The Results Are In

I have now been sharing my story via my blog for almost two years, and luckily in that time have also remained stable on my latest Immunotherapy drug, having had my last major surgery in the summer of 2016.

This week is also very significant as it marks exactly 13 years since I was initially diagnosed with stage 1 malignant melanoma via a mole on my neck when I was only 18 years old. I have now been living as a stage 4 patient for almost 8 years. I was told back then I may not make 25 and now I’m 31, struggling sometimes but I keep picking myself up again. Cancer has been with me my whole adult life, which is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accept.

In some ways my stage 4 diagnosis seems like a lifetime ago, but in others not much had changed. Not long after I had started recovery from surgery to remove my brain tumour and lung tumour I moved to London and went back to work. I’m still living with friends in the capital city and attempting to navigate the working world as best I can. Around three years ago I moved form South West to North East London, so it almost feels like a new city, having discovered parts I would never have seen before.

I still get caught up in the moments when I feel well, and then book in too many activities, so last weekend I spent a lot of time relaxing and napping in preparation for the week ahead. I had a chest infection and needed antibiotics, which I think have since cleared everything up. I need to be on good form for the Northampton Half Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for The Lewis Foundation.

I had a PET CT Scan last week and travelled to Leicester to get the results yesterday. I am delighted to say my news was all very positive and takes the pressure off over the next few months.

However, no matter how many times I’ve heard positive news over the last two years there is always the fear my world will fall apart again at any moment. In some ways it feels like I’ve been given a golden ticket, but tomorrow I could find out it’s actually fake after all. I am of course relived, but the fear doesn’t disappear over night.

I’m now very used to the three weekly routine and cycle of my treatment, in way it has become staple part of my life up until this point. Travelling to and from the hospital gets me down, it’s mentally stressful and physically exhausting, but it’s nothing if it means I have a functioning life the rest of the time. I need to try and shift my attitude so that I am ‘living with’ cancer rather than all the negatively that plagues me about dying from it.

Here’s to LIVING!

8 thoughts on “The Results Are In

  1. Great news about the scan Jo! Keep on keeping on. You are definitely doing something right that’s for sure. As a stage 3 localised spread melanoma bod I still have tremendous anxiety that it might come back, and worse than that, it could be terminal, and that is just over 18 years since my initial diagnosis. I find it a heavy load even though I was discharged from the Marsden and St Thomas’ in 2013. Good luck Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning jolene , so pleased you had a positive day at the hospital yeasterday. Your mum and family I’m sure have been through every rough time with you , but great that you have this deep love and support.
    A new chapter looming for you soon , with your sister fiona having a baby. Nothing like a baby in the family to put a spanner in the works😃 keeps you all on your toes.
    I followed your travel as much as I could in Thailand, my son’s been twice so the places you mentioned I’ve seen lots off photos so I could imagine you there.
    I sure family have told you this but never put your life on hold, nobody knows when the number is up. I’m in my 27 year free off breast . cancer. An old Irish saying whatever is before you will never pass you. 💕 until the next time Tara chuck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad that you are still fighting cancer and I hope you continue to do so unless of course they find a cure in the meanwhile. Who knows what’s round the corner. Best wishes now and for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi jo! I’ve just found your blog. I’m now stage four and my melanoma journey is now 9 years, I’m 35 now and know all about feelingthe youngest in the waiting room. I’ve recently had lung met removed, in same place yours was and have just started nivolumab. I’m tired but keeping positive. Great to read the blog x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Olivia – thought I’d replied to this but not sure it sent! Thanks for reading! How have you found the surgery from the lung met removal? I personally found it harder that after brain surgery – hope all is going as well as it can be

      Jo x


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