Am I a Stone or a Sponge?

1st March 2016.

I have not shed a tear over it this time. Everything has seemed to harden me. I never imagined myself a stone, more a sponge designed to hold all of life’s absorbencies. Now nor life or myself have any idea what to do!

The Sarcoma has metastasized to my pelvis and upper leg regions. More specifically my buttock and both femur (thigh) bones. Pain in the arse – literally! The sarcoma sits prominently on the surface of the top for my left femur and within my acetabulum making it susceptible to fracture on any sudden impact including running for the bus and train (a London phenomena). There is a 2cm lump about an inch below my buttock crease line which lies just under the skin – sensitive to pressure when I sit down. Over the last 2 months I have formed a graduated limp because of this and have lost the ability to sit cross-legged because of the pressure on my joint and socket at that angle.

Now here is the surprise. It has also taken a wonder over to my right side and decided to lie dormant but spread just as considerably – without giving me any sign of invasion or sense of presence. I have no symptoms down my right side but the sarcoma sits deeper in the top half of my right femur and also made itself a cushion in the form of another 2cm tumour embedded further in my fatty cells just in the crease of my butt cheek. This as you can imagine came as a shock – I knew about it but it really hit home seeing the scale of it in front of me. Again no pain, no mental connection.

So 10 more sessions of radiotherapy distributed at 2 sites to treat my sarcoma catchment area plus a referral to a special surgeon to potentially have the lumps removed. I also get to commence a permanent medication to strengthen my bones.

Thinking about the sarcoma and how I can’t even make a meal out of it as its beginning to make a meal out of me! Unfortunately my cancer is back and is here to stay. It’s really a question of managing local recurrence as and when it pops up. I have been started on permanent meds (Denosumab Injections) to strengthen my bones and will be going for routine tests and scans for follow-up but there is a high chance I will be having further treatment in the future. The Denosumab injections recondition the bones cells responsible for the breaking down of old bone and creation of new bone. In bone metastases, the pace of this natural cycle is disrupted, in my case: old bone is being broken down quicker than new bone is being made to replace it, therefore making me more susceptible to fracture. It is one big bone story but the least I have something to help it. I mean, how do you gauge how high a wall you can jump off? Without becoming Humpty Dumpty! 

Talking about “putting everything back together again”, should I even reconcile a return back to ‘normal’ when I am already changed.  I went back to work after a year off and actually nothing at work had changed. The difference is that I had.

In what way I am still to elaborate but I feel different for sure . Going back to the life which had fed me all these years seems bittersweet because I cannot be that person anymore. When you’ve lost bits and pieces of your body – in reality how much of that can you really pull back. In Sarcoma world, when it’s gone, it’s gone right?

Today it is obvious, whatever path I was destined to be on has spat me out at a tangent. I need to start again, try and find my ‘new’ normal’, if it exists, whatever that may be.  At the moment it is a moving target!

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