Last week, I received the results from my latest CT scan. As I mentioned in my previous post, this scan, which was originally scheduled for September, was brought forward after a rise in my tumour markers and some slight discomfort I had been experiencing.
Not gonna lie – the last couple of weeks have been hard for me. I wasn’t exactly hiding under the duvet or curled up on the sofa in tears, but I did have this overwhelming sense of hopelessness. As I said previously, I realised that I had pinned ALL of my hopes on the new treatment I’m on, Pemigatinib. Of course, I didn’t think this would cure me of my cancer (although I would like nothing more!) but I definitely thought I would experience another couple of good scan results and blood test results.
Anyway, what the latest scan results showed was, a couple of spots on my lungs had grown marginally but all other tumours have remained stable. Reassuringly, my oncologist, was unconcerned and I do know that stable is a positive, but I was feeling anything BUT. Blood tests also showed that my tumour marker has increased yet again, and all liver function tests were much higher than previously. Luckily, there has been no talk of taking me off Pemigatinib. I still have hope for this drug, mainly because I feel so well on it.
You may well read what I am about to say next and think I’ve completely lost my mind but the other morning I was wondering if my recent mindset has negatively affected these results. For two weeks prior to receiving these results, I had already begun doubting the effectiveness of my treatment. Despite good intentions to feel positive when I went under the scanner, I actually laid there praying for things to be ok, but all the time, in the back of my mind, I already feared things had progressed. I had also been focusing on upsetting posts from people who had sadly lost loved ones to cholangiocarcinoma. I was listening to music that I would like played at my funeral and even playing that whole “exit” scene out. I started saying things like, “I hope the end is not a long, drawn-out affair and that I go quickly”. This is not like me at all. I have always, and purposely, visualised myself well and without cancer, watching my children get married, running around after my grandchildren and going on road trips around the UK in a motorhome (or RV in some countries), visiting all the beautiful places we have here.
And these negative thoughts and subsequent fears were in stark contrast to 8 weeks previously, which was when I had my first scan since starting Pemigatinib. Then, I actually smiled going under. I KNEW it had worked, and really well.
And I was right.
This time though, I had over two weeks of feeling a bit defeated and generally low. I had no reason to feel like this. Physically, I felt just as well as I always have, so I had no reason to fear my treatment wasn’t working as well.
Now, I’m definitely not saying that my low and fearful mood is the reason I didn’t get another great result from the CT scan, but I genuinely believe our mindset plays a huge part in a cancer journey. From taking my very first Pemigatinib tablet, I began “healing” meditations each evening, I reread Radical Remissions and Radical Hope, I increased my exercise to maximise oxygen levels (cancer thrives in low oxygen conditions) I had so much faith and trust in this treatment that I honestly never thought for one moment that I wouldn’t have amazing results….and this was confirmed by that first scan I had after finishing my initial cycle of Pemigatinib.
So, where am I right now? Luckily, I do not stay long in these low periods of time. The ray of light that is determination, positivity, hope and trust, resurfaces and I’m on my way again.
I am feeling optimistic again, I can now see that it was not bad news. The cancer is stable. My main tumour in the bile duct remains 6cm….that is less than half of its original size. I mean, seriously, how can I be upset with that??!!! Cancer has not marched off to other areas or organs in my body.
And…..most importantly, I feel really well.
All IS good.
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believeSaint Augustine
So, I’m back on long walks, healing meditations, reading inspiring stories from incredible people who have defied the odds and their prognosis, watching informative videos, I’m eating lots of fruit, veg, fibre, legumes etc.
I can feel the emotional shift so strongly. I absolutely believe there will be an improvement soon.
Much love and strength,