Wednesday, 30 July 2014

My Four-Phase War on Cancer

Yesterday War was officially declared.

Post-mastectomy analysis has revealed that my Cancer was not merely a little terrorist group sprung up in my breast.  Thanks to effective camouflage which concealed it from the mammogram, an entire guerrilla army had evolved undetected.  The Cancer Movement Headquarters may have been removed via mastectomy, but my Cancer Elimination Team has now declared War on the remaining rabble before it has the chance to regroup.  

Cancer Headquarters was comprised of a whopping 5cm of invasive lobular cancer in my breast.  Like all good terrorist networks, it managed to evolve undetected by hiding in the local community i.e. by mimicking the shape of the breast. 

Not content with entirely taking over the breast, the Cancer Movement had started to set up new bases in my lymph nodes.   Three of the nine lymph nodes removed were cancerous and one had actually burst open.  So all there is a chance that terrorist cancer cells have surfed out on the lymphatic flow and gone to set up yet more bases around my body.

Of course, it's possible that no terrorists survived the initial onslaught.  The Cancer Movement may be already destroyed and I might already be cured.  But while there is a chance that a single terrorist is still creeping round my body, recruiting and establishing itself, I can't give up the fight.

So my treatment is a Four-Phase War.  Phase one (Mastectomy) was an atomic bomb dropped on Cancer Headquarters, leaving a crater where I once had a breast.

We now move to Phase Two, the chemo.  This is a team of undercover hitmen spreading all the way through my body with the task of picking off the surfing cancer cells before they get the chance to settle.  My hitmen are poorly trained thugs who are not good at identifying their intended targets so there will be a fair bit of collateral damage among the way.  Healthy cells which divide rapidly have the misfortune to look like cancer and my chemo-thugs blast first and ask questions later.  Bye-bye hair follicles.

Once the hitmen have had a chance to work all the way through the body, the Cancer Elimination Team turn their attention back to the lymph node area.  Given that this was a pre-op Cancer Base, there's always a chance that there are still some cancer cells hanging out in the local area that have eluded the hitmen.  So they will blast the whole area with a missile bombardment of radiotherapy.  Expect more collateral damage in the local vicinity.

Finally, the men in white coats move in with Hormone Therapy and go round mopping up any cancer cells that have survived the more violent phases, quietly putting them in restraining jackets and leaving them to drift helplessly until they die.

This War is going to be a full time occupation from now until next Spring, as far as I can see, with my schedule looking like this:

  • A heart check before I start treatment (i.e. a check that I can actually survive this War), followed by,
  • At least six three-weekly sessions of chemo (to send in the hitmen);
  • Weekly appointments with the nurse to change the bandages on a Picc Line (providing a direct route to get the hitmen thugs into my system so they don't blast the veins on the way just for fun);
  • Eighteen appointments with the Kinesitherapist to help the area around the atomic bomb site recover;
  • Regular prescribed exercise sessions at the hospital to keep my defensive army fit to fight;
  • An appointment to select a wig to disguise the brutality of the hitmen from the public;
  • An appointment to select a new breast prothesis, i.e. more PR to hide the war devastation;
  • In due course, daily radiotherapy missile sessions.

We are confident of winning this War and blasting the Cancer Movement into smithereens.  Let's just hope there isn't too much War damage left behind when everything's over.

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