For almost the past 6 months, I have been walking on air in bewilderment. You see, even though I have cancer, something remarkable happened to me that has put a crazy smile on my face – someone liked me for me and dated me, yes, actually became my boyfriend! It’s something I thought sounded impossible, I mean, who wants to date someone with cancer, right?! (read my earlier post ‘The Dreaded Social Question…”So what do you do?”). Yet it actually happened!
[New Year’s Day having fun!]
We met naturally and flirted and started going on dates to the cinema, theatre, ice rink… gosh, it felt so exciting and fresh and fun! My previous relationship ended just a few weeks before I was diagnosed with cancer, so it had been a long time since I had felt like myself; felt like a woman. And even though I am on good terms with my ex and he has supported me through this time, the moment our relationship ended we became great friends and lovers no more.
Anyway, once I started my treatment of surgery and chemotherapy, my mojo vanished. Disappeared completely. Nowhere to be seen. Chemotherapy had clear wiped out any desire I had to even look at a guy, let alone think of dating, and it never bothered me at all because I wasn’t interested in romance. But chemo ended in April 2018 after two long years of being on it pretty much non-stop, pausing only to have surgery for a second time in September 2017.
In July 2018, due to scans showing the cancer hadn’t ever really gone away, I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the BEACON trial at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute on Harley Street. This gave me targeted therapy as opposed to chemotherapy, allowing me to feel more like ‘me’ again with reduced side effects. By going on this trial, my cancer was able to stay stable, in fact, since July 2018 up to my most recent scans on 14th May 2019, I have remained stable. The two comparable sites they use showed that one had reduced by 1mm and the other by 3mm. Which is the equivalent of 4% loss on one site and 15.8% decrease in the second site. But that still means I’m working on getting rid of the remaining masses not to mention the other non-measurable nodal masses spaced out around my peritoneum and general torso area. (Also, it’s worth pointing out that ‘stable’ generally means that there is less than 30% difference in increase or decrease, so the medical profession don’t really view this as a decrease, it’s classed as ‘stable’.) Also, since finishing chemo, I have slowly but surely begun to feel more like me again. My voice that had disappeared and was strained during chemo and as a singer that made me feel like I’d lost my essence, has slowly begun returning; my chemo brain which fogged any thoughts or memory or coherence, has been gradually lifting; and, my sense of ‘me’ and having thoughts and ideas and motivation for life and projects has steadily grown stronger and stronger.
[Feeling on top of the world, well, on top of a hill in the Peak District]
So when, I met this guy in December 2018, I could not believe my luck! Here’s someone who’s honest, genuine, fun, full of ideas, is interested in what I have to say, makes me laugh and makes my knees go weak just by looking at me – and his kisses? – They make me forget everything else going on around me and I’m lost in that kiss. I’m not ashamed to admit it. And to say that he’s tall, dark and handsome sounds cliché but it’s the truth. Not only was he all of this and more, but he knew about my cancer and still choose to be with me! I mean, I couldn’t believe my luck! But obviously, luck can run out. And yesterday, he told me that sadly, he thinks we should end our romantic relationship. He didn’t say directly that it’s because of my cancer, but we discussed the difficulties of being in a relationship that has an uncertain future. S**t. My heart sank.
But me, being me, I’ve decided to hold on to the positives. He still wants to be in my life and enjoys being around me, even when he told me our romance had come to and end, he gave me so many compliments to make me feel valued and of worth, and I’m hopeful that once I rid myself of cancer, that I can knock on his door and ask him out again. Who knows if he’d even be interested then? I don’t know what the future holds, who does? In the meantime, I’m just glad he’s still in my life. But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I hope. (Please note that I have purposefully given him anonymity as this blog is more for my expression than to target him.)
This news of being single has made me even more determined than ever to get out of this damn Limbo Land of stable scans and get readings of Cancer Free instead! ‘Stable’ may seem good news for the clinical trial, but for me, I’m wanting more! I want the cancer gone! I want my body to be healthy. I want to really connect to my spiritual self and be in harmony with my emotions so that I am one with myself in every possible way. I want to live fully and love whole-heartedly and be loved in return without an uncertain future looming over us. To love and accept myself and know that I am worthy of love and not cheating any future partner of a future together.
So. This is my mission: to get radical remission. To be clear of cancer and to heal fully in every way that I possibly can; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I know I already have the support of family and friends and I am so unbelievably grateful for them every single day.
Hey, I just organised a concert called ‘Living With Gratitude’ ( not ‘Living With Cancer’) to emphasise how I choose to live my life. The concert raised £3,892.60 for Bowel Cancer UK which I am super chuffed with and thankful to everyone involved who gave up their time, effort, donations and money.
[My fellow singers at my fundraising concerts which raised £3,892.60 for Bowel Cancer UK. From left to right: Amelia Adams-Pearce, Suzie Aries, myself, Loz Margetts-Bullock.]
However, I would like the support of my friends and family to extend a little further, to push the possibilities so that instead of love for me living with cancer, they can love the cancer to death, literally, so that there’s so much love and positivity that the cancer has no reason to be here anymore. Like some other cancer patients, I believe my cancer came to teach me something about my life. In addition, I believe that as it is a part of me and came from me, that it is asking for love and acknowledgement of its purpose before it can leave. It came to open my eyes, and now my eyes are open, I no longer have a need for it, and it’s time for it to go. One thing I’ve learned is to not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. So, if you’re reading this and would like to help me in my quest for radical remission, to free me of cancer, I would be so grateful if you could do any of the following:
- Send me positive thoughts of healing and love
- Support me in my holistic therapies of reiki, yoga, emotion-code, reflexology, etc
- Give words of encouragement when I cut out refined sugar, meat and processed foods
- Make me laugh uncontrollably ( if you make me cry or pee a little whilst I’m laughing then you’ve hit the jackpot!)
- Give me hugs – I love hugs, hugs are hugely important
- Make sure that I’m exercising – take me dancing, walking or even, dare I say it, swimming!
- Encourage my visualisation techniques of my immune system killing the cancer
- Take me out to nature so I can hear birdsong, not the busy chaos of industry or traffic
- See me. Simply that. See me and let me see you, knowing that we’re holding hands together and that you’ve got my back
Any help you give will make me stronger. And I swear to you, I won’t take it for granted. My yoga teacher reminded me yesterday, that sometimes in this world we question ourselves and our purpose. When those moments arise, we should remember this; that one single act of kindness that we give to just one other person, can travel far and reach people we’ve never even met. Because an act of kindness can create a ripple effect and spread joy. So, if you ever feel down, or unworthy or have a low point and are uncertain of what you have to offer this world, just remember, how by helping another person or giving a compliment or making someone happy is a ruddy good reason for being alive and is a worthy purpose.
Thank you for your time and help. Sending you my love in return xxx
[Me singing at the fundraising concerts in aid of Bowel Cancer UK, feeling a little bit more like ‘me’ again.]