Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dec 14; Thursday 4th: Brens Oncology Results

Our Trip to Sydney this week was by far our easiest in a way. This time we were not going there to make Brendan sick to get him better. We were going to find out if the last 6 months of chemotherapy had worked. As you know if you have been following this blog, I have been unwavering in my belief that it would. So I didn't have a single doubt.


Above: Brendan & Dr Viv, taken around the half way mark. Today
Viv told us that things could not have ran more smoothly than 
they did. From start to to finish not one hiccup. I thought to myself
ah the power of my husbands strength, Viv and the extensive medical team 
 and #teambrendans collective positive thoughts and prayers.
Simply Unbeatable! :)


After a half day of travelling yesterday morning and then a half day of pre-admission yesterday afternoon that contained a check list of people as long as my arm to be seen and a CT scan to be had, we finished up the days medical roundabout by about 4:30 pm, got back to the Ibis, checked in, had a rest, got changed and jumped in the car to drive a block to the pub on the corner for dinner, just in time to enjoy [she says jokingly] the biggest and longest electrical storm Sydney has seen in a long time. Or since last summer anyway!

We got back to our room after dinner with me shaking like a leaf from pushing my way across four lanes of traffic in dangerously wet conditions, so I could turn right to go the length of a block, back up the Princess highway, to safely cosy up in our little room for the night. Brendan in the rain, with two walking sticks is akin to a skater on ice, so even getting from the car to the hotel entry was tricky, as it was very slippery. The risk of him going head over tail worries me more than it does him, so I gave a huge sigh of relief when we got inside out of the rain, crashing thunder and massive bolts of lightning. 

Ah if only that had been the end of it, but no, as I was organising our clothes for the next day I had two dizzy spells, with one landing me on my bum, legs and arms everywhere in the middle of our luggage. My husband checked my pulse, which was fairly slow [for me]. So he decided we needed a Macca's sundae, in case my blood sugar was low. Off he went with his sticks in the rain, which had settled a little by this time, to get ice cream. Not letting me go with him for fear I would faint. Yes, I'm a fainter. What a husband I have!

As it turned out I must have just been exhausted, as after some ice cream and a good night sleep I felt fine again, thankfully today was far more straight forward than yesterday. It consisted of a PET scan in the morning that would take 3 hours to complete from nuclear injection to the end of the scan and was followed by the consult with Dr Viv, Brens oncologist. In between I had breakfast and went over to Lifehouse, lay in one of their over sized beanbags and got a little more rest, I didn't want to be dizzy for the five hour trip home, so wasn't taking any chances.

Bren returned from his scan and had some late breakfast, which left just a short wait before we were called into Dr Viv's office. We sat, Krystin our Sarcoma co-coordinator came in, and we all waited expectantly for Viv to look at the CT & PET. He then paused looked at us and said "You're recovered", I let out quite a loud "Yeahhhy" to which the good doctor shot me the same glance he would an impatient child and said kindly "he is fully recovered from the chemotherapy in regard to the operation being able to go ahead on Monday!" I glanced over quickly at Krystin who was smiling at me, and said "Think I might have jumped the gun there". She nodded and tried not to laugh. Dr Viv then continued without missing a beat. He is very use to working with children as a Paediatric and Adolescent oncologist, so my interruption left him unfazed.

The following is the news he delivered, not verbatim, but as I remember. "There are no signs of any cancer cells in the leg where the sarcoma was removed. There are no signs of any cancerous cells anywhere in the body. Of course the two small nodules are still there, but have not grown, and there are no new ones. These will be removed when the portion of your lung that contains them is removed on Monday." This is what I heard "He is recovered!" Dr Bhadri then went on to talk to us some more about the up coming operation and ongoing follow-up appointments. And then we said our thank yous and goodbyes, at which point Brendan and I both became a little emotional as it is not everyday you stand before the person that has saved your life, your husbands life, your families heart. It was the most humbling of experiences.

We left the room, walked to the closest seats, sat and both burst into tears. My husband had just been given his life back. After Monday he will no longer be living with cancer in his body, but we will still be living with cancer as a family, it’s now just a fact of our life. There will be three monthly check ups for the next 2 years and that will eventually go to six monthly for the next four years after that. Our babies will be eighteen by then and they will still have their dad.

As I share our wonderful news, I am saddened by the fact that not everyone is so lucky. And that people I love dearly are fighting, not knowing how or when theirs or their loved ones battle will end. We have, most of us, all lost loved ones that through no fault of their own have lost this battle. Why? is a question that has no answer in this situation, and is simply too painful to contemplate. So I can only say this, our rhythm of life is ours to create. We can control neither our beginning nor our end, all we can do is make sure that we don't waste one minute of what comes between.

Cancer has shown me where my priorities are, it has validated choices I have made and reminded me of just how important my relationships are. Throughout this whole time there is only one thing that I have hoped and prayed for more of, and that is time.

I am now very happy for cancer to take a backseat, while we get on with the joyous task of living.

I wish to thank you all for standing beside my family every step of the way throughout the last six months, lifting us and giving us strength when at times finding our own was hard. 

Our Love and friendship always
The Maloneys xx




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