It's been a week of ups and downs for Fragile Hope. Last Monday, the news of a second tumour in my brain was very definitely a down - although the absence of any evidence of spread of the cancer to anywhere else in my body offered a little bounce back. The possibility of radical treatment for the brain was certainly looking less likely, though. Since then, it's been a week of waiting - not made easier by some evident difficulties in communication between the 2 hospitals with which we're dealing - to hear what the team in Preston who are responsible for treating the brain felt they might be able to offer.
Braced for the worst as we drove to Preston yesterday morning, it was wonderful to find ourselves driving home 2 hours later with better news than we'd dared hoped for. We felt almost instantly we could trust both the competence and the kindness of the Oncologist and Radiographer who will be working with us. They are keen to press on with Stereotactic Radiotherapy for both tumours in the brain, confident that the chances are it will produce significant improvement. Incredibly, those fragile little seeds of the word 'eliminate' have not been completely destroyed by the news of the second tumour, though they are tiny and vulnerable. And the icing on the cake of the next few weeks - no more waiting for phone calls or appointment dates to arrive. My card is filled out with where I have to be when over the next three weeks - by which time, the initial treatment for my brain will be complete. I have a DVD to watch all about exactly what this treatment involves. I am fascinated by it; humbled by the fact that because I live in a rich, developed nation I can access it as if by right. Are British lives really worth so much more than Sierra Leonean ones? Ugandan ones? That question's not going to go away in a hurry . . . but today, today, I will just rest in relief and gratitude that for me, here and now, this offer of treatment is an extraordinary and wonderful gift, and I am hugely thankful.
And now, off to clinic in Lancaster, to check that we're on the case with actioning treatment for the tumour in my lung, so that it can begin as soon as possible after the brain treatment is complete. After which, perhaps, a little time to pause, and reflect . . . .