Monthly Archives: December 2010

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

Dear So and So…

I never usually participate in these meme’s, however this week, there is a particular someone I wish to address…


Dear Cancer Fairy,

Hi! We haven’t been formally introduced, however, you seem to have a problem with me and I’d quite like to know why. I was quite happily living my life, minding my own business, and you felt it necessary to invade me and put my life at risk.

I endured an operation for my biopsy, six months of chemotherapy, a stay in hospital with pneumonia (which included a nasty stay in intensive care), however, I kicked your butt!

If that wasn’t enough, that spot on my thyroid? Well, for some reason, you decided that that spot should be malignant. You’re too kind!

I now have to take tablets for the rest of my life, and have to go under the knife once more. Not only that, if I need the radio iodine treatment, I’m not allowed to be around my son for a week or two.

So, Cancer Fairy, you may have come into my life two times now, but  you won’t beat me. I’m stronger than you. No one wants you around, so why don’t  you go away, and shut the door behind you.

Many Thanks


Dear So and So...

Maybe I should rename the blog…

So, for those of you who haven’t seen on Facebook and/or Twitter, I got the results back today from my thyroid operation. Neil was poorly, and Jake has had chicken pox, so I got my friend Inder to come with me.

They were running late, as to be expected, but eventually I got called through. I had the obligatory chat on the way to the consultation room: “How are you today, Mrs Barnwell?” “OK, I think, I’m hoping YOU can tell ME.”

We walked into the room and there was my surgeon, his registrar, another professor, a nurse, and a nurse counsellor. When there are that many people in the room, it’s never good news.

Doc: “We’ve only had your results back today”

Me: “Right. And…”

Doc: “It’s positive”

Me: “Meaning?”

Doc: “It’s malignant”

Me: “S**t”

I was only in with him for about two minutes before I was ushered off into another room with my “key worker”. He’s basically the guy I go to with any worries, questions or concerns. I was told that the type of cancer is “Well differentiated papillary thyroid cancer“.

They aren’t worried about it, but I wonder how many of the people in that room had to fight one cancer, let alone two.

In comparison to what I’ve already been through, this will be a walk in the park. I start thyroxine as of tomorrow. I will need another operation to remove the other half of my thyroid gland, and am on the waiting list for this, it will probably be towards the end of January, beginning of February, and then I will probably need radioactive iodine treatment.

My key worker told me that if I hadn’t have had my scan to stage my Hodgkin’s, it may have been another 10 or 20 years before I noticed a lump because it’s so slow growing, and even then the prognosis would still be good.

So, who’d have thunk it? Two completely different and unrelated types of cancer before the age of 30. I suppose, I could think myself lucky to have had two cancers with good prognosis, but honestly, I’d have rather had none at all thanks.

Here’s to kicking it once more!

One Year Ago Today…

A year ago today, I went for my chest x-ray, after seeing my GP the day before. That chest x-ray, was the thing I needed to start the ball rolling to get my final diagnosis. 48 hours after the x-ray (Thursday), I was to get a call telling me I needed a CT scan the next day (Friday). I didn’t sleep from then until I saw the chest consultant (Tuesday).

I was convinced I was going to walk into that room to be told they suspected Hodgkin’s, but no, they suspected a cyst. It was only when I saw the surgeon who was going to remove the said cyst, that he also suspected lymphoma because of my alcohol pain. The reason I saw him? Because I was bricking it about the operation, and wanted to see him to see if I could cancel it. He wouldn’t let me.

That operation, or at least the thought of it, was the scariest thing I ever had to go through. I spent so much time reading up on it, I’d convinced myself I was going to die. I was asking Neil to make sure he’d tell Jake about me.

All of that seems like I lifetime ago now, and it all started with that chest x-ray. It took long enough to get it, but I am to this day so grateful to the GP that referred me for it. I can hand on my heart say that she saved my life.