Dealing with cancer is hard for anyone. Knowing that Phil had only a limited time left was bad enough for us – how he must have felt I cannot imagine. Yes, it may make you plan ahead, and do things you feel you must do, but all the while you have this cloud hanging over you.
When the timescale changes, the cloud gets darker. The initial diagnosis was 9 months. Then it was shortened to 5. Then to two weeks. When I got a call to go to see him, it was late on a Thursday afternoon. He died early on the following Sunday morning.
Events like this put things into perspective. You start to evaluate your life. I’m thinking about mine, that’s for sure!
In particular, you look at your health. Since Phil’s diagnosis, I have been getting myself checked out. There is a history of cancer in the family, so both his and my GPs thought it a good idea. Prevention (or at least early diagnosis) is better than cure. I won’t go into all the details, but I’ve had blood tests, ultrasound scans, things poked into my insides (with more to come!), and general advice offered. Not always fun, but as they say, it’s all in a good cause.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t hesitate – GET YOURSELF CHECKED OUT! All of the evidence shows that if you catch something early, you can fight it better. Don’t think “I don’t have any symptoms, I’ll be alright”. Phil had nothing to show he was ill until a couple of weeks before the diagnosis. By then it was too far gone to do much about.
While I’m here, I must say a big “Thank you” to the hospice where he spent his last days. I have yet to encounter a more caring organisation. This is of course down to the staff – they are the best. I cannot praise them highly enough.
I will endeavour to keep going with the lifestyle changes I am making. They are essential to my attempts to keep things like this at bay. If I can avoid the circumstances and conditions which enable this to flourish, I will help myself and in particular my family.
The title of this blog is “A Personal Journey”. This is an attempt to reflect what happens to me over time. I will update it, but on an occasional basis, so please be patient if not much seems to happen for a long period.