Released On 7th Jan 2020
Addy's blog: The power of three
My life seems to be made up of “threes” recently.
Most of you probably know my personal story to date from a previous blog, I’ve got cancer and so far have had 5.5 weeks of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy in Sept/Oct. I had scans on 3rd January to see what my tumour has done and am now just waiting for the results. I’ve been thinking about the 3rd (next) step for a while now, as you can imagine, it’s been going around the back of my mind for weeks – is the tumour gone? If it is, do I still opt for surgery; as without the surgery reoccurrence rate is 30% within 2 years even if it has completely gone. My blood results are promising but it’s still a waiting game.
My brother was also diagnosed with colon cancer after being tested because of me (he had had no previous symptoms) and had his 10cm tumour removed in November; it was staged as a T3 but he is recovering well from surgery and he won’t need radiotherapy. He does however need to have chemotherapy for 6 months, in 3-week cycles. Whilst I was waiting to see him after his surgery with my sister and his wife, we shared a plate of chips and joked that my brother was either very lucky (or unlucky depending on the view point!) to have 3 such strong and dependable women in his life.
And then my mum was diagnosed with skin cancer in October which we then found out had spread to her lymph nodes. She’s been in hospital since the end of November, and it was whilst she was there for what seemed an unrelated issue, we discovered what we thought of as a small treatable cancer had now invaded her spine and she was given 3 to 6 months to live. My sister and I, and occasionally my brother, have basically had to camp at the hospital every day and fight for her care and treatment. The NHS is great if you are acutely ill, but you don’t want to get stuck in an elderly ward in the run up to Christmas… Whilst dealing with the news of my mums’ diagnosis, it’s been a real comfort to have two siblings. We fight like cats and dogs but when we need each other, we are there for one another. The power of our triangle is apparent to our spouses and has been commented on as a positive force to be reckoned with.
We have just had the joy of Christmas and with a 4 and 3-year-old, and as you can imagine it’s been really magical. We’ve been to see Santa, enjoyed my office kids’ party (I’m not sure they will get the glitter out of the conference room carpet!), ridden special trains, eaten too much chocolate and generally thoroughly spoilt the kids.
In the midst of all this I can say that work have been supportive throughout my treatment which has enabled me to keep managing some semblance of a work-life blend (I am not sure I would stretch to using the word balance!).
So I sat on New Year’s Eve contemplating the past year; the past 3 months have been hellish and quite frankly I’m glad to see the back of 2019. But if I’m honest it’s got me thinking seriously about the sort of person I am and what I want from life after I get through treatment in 2020. I then started thinking about New Year resolutions and how I usually try and choose 3 things to stick to, and usually by the 3rd week of January have given up on them already. This year I’m not going to do that, I’m choosing to do one thing and to stick to it. One thing I have learnt of the past 3 months is that life is too short and that we don’t tell people we care about them enough. So, my New Year’s resolution is to rectify that last part and I encourage you all to do the same. So back to the title of this blog and the power of three – that’s my resolution; to tell people “I love you” as often as I can, and mean it.
Addy is a director in risk for a bank in the city, with a 4-year-old trainee F1 driver, a 3-year-old aspiring space doctor, a lovely hands on husband and two mad rescue cats.