How do you eat an elephant? The same way you live with cancer - bite size chunks. The overall picture is too much to cope with so we live with each chunk and each phase as it happens.
And today's phase is a good one. I have my scan results and they show an 'excellent response' to the chemotherapy. The tumours in my liver have shrunk a lot and those in my lungs even more. I have gone from a very serious and advanced stage of the disease to regression of the tumours and a result beyond management to a battle victory. My prognosis has shifted from what was months to years so this is all good.
As I expected there is no miracle result and it does seem as though I will having some form of chemotherapy (on off) for several years. Localised treatment and an all clear result still isn't an option and I need to put thoughts of that out of my head. Cancer is increasingly treated as a chronic condition and this is the way it will be managed in my case. The recommended strategy of my oncology team seems to be to use chemotherapy to keep it at bay, then give me a 2 month break from the chemotherapy then start chemotherapy again to knock the cancer back some more.
And this is what I need to focus on. The whole elephant is too much to take in and I can't live my life thinking about when I will die, or when I will be cured. Instead I must focus on each manageable chunk and the fact that I am alive; and that I have won my first three month battle.
I am also focusing on the fact that there should be a break from chemotherapy in 3 months time. I love those drugs for saving my life but they're hard work and 2 months of normalcy will be just lovely.