You may have noticed that I’ve not been very active in a while. Things have been going on in my life that were out of my control and honestly, I didn’t have the time or the energy to put any effort into maintaining this blog. Ultimately, this has not done me any favours as I’m now finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things.
After my good friend SaBre wrote about her recent health struggles, and suggested to me that I write about my issues, I wasn’t convinced. I’m generally a private person and don’t disclose much information about my life unless someone specifically asks. Even then they’ll most likely get the edited version. I’m terribly worried about coming across as dramatic, to the point were I’ll tone it the hell down even if its terrifying.
In December 2015, Mr à La Mode was diagnosed with Stage 1A Hodgkins Lymphoma. It was absolutely horrifying that a 26 year old, in otherwise good health, was handed what seemed like a death sentence at the time – especially since we lost his mum to small cell lung cancer and I lost a friend to cervical cancer in the same week of November 2015.
For those who don’t know, Hodgkins Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes. It is a milder, more successfully treatable disease, compared to Non-Hodgkins which has a much higher mortality rate. After doing a bit of research, I read that up to 95% of those affected under the age of 39 went into remission for more than 5 years. We were told that Stage 1 is a localised lump and the lowest possible stage, the A meaning he had no other symptoms.
Only a month earlier he had spent a night in the hospital after surgery to biopsy a small lump in his neck. Afterwards, any symptoms immediately went away and we were so blasé about the whole situation that it never even occurred to us to be worried about anything more than a blocked lymph node. So unconcerned in fact, that he told me not to bother to come to any appointments with him and I didn’t consider there was anything wrong.
After the diagnosis, I was a mess for a while. Putting up a front is what I do best so we just got on with things while we waited to find out about treatment options and if the cancer had spread. It took the best part of two months for the follow up appointment to be organised, it being 2 days before Christmas that we found out the stage and we had to wait for the hospital to find the PET scan he’d had in early January (that they managed to lose!). For a change, things went our way and we were told that Mr à La Mode wouldn’t need treatment as it hadn’t spread, the surgery had removed almost all of the cancer and what was left was so insignificant that there would be no point in radiation or chemotherapy.
It feels like we can finally put the last horrible 12 months behind us and start again. We both feel like we have a new lease on life and we can start planning everything we had put on hold after his mum’s diagnosis in July.
I am fully aware of how lucky we are because for a lot of people, things have been much worse. It really hit home that we are actually getting to that stage in life were health problems will be an issue, we need to start taking care of ourselves and build for a future that we can’t have if we don’t take the time to do it. Strangely enough, despite having a mortgage and a steady income and pets, its the first time in my life that I’ve felt like a proper adult – even though I was 100% out of my depth.
So, that’s why I’ve not written a post in three weeks (too busy celebrating). If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or private message me on my Facebook page, Twitter or Tumblr.