these things every day. once.
While Santa has granted me an early Christmas wish, I’ll steal one more thing.
All I want for Christmas is one more occasion with my children and loved ones.
And I hope the same goes for every cancer patient out there.
Cancer or no cancer, the past few years have been really tough for all of us.
It’s time to be kind to yourself and enjoy time with the people you love.
I can be cranky at Christmas, overwhelmed by the pressure to be happy. Not this year!
To be fair, I’ve had a tough six months in health, with lows below the highs on the roller coaster of living with incurable cancer.
There have been so many times when I really thought living to see this Christmas was a pipe dream.
But here I am. And for me and my family, it was the greatest gift we could ask for.
Merry Christmas to all of you x
https://www.the-sun.com/health/4334928/deborah-james-one-christmas-wish-come-true-cancer/ Deborah James, a stage 4 cancer patient, said one of my Christmas wishes just came true