Tomorrow afternoon I am off to Derriford hospital to get my cancer results, and I don’t mind admitting that I am pretty bloody scared. I remember the incredible nerves I felt around the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final - until we won that is - and I distinctly remember feeling very scared whilst being subjected to the film The English Patient in the cinema many moons ago, as in scared at how truly dire it was, and also angry at knowing that I was never going to get those few hours of my life back. Going to the hospital though to see the surgeon who operated on me to get “the results”? That’s a different kind of scared, let me tell you, and being brutally honest? I'd kinda like it if this cancer didn't end up killing me……….
I am sure that some of you reading this have been through a similar thing yourself, and there sure as hell ain’t some kind of handbook on firstly how one is meant to deal with the waiting and not knowing, and secondly if the results are not good - which of course I seriously hope is not the case. My hope is for my wife and I to be called in to see the surgeon, and for him to smile and say nice one Henry, we got the skin cancer (melanoma) out of you. To the best of my knowledge as much as possible as been done so far to get this bastard cancer out of me, so I’ll gladly take this hole in my leg, the healing up, the skin graft, and the node-related rooting around they did in my groin area which feels every day like a different pulled muscle. The NHS has been utterly fantastic, and as for the nurses who are so kindly changing the dressing on the hole in my leg every day at my local surgery are so nice and friendly and utterly unfazed by it? Well to be honest it’s humbling. My profound thanks, and also for the continued support from so many of you kind people.
So that’s what I am hoping for, but on the flipside I also accept that the news might not be so good. When I say accept though, what I mean is that I don’t have a frigging clue how I might react if the news isn’t so good. I am staying as strong as I can, but the fact is that all this is out of my hands, and all this feeling as strong as possible isn’t going to change a damn thing right now. Either they have gone and got the cancer out of me and save for regular checkups I can get on with living my life without this horrible shadow sitting over everything, or else the cancer has spread and I will have to go to the next stage - whatever that may be. It’s a mighty strange feeling to be dreading Tuesday afternoon if the news is bad, yet willing it to come faster if the news is good, and of course I don’t know either way at the moment and it’s frying my brain.
I promise that I will get back to fishing related stuff on this blog just as soon as I have got this period of my life out of the way and I know what I am facing or hopefully not facing. I love living and I so want to be around as my beautiful daughters grow up. I want to spend a whole heap more time with my outstanding wife, and there’s plenty more fish to catch and special places in the world to see. There is so much good stuff to live for and I intend to keep on doing so. Whilst I have no say over what news I will be getting tomorrow afternoon and I am about as scared as I have ever been in my life, at the end of the day I’ll take whatever cards I am dealt and get on with it as best I can.