Released On 7th Oct 2022
Jon's blog: Up and Down on the Cancercoaster
How was your summer and return to reality last month? Autumn has well and truly arrived now, and we’re back on the treadmill of school and work.
In my last blog I was continuing the story of our cancer journey, following an unexpected diagnosis of stage 4 bowel cancer last November. After two rounds of chemo, I was awaiting a scan that produced some fairly mixed news. The spread of the cancer to my lymphnodes had shrunk, but the primary tumour had grown, meaning that the cancer had become resistant to the chemo.
I had mixed feelings about leaving chemo behind. On the one hand, I definitely don’t miss it – it was physically gruelling and put our lives on hold every other week (with only a partial return to form in week two, before it all started again). On the other hand, it felt funny finishing up with a cancer treatment and knowing that I wouldn’t go back to it. If cancer was a board game, it was like being moved on a square or two round the board, without really choosing to go. Still, our consultant said that the chemo had been effective for nearly twice as long as average, which was good.
After all that chemo I had around two months without any treatment over the summer holidays, which was great. We managed to get abroad (and catch COVID whilst we were there…), and celebrating our elder son’s 11th birthday was a real highlight. However, as autumn approached I started to get increasing pain in my back from the cancer in the lymphnodes growing again, which was a difficult reminder that it was still very much there.
Our consultant confirmed that the cancer was growing again, and recommended a new course of treatment. After a tricky start, it’s settled down and is going well. It’s still every two weeks but I can carry on pretty normally the whole time, which is fantastic. Amazingly the pain in my back cleared up almost immediately after the first treatment, so hopefully it’s doing something good with the cancer. Having a little more normality back is very precious, giving me good time with my family, friends, church and work.
So it’s been up and down on the cancercoaster these past few months, and now we’re entering another new season with this new treatment. Even so, it’s the same old story of taking each day – and season on this journey – as it comes. The lows can feel crushing sometimes, but there are wonderful highs along the way too. It some ways the whole cancer journey exaggerates how life feels, making everything that much more intense.
Hopefully, though, in this season we can live more normally and enjoy many of the things that we used to take for granted, like making plans and enjoying time together. I think perhaps of everything at the moment, time is most precious. When we appreciate the time that we have, we can perhaps begin to spend it well.
Jon is the father of two growing boys, and he and his amazing wife work four days a week. They are both lawyers, and Jon has worked in the City for around 18 years as a solicitor in the insurance industry. He is now becoming an expert in Civilization VI and Lego Ninjago.