I am fit for the future. That is the headline news. Diagnosed with Bowel Cancer in March 2022. Diagnosed with second stage bowel cancer of the liver in April, I can now report that all the cancer has been removed and I am completely clear of that tenacious beast. For now.
The ten week recovery period from the liver operation passed earlier this week and I can confidently say that I feel as close to normal as I am likely to be. I spoke with my liver surgeon last week and he stated that there was no need for any chemotherapy, as there was no cancer in any of the key areas they investigate after bowel and liver surgery. My lymph nodes are all clear. My liver ducts on the remaining section of liver are clear of cancer too. There is no requirement for any type of Chemotherapy, including Immunotherapy.
Whilst we had hoped for such news, its confirmation was still a surprise and its truth has barely landed. To be honest the last six months from diagnosis to recovery have been so full and fast that I have barely accepted that I even had cancer. Now, I find myself beyond that, into the unknown space of long term recovery.
There will be CT scans to follow; initially next month and three months beyond that. After that though, they will be every year. A longer period than I had expected; I had heard that six months checks were normal. I can only hope that the year long gap is because I am seen as low risk of the cancer returning. However, that is always going to be a nagging doubt. I am sure that each set of scan results will be received in trepidation.
Now I have to find my ground in this new space. Physically I feel good. My stamina and strength are still a little lower than they were earlier this year, but that is to be expected. I am beginning to increase my exercise levels, walking further and faster, and starting to do more strength work. There is no rush though. It will all come in time.
My increased physical confidence led me to enter into the Vienna Photomarathon last month. Fortunately, I did not have to travel there as they had organised it to be remote and online in nature. In fact the headline photo and the final one below are both from that competition. The former actually responded to a topic that has now become this post’s title. Keep an eye out for the full set of photos later this month.
At this moment in time I am not certain what I have learnt from this experience, or how my life will flow forwards. I intend to let time provide space to process what has happened and where I find myself now. I am not sure what will follow, but I do believe that it will all become clear. Stay tuned.