Tuesday 20 February 2018

Two more weeks and this cancer nightmare is over

Emily Hourican's cancer diaries

Emily Hourican
Emily Hourican

Emily Hourican

Two weeks of treatment to go and I am veering wildly between thinking "just two more weeks, I'm nearly done here!" and then pulling myself up short: "Two weeks. Two whole weeks. Given what has happened to me in the last two weeks, how can I possibly do two more...?"

But in general, the giddy feeling wins out. Two more weeks and I am finished. Twenty-three sessions of radiotherapy done, 12 more to go. Two more drips of Cetuximab, two more meetings with my consultants, 12 more daily visits to hospital, and then this cancer nightmare is over for me. For now, and I believe, forever. Because the hope I cling to is that the cancer I have, HPV-viral-related cancer of the tongue base, doesn't come back the way other cancers can. Doesn't come back at all. This is what I have been told, and I am determined to believe it.

By now, the pain in my mouth and throat is pretty bad, but I have found that other things bother me more than pain. Talking is getting harder. My voice has been a feeble rasp for the last few days, and smiling is still not easy. This means the general level of chit-chat is down. This is a pity. I like chit-chat. The weather, funny things people's kids said, weekend TV, a wedding coming up. I'm usually happy to while away an hour or so on this, but not any more. Also I have a constant ringing in my ears that makes me slightly deaf and inclined to shout "what's that? What did you say?" at people in a way that, rightly, startles them.

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