Thursday, 30 July 2015

There's a term that cancer battlers use for the anxiety that comes with waiting for scan results.  Scanxiety.
I'm not even the one with cancer but I can relate to this term wholeheartedly.
Mum had a CT scan 2 weeks ago to see if the melanoma had spread to the rest of her body,  an MRI on her brain to track any growth there.  She then had a wonderful week long holiday in the snow with her good friends and her husband.

So the results were lingering on all of our minds the whole time. Actually,  I say lingering but if I am honest,  it is more like taking over.  It is extremely difficult to distract yourself when you are well aware that someone out there is one step closer to knowing the fate of the person who gave you life.
You get on with the things you need to but find you forget a lot,  you muck up a lot,  your sleep is disrupted, your tolerance and patience is a lot shorter than usual.

The waiting has to be one of the worst parts about this whole journey with Mum and I'm sure others in a similar position would agree.

I can't even imagine how Mum feels.  She's so strong.  She's so realistic.  She is encouraging towards us and overall she is patient. She trusts that things will happen how and when they are supposed to. I feel sorry for her sometimes that she still feels the everlong need to protect her children from hurt and raw emotion.
She tries her darn best but unfortunately nothing can stop our pain when facing the prospect that we may lose our mum sooner than we bargained for.

The good news is,  the cancer has not spread anywhere else in her body. The tumour in her lung has no grown.

The bad news is, the brain tumour has increased in size. It is now around 3cm.

Because the cancer is not in the rest of her body,  they are offering surgery again to buy her more time.  She is going to continue her GCMaf treatment at home (GCMaf is a protein that healthy people produce naturally.  Cancer patients do not produce it and the treatment is a series of daily injections into her head of the GCMaf protein. It is very difficult to break through the blood/brain barrier with any treatment, but GCMaf has a wonderful success rate of curing cancer in other parts of the body), as well as exploring other options.

We are fairly certain that Mum will opt for surgery again.

It's one thing to be accepting that this is Mum's path in life,  this is her journey,  just as we all travel our own.  But it's another entirely to actually watch her go through it. And that's what it is - watching her. We are all here for her and always will be,  but ultimately SHE is the one who is walking the beaten track.

We love you,  Mum. Every single one of us. I thank my lucky stars for you every day,  and I wish with all I have that you didn't have to endure this endless waiting game. Xo

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Bedtime chats....

"I love you. I love your hair and your eyes. I love your mouth and your nose." I kissed Olive's cheeks and forehead.

"Nooo Mummy!" She was grumpy tonight, and we were in bed chatting before sleep.

"I do. I love all of you. Do you love me?"

"No." She was adamant!

"Aww, don't you love MY eyes? Or my hair?" C'mon, kid!


"Why not?"

"Because I just love you."

I smiled and decided to be silly to cheer her up. "Do you love my nevus?"

She giggled and said, "you don't have a nevus Mummy! Just me!"

"Silly Mummy!" I said, "but some other people have a nevus. Just most people don't."

"Yeeeah coz I'm special aye Mum? Coz I have nevus on my back aye Mum?" She proceeded to pull up her pyjama's to show me her nevus.

"You sure are babe. Only some people have a nevus like you! And some people have one on their face, or their arm or maybe their leg. And sometimes people have an operation to remove their nevus."

She gasped! "Awww! Mummy that's sad. I don't want anyone to take my nevus away. I love my nevus! Nobody else can have it, coz it's mine!"

It touched me how passionate and emotional she was about it. This was the first time I'd ever mentioned anything to her about people removing CMN and to be honest I'm not sure why I even did! But her reply fills me with pride. To Olive, her nevus is the same as her nose, or ears, legs or arms. It is part of her body. To her, the prospect of somebody removing part of their body is unfathomable. Granted, she is just three years old, and her mind is pure and innocent and has no clue of the illnesses and troubles of life. But still, for her to be so energetically sad at the thought of taking her nevus away made me smile inside and filled me with a sense that we must be doing something right. She loves and accepts herself. May this continue long into her life.

Please don't read this as an insult to parents who choose removal. As I have said previously, I support all nevus parents decisions, though they may be different to our own. We all do the best we can for our children given our different circumstances. Because we have chosen to leave Olive's nevus in tact, our wish for her has always remained the same as the day she was born - to accept and love herself for who she is. For her to know that in a world obsessed with beauty and perfection, that everyone is beautiful and nobody is perfect.