So to keep you all updated, I didn’t get very far. Two weeks ago I went back full of confidence to get the results of my first scan. This was a scenario I had played over in my head a lot but it felt strange being there. My shoulder is all clear but unfortunately it has returned in my lungs. The oncologist explained it wasn’t good it had returned after 11 months of strong chemo, and that the chance of healing it is 5-10%. I cannot even begin to describe how devastating this news felt and I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it till now, even now it feels strange. Not figures anyone wants or should ever have to hear. I was there with my mum and I felt so bad she had to hear this. We were both waiting to wake up from a very bad dream for days after. Then this Friday I went back to hospital to sign a consent form, for starting chemo on Monday. However they also used this opportunity to tell me they re-looked at my scans and have decided it has also spread to my pancreas and possibly my liver also. A lot of shit news to process but I’d like to think I will be in that top 10%. I’ve never finished outside of a top 10% for anything in my life!
I was expecting to get the all clear, head back home to celebrate and book the first flight to Thailand for an overdue and well deserved holiday. Instead I had to call my boss, who was expecting me to confirm my return to work In March, after a year off, and tell them I had to start chemo again in 2 weeks so I wouldn’t be returning to work. Cancel my new gym membership and get my shit together before going through hell again. Worse I had to face everyone I care about for a second time and tell them the news. It was just as hard and depressing the second time around and I couldn’t help feel stupid after being so cheery and confident the day before. How has life become this? There is no comparison to what it used to be. However it’s only an extremely annoying speed bump in my journey back to full health.
I have struggled to deal with this news and what is ahead so the decision was made to shoot off somewhere hot for a few days while I still could, to help clear my head and get some much overdue sun. We picked Lanzarote as I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere tropical and the Canary Islands would have the best chance of some sun. At this stage the news about my pancreas and liver was still not known.
Now I’ve never done a diet in my life, I’ve just always eaten very well. However the fight against cancer has now gone full force and amongst other things I have started to eat a strict alkaline diet. Basically eating alkaline foods and keeping the acidic foods out. In a nut shell this consists of mostly veg, some fruit, nuts and a little chicken or white fish as those meats are neutral. All organic where possible. And exclude acidic foods like meats, sugar, dairy, gluten, tea, coffee and alcohol. The naughty stuff! The annoying thing is I’ve eaten this way 90% of the time anyway. So sat there digging into my salad and lemon water was difficult at an all-inclusive holiday resort. I tried not to get too annoyed at the really fat people puffing away on a cigarette, enjoying the all-inclusive bar and buffet. The devil on my shoulder was telling me to go for the steak, beer and ice cream as it was a holiday after all, but I went with the angle that there is no time to start something like the present. Unfortunately my new diet doesn’t exactly promote weight gain so unfortunately I’m dropping even more weight. I might even be able to fit into a pair of skinny jeans soon! But losing more weight is the least of my worries.
I’m due to restart chemo tomorrow (so I don’t want to see anyone complaining they are having a bad Monday at work). To add another ball kicking the line has to be implanted back into my chest I have only just been freed from. I’ve had chest, back and shoulder pain and agonising stomach pain. I’m told by the Dr ‘they might not be related so try not to worry’. That’s easier said than done. I’m not sure if it’s the stress and worry causing this, but my body has gone to shit overnight! I even have to keep correcting my posture- it’s been reflecting my mood.
Looking optimistically, I will be an outpatient so won’t have any overnight stays if I can continue to stay healthy and avoid any infections. The chemo is going to be administered intravenously and orally, over 2-4 hours each day for 5 days with a two week gap between each. After 2 rounds I will have another scan and see what things are doing, then go from there. I’m not sure if knowing what is coming is a good or a bad thing, probably a bit of both. I’m going to start playing the lottery because I’m overdue a shit load of luck in life pretty soon. Unfortunately I now have to bore you all some more with my moaning and cancer related shiz. It took me about 9 months to pluck up the courage to write about it last time. It feels very different this time around because it is a lot more recent. Sorry this has been a bit of a depressing post but it was never going to be a barrel of laughs. After watching the new Deadpool film tonight(which I highly recommend), I am happy there are also other cooler alternative treatments available. So onto round 2 against this little fucker!
Hard to say anything with out sounding trite, but all the best mate.February 15, 2016 at 7:23 am
You are such an inspirational man – all our best wishes and thoughts are with you ! Stay strong xxFebruary 15, 2016 at 8:29 am
Thanks Jane xFebruary 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Continue the fight, mind over matter! Much love to you and your family xFebruary 15, 2016 at 9:27 am
Too many friends going through this shit. Another challenge to be mwt with your usual approach, go get it!February 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm
Thanks Roger!February 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm
Brother, been reading your posts with the utmost admiration for the way you have dealt with things so far. Please don’t give up, if anyone can kick this prick into touch it’s you big man. Keep fighting!February 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm
Thanks Jake! xFebruary 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm
Hi Julian , I’ve been aware of your diagnosis from the beginning through a friend and have prayed for you many times upon hearing your progress ( not that I’m religious) but every little helps , my dad is also fighting lung cancer and it’s totally shit , I will be following your blog now as it helps me understand a little more as to what my dad is going through and your positive attitude is kick ass and as you said you’ve always been in the top 10% , people do beat cancer every day it’s just sadly we only hear mainly about those that don’t , stay strong , think happy thoughts and kick the fucking shit out of this bastard cancerFebruary 15, 2016 at 4:25 pm
Thank you Beckie xFebruary 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm
For what it’s worth buddy I really do wish you all the luck in the world. Keep fighting the fight.February 16, 2016 at 9:21 am
Thank you Gavin!February 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm
Ditto Danielle. You were strong for Weymouth RFU and we back you to be strong and keep fighting. Our thoughts and prayers with you and your lovely family. The LewendonsFebruary 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm
You were strong and lead from the front for Weymouth RFC . You are doing the same again. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you fight it together.February 22, 2016 at 10:37 pm
Thank you Lynda xFebruary 24, 2016 at 5:25 pm
Thoughts & prayers are with you. May have only spent a short time at All Saints together but you were one of the memorable ones, your humour is still shining through. Keep strong and keep fighting. XMarch 6, 2016 at 9:54 pm
Thank you Lisa! Hope you are well xxMarch 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm
Thinking of you.Stay strong xxxMarch 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm