‘I’m frustrated, angry and sad that my cancer has returned’

Dec 21, 2019
Cancer keeps returning for this community writer. Source: Stock Photo/Getty Images
The last 12 months have been great for raising the voice of the over-60s community at Starts at 60, something we feel strongly about doing. During the next few weeks we are celebrating the blogs that resonated with readers the most throughout the year. This blog is one of our Top 30 blogs for 2019.

Here we go again. Cancer is back with a vengeance. How dare it rear its ugly head again! I’ve been battling this disease for quite some time. It’s a real bummer.

Recently there have been a few things that have completely messed with my head. It might not have been intentional, but there are some things that won’t go away until you actually deal with them properly.

Five years ago, after having fought the cancer battle previously, biopsies showed cancer was back again. I had an operation on July 1, 2014. It was scheduled quickly after my results were known. After the operation I contracted a ‘bug’ and was unwell when I returned home.

I’ve actually forgotten how many times I’ve had cancer … Could it be in double digits? Who knows! Of course it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just another hurdle I will have to face. I do love a challenge.

The trouble is there are side effects to cancer that I really do not like! I hate being stuck at home, I don’t like not being able to get around and it makes me angry that I am unwell for a couple of weeks at a time.

It’s not so much the physical side effects either, it’s the mind games that are the worst. They start playing when I start taking the pills. The pills are designed to make me feel better, but when I take them my mind convinces me I’m unwell. I’ve battled cancer for so long I feel that it’s these mind games that get you in the end.

The hard yards are the operations and recovery. My surgeons are amazing and I can’t thank them enough for their expertise. Of course, I’d love it even more if they could remove this cancer from my body completely. I am completely in their hands, which is very hard for someone like me who likes to be in total control of their situation.

I live alone, which is not great when you return home from hospital. It’s important I have someone around to support me, just in case I have a moment of ill health and need assistance. In the past I worried about falling down and not being able to get to a phone to call for help, but I feel a little more confident these days.

My children, who are successful and busy with their own lives, have no idea what I’ve been through. I haven’t seen them in more than 10 years. I won’t be the sort of person who goes begging to their children for support. I doubt they’d give it anyway.

Thankfully I have the love and support of friends. And after the last battle, I’ve had assistance from home carers each day. They help with some of my meals and showering.

I’d wanted to have a large party for my birthday five years ago, but was too sick following the surgery. This year, I kicked up my heels and celebrated reaching 70 with a party I’ll never forget!

As I head into the tunnel of treatment, more biopsies have shown low-grade cancer. My doctors and I will be monitoring its progress and will determine in a few months’ time if the cancers should be removed.

I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of being sick and tired!

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Have you had a recurring illness? How was it treated? Do you have any words of support or encouragement for this writer?

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