I first told you about my Dad's cancer here, about fourteen months ago. Well it's been a long old fourteen months, full of drama, pain, happiness and sadness. Not to mention drugs, wheelchairs, chemotherapy and tears.
And yesterday we were told by the Doctor that he's in full remission. It feels weird, in a good way. For the first time I can actually feel some tears coming to my eyes since hearing the news. I'm at work, it's 7.45 AM, so I need to man up a bit before staff begin to arrive.
"In full remission" is as good as things will be with Cancer. I don't think a patient will ever be told that they're completely cured as there's always the potential that there will be Cancer cells in the body, but this phrase, the three words, are the grail.
There wasn't a big fanfare, no grand announcement from the Doctor with a cake presented or anything like that. In fact we had to pretty much lever the information out of her. The Royal Marsden, the Cancer unit where my Dad has been / is being treated is totally fantastic. It has reinforced my belief and commitment to state healthcare, not that I ever doubted it. Why so many Americans are opposed to it is beyond me.
But one thing that has been a test is the way in which we've seen such a variety of Doctors. All of them would get full marks for effort, it's just hard when there isn't one continuous line, when often the Doctor has to sit there in the appointment and read through the history to "catch up".
I wonder how others deal with similar situations to this. I must admit I have pangs of guilt. I mean I want my Dad to live as long as possible but I know we're lucky compared to many. I'm forty six and both my parents are still alive. Totally mental but alive. I know so many people who have lost one of both parents at a much younger age and, from going to the Royal Marsden so often now, I've also seen many other Cancer patients who I know may not be as lucky as us.
I guess it's not about scarcity is it?
It's not really that my Dad has won this round at the expense of someone else.
I can't believe the shift in mindset. Last Christmas we had a big family one with all of us sitting there in party hats silently wondering if there'd be another. Now they're planning their next trip to the motherland, albeit a little more sedate and conservative than usual. He played his first game of snooker the other day. He used to play at least once a week before the Cancer struck and this was his first game since. Word on the street is that it was hard work, but it's so positive.
So well, there we are. It's all good and I thought I'd share it, just in case you're not one of my Facebook friends.
Thank you sincerely for the support, kind words, prayers and thoughts.