Yesterday my consultant found a small, pea-sized lump just where my neck meets my shoulder. Here we go! Referrals and urgent scans to check for relapse. I spent the autumn going around this never-ending circle and now I’m back where I started.
It is day 328 post-transplant and I’ve had a few weeks of feeling ‘recovered.’ You know, feeling like me and not that indistinct, weakened version that emerges from treatment. I planned my 1-year transplanniversary to mark the day of my transplant. I allowed myself to think of a future, to see a horizon. I had picked myself up, dusted myself off and moved forward with my ever-present Shadow lurking in the background. I thought I was doing well.
But my Shadow is, once again, in front of me and will not be ignored. The Hodge feels stronger and more threatening now – like she gets strength from my powerlessness to stop her. It’s as if deep down She knows and I know what’s next, we’re just not speaking of it.Yet.
There are still options so we’re not yet at the grim reaper stage. But I’ve no reserves – no cushion or back up – all were drained during our first two clashes. I don’t know where to find strength for another bout. I don’t know how to keep a roof over my head, food in the fridge, bills paid. I hoped for more time and behaved as if that’s what I had.
There’s no doubt that I’ll agree to treatment. The consequence of doing nothing doesn’t appeal. But I begin to question what price I’m willing to pay and for how long.
I know. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Only a pea-sized lump. Small. Hardly noticeable. But I’ve been here before and this is how it begins.