It’s the waiting and not knowing that does you in

I hate the word cancer, although there was a UK death metal band going under that name who put out a couple of pretty decent albums in the early 90s. That golden nugget of death metal history aside though, I got a call from my GP a couple of weeks back to say that skin cancer (melanoma) had been found in a bit that they had recently cut off my leg. It came as a bit of a shock because both the GP who had looked at the bits and then the GP who cut them off both said don’t worry, it doesn’t remotely look like anything cancerous. Well at least the GP who cut them off said it would be daft not to get them checked out, hence the phone call and then an appointment yesterday afternoon at Derriford hospital for some consultant to confirm that yes, I’ve got skin cancer, and this is what we’re going to do about it.

Like many of you I am sure, I know too many people who have had various forms of cancer. Some aren’t here anymore. My dad has been through the bloody ringer this year and has very luckily come through it. It was with a heavy heart that I called them a couple of weeks ago - I hated having to tell them about my stuff when the news with my dad has been so positive recently, and it doesn’t feel remotely right when my folks call me to say they are thinking of me with my own hospital appointment to do with cancer.

Sometime soon I am going to have a small operation to cut the rest of the affected area out of my leg, skin graft it over, and then at the same time they will take some lymph nodes out of my groin to check if it’s spread any further. They have caught the cancer early and I must remain hopeful that by taking the rest of the stuff out of my leg that they get it all, and if not, well I’ll deal with that when the time comes. Holy bloody cow this waiting and not knowing does you in the most. You do all you can to remain positive, but as strong as you try to be, I don’t mind admitting that there have been times when my head messes me around and all manner of morbid thoughts and different scenarios race around - early mornings and dog walks on my own especially. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at my two beautiful girls and hoped with all my heart that everything gets sorted and I get to see them grow up. I hope I get to grow old with my wife as well, because she is quite simply the best. What I am going through has been put firmly into perspective by the weekend’s atrocities in Paris though, but still one’s brain churns about the word cancer…….

Why am I writing about this here? Well writing stuff down helps me process what is going on, and I would rather you lot who kindly read this blog know the state of play - but please, I am not doing this for any kind of sympathy fix. Many people deal with far, far worse stuff than this. The cancer has been caught early and there is every chance that the operation I am going to have will sort the lot out in one go. I’d love to know right this minute exactly what is going on in with this cancer, but that ain’t going to happen and I am am going to have to deal with the not knowing and waiting for a while longer. I hate it, but it is what it is. Pretty please could I have some decent bass fishing conditions before I have to go and get this op done which might then prevent me from heading out fishing for a little bit. I asked the consultant yesterday if it would be ok for me to scramble up and down cliffs etc. straight after the operation, but he didn’t look very amused at all - obviously not an angler. Life eh? Rarely a dull moment.

Oh, and RIP Jonah Lomu. A total rugby legend, snatched from the world at the age of 40. Far, far too young, and the tributes flooding in from the world of rugby are something else.