The breath of relief. I had the amazing news last week that my tumour has shrunk. Incredible given that I’ve only had 2 cycles of chemo so far.

I felt physically lighter when I got out of the appointment, finally able to breathe. What I didn’t feel unfortunately though, was jubilation and that in itself made me sad.

Emotions around diagnosis, scan results and treatments are so complex and so individual. It must be a total nightmare to know what to say.

After a lot of reflection, for me it’s the fact that it’s still there, I’m still having to go through treatment, I still don’t know enough about how it’s going to behave and I’m still shackled to having cancer.

Last time, my tumour was largely removed through surgery but this time my new tumour is shrinking so the risk vs reward balance of brain surgery has tipped the other way and it’s off the table for now at least. Who would have thought that a shrinking tumour would mean quite literally, a double edged sword.

My beautiful friend was spot on when she said ‘you just want it out don’t you?’

It’s all figurative but I see it, I feel it, I know that it’s there and it seems so misplaced with the lack of any symptoms at all.

The plan is to continue the chemo as a 6 month course with scans every 2 months and we’ll just keep assessing. I’m doing some minor repurposed drugs and I’ll explore some metabolic and more general holistic additions to the chemo but apart from that I’m at a loss for anything else to do without more targeted data from a tumour sample.

I now need to learn for the time being at least, to co-exist with this entity who’s made its home in my brain. It’s never been my way to get angry with it, I named the first one Buttercup for fuck’s sake!! But that worked out quite well in the end so I need to make friends with this little one too.

I didn’t choose or invite it in but I’ve only got the energy to support my body and live a life I want to live. Spending energy on anything else, especially anger, is wasting that precious resource.

I feel real guilt that I’m not able to be more celebratory but at least I’m being genuine and maybe helping others that feel the same. I may also just need to crack open the mulled wine and scoff a few mince pies. Given my results, Christmas might have come early after all.