I have felt ill for so long now that I have spent the last year or two trying to decide whether to continue to live at all.
I have no children, partner, career, friends closer than 400 miles etc, etc, etc.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and my first response was thank you god, now I can die without committing suicide and upsetting my Dad and friends more than ordinary death every does. I went to my first appointment with the surgeon and discussed this as an option as was my right. He asked me to consider waiting a few weeks to discuss this to which I agreed.
In the meantime, I had to cancel an appointment for an MRI because due to my fibro being bad that morning and hospital transport having to be booked a week in advance I couldn't make the trip to Edinburgh, then a bus trip to the hospital and the whole thing in reverse. It was rearranged and a friend took me. The shock of the whole diagnosis caused the worst flare I'd ever had when I had been feeling better than in years and even had a job interview for a part-time job.
By the time I saw the surgeon again, he was a lot more positive about my prognosis and it looked like I might actually live through it without treatment I knew me, my fibro and depression wouldn't tolerate. I'd also spoken a fair bit to friends - my Dad couldn't really be included in these conversations - he may be incredible for an 86 years old but I couldn't ask him to contemplate my death in any way.
I also started pregabalin which seemed to be helping with the pain in my right shoulder which made an incredible difference. It had been like the pain of an abscess in the root of a tooth, 24 hours a day. Day after, day, after day. If this drug was going to make that go away for even one or two hours a day, perhaps I did have a life worth fighting for.
So I decided to agree to treatment. It wasn't what I expected, no immediate surgery just a pill to try to shrink the tumours enough to aim foree the difference between a lumpectomy and the full mastectomy. The pill Anastozole has side effects, "Some women have pain and stiffness in their joints while taking the drug" sounds familiar and "Some people can have increased fatigue and lethargy" again, sounds a lot like fibromyalgia. The first couple of weeks were really bad and once, I wet the bed because I couldn't get out of bed in time.
Six weeks later and the ultrasound showed it was working, one of the tumours had definitely shrunk and the other hadn't grown. Six weeks after that the ultrasound showed both tumours had shrunk, one was definitely lumpectomy size and the other was getting there.
Strange thoughts began to come into my head. I began to formulate a range of possible futures. I even contacted the Dean of a University to see how much work I'd have to do to finish my MSc. I realised this town didn't have a pet shop when everybody had either a cat or dog. I know there are lots of financial incentives for people starting up their own business in this deprived town. I even thought of a name - "The pound hound" quite catchy I thought. I began to get excited about the future.
The pain was the same, the fatigue was the same but I had found hope for the first time in many years.
I don't know what happened to make me find hope. I even believe they'll find new effective treatments for FM and we'll all get a life back. I'm not religious but I truly believe this.
Hey, maybe it's the different medications interacting. I've lowered my painkillers so I'm definitely not stoned! Maybe I'm losing my mind completely but I prefer to see it as an epiphany. "A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization"
I'll probably be dreadfully embarassed by this tomorrow, but I'm going to post it anyway!