These are the words I never ever wanted to write – I have cancer AGAIN.
I can’t believe that I’m going through this once more.
A decade after being diagnosed with the disease, almost to the day, I had some terrible pain. Fast forward two months and I’ve been told that I have ovarian cancer.
So what are my chances of survival? Well let’s flip a coin. I only have a 50-50 chance of being successfully treated.
Those are not great odds. But they are only odds.
Last weekend I went to the horse races with a group of friends. One of the girls had been to a charity auction and accidentally ended up sponsoring the 3.20 at Towcester.
Anyway, I put on an accumulator bet. I looked at the twitter tippers and backed the favourite in each race. The first four won but last two were so bad that I think they’re still running. So much for relying on good odds.
I’m positive that I’ll beat the cancer. And my consultants are too. So let’s just ignore the stats.
Besides I’ve already done it before. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with cancer when a scan revealed that I had two tumours. Lots of horrible treatment later and I was cured.
The whole experience was horrific but it made me realise that I wanted to live my second chance at life to the full.
I came up with a list of some exciting things that I would love to do. I soon moved abroad and ended up becoming a BBC foreign correspondent, living in some strange places and going to dangerous parts of the world. This was the opposite of a bucket list.
When I returned to Britain a couple of years ago I was confident I was free of the disease. So I decided to write a book about surviving cancer and how the experience changed my life for the better.
The same week that I finally finished the book, I started having tests. The irony of the timing isn’t lost on me.
I’m launching this blog now as there are just a few days to go before my treatment begins. It’s also the start of ovarian cancer awareness month.
More cruel irony.
There will now be half a year of hell. A big operation and then weekly chemotherapy. Don’t worry there won’t be anything squeamish. Or any jargon. This will be my place to escape from the medical world.
So why am I doing this blog?
I found that writing helped me to make sense of what I’d been though before. Plus this is a way of sharing what’s happening with my friends. But if you’re reading this and we’ve never met, then hey welcome along.