Into my third year

It was the second anniversary of me discovering that I have a problem this week. Time marches on, but with the fantastic support and help of those around me, I am currently “well”, which is a great thing. My haematologist spoke of 5 years as a typical prognosis when I first saw him in 2009. I fully expect to get more than that, but I know that as the years tick by, this is going to press on my mind more and more. I mustn’t let it.

I have come through radiotherapy and chemotherapy pretty much unscathed and the maintenance regime that I am currently enjoying is not affecting my life at all, really, apart from having to go and receive the treatment.

I do get a lot more tired than I used to though. If I didn’t know I was ill, then I would pout this down to getting older, but I am not so sure that’s the reason. Having cancer, even in remission, must take it out of you.

It’s “always there”, in the back of your mind. It never goes away. This is quite difficult sometimes, as to all intents and purposes, I look perfectly healthy, and those around you either don’t know that you are ill at all, or have forgotten. While, that’s a good thing, sometimes it would be nice for those that do know (not immediate family, of course, but colleagues and acquaintances) to ask after your health once in a while. Some people do, but most people that do know have either forgotten, or just don’t feel it necessary or appropriate to talk about these things.

This is a purely selfish rationale, though. It’s nice to think that other people are thinking about you, but they have their own lives and worries etc. What I have promised myself, is that I will try to remember when people I know have similar problems, and I will ask after them. It’s a nice thing to do.

So, things could be a lot worse. I could have been born twenty years before, in which case I would be looking at a very different future. I could have been born somewhere else – ditto. I might not have had the benefit of a supportive family, friends and employer and I might not have been able to benefit from private medical insurance. I am a lucky man and, sometimes, it’s necessary to remind yourself of that fact.

Now, all I have to do is think of a third year title for this blog. Adding “Still” was fine for the second year, but something needs to be done moving forward into the third.

Answers on a postcard to the usual address, please.