Paul has always been the optimist when it comes to his cancer diagnosis.
Even though he's been nervous before the dreaded PETscan results, he's been really reassuring to me about things before the results.
However for the past 3 weeks since pain in his right side (the affected lung side) has really kicked in..,he's been an odd white colour and a bit quieter than normal. I know he's been suffering...and not a small amount.
The LEJOG cycling team had a reunion ride and dinner out on Sat - and I overheard him tell Richard (our Erase Meso FD) that he believed the meso was back.
It was not a conversation I was supposed to hear, but I'm glad i did because we could talk it through on Sunday (when less beer was involved)
It's a very strange chat to have. He is 45 years old and he basically apologised for putting me through all this (eh!?) but admitted he thought I should brace myself.. the pain hadn't subsided even during exercise..& he was expecting the worst - that the meso was back.
We talked so much about death in the early days of diagnosis (late 2017) that our joint sense of humour was almost quite dark.. however we've been in fierce denial ever since we heard the word "remission" in June '18.. and been more focussed on just living life to its full.
..So to revert back to the idea of meso's recurrence just felt like falling back into a rotten black void.
It's a chilling prospect.
You don't sleep, forget to eat and find it difficult to concentrate on more than one simple thing at a time..the worry consumes you (as much as you brave-face/pretend to just be getting on with it).
So back we were on the meso-coaster, sitting in the hospital waiting room waiting for PETscan results.
Waiting for Mary o'Brien, Paul's fantastic oncologist, was pretty rough.
I was making daft conversation with Paul just to try and distract him knowing he was shaking inwardly and breathing sharply. This was HIS life or death..and this time we knew we weren't necessarily going to hear the words we hoped for.
Mary rushed us in and Paul was off his seat like a rocket.
She always dispenses with the niceties and gets to it.
"It's good" she said of the PETscan results.
***Sorry..What? Eh? uuurgh..
WOW.. Thank you GOD!!!****
I think we just collapsed on one another.. both blinking back tears. I couldn't speak and Paul had to tell me to breathe...
Paul is still cancer free.
We are not sure how.. but he is.
The bit of lung left after surgery has thickened a bit - probably due to a chest infection a few weeks ago - and is most probably the reason he's felt the pain. There's not a lot he can do about it - but he's vowed to get back to peak fitness levels and train at the gym and pound the bike... as that always helps.
So today is a brand new God-given day.
Feels a bit like we've dodged several missiles.. for now. Paul can relax for another 6 months - or at least until the next scan.
Scanxiety is horrific.
No one should go through the experience.
We were super-amazed and fortunate to hear those words but we can never take this cancer for granted. It will be back. It's not whether - it's when.. but mesothelioma, you can take a hike for now.. We are going to celebrate Christmas like never before.. Every day of life is a miracle when you live with meso.
Mary has also agreed to help us set up our Erase Meso advisory board so we can select the research projects we fund with a professional level of confidence. Mary o Brien has been AMAZING; with us since that awful day one, and fought with Paul all the way. We will always owe Paul's existence on this planet to her.. and our surgeon Loic Lang-Lazdunski
Safe to say we picked up our son after the appointment, enjoyed a few celebratory vinos with our lovely pals Nic & Mark.. then Paul booked a ski break.
He is currently in Italy carving his way down the slopes.
What a wonderful thing life is..
Thanks to all who sent positive vibes, listened and most importantly, (mum!)...prayed.
Relieved and grateful.