It came to my attention I’ve been quite distant on here for a few months. Mainly due to returning to work, attending a big clinic appointment, planning a fundraiser and getting engaged. Yes you read that correctly ENGAGED!!
So, as you can imagine my life turner a corner and became “crazy”. I’ve now officially been back at work 4 months, getting used to the new “normal” and adjusting to working life again. To say I’m enjoying it is an understatement. I’m loving it!
Having a routine back in my life and finally having something to focus on other than appointments is an absolute blessing.
I thought I was going to find returning to my place of work (which happens to be the NHS) quite difficult due to being through what I have, surprisingly I’m not finding it as bad as I thought. However, I’m not going to sit here and pretend I haven’t had blips because that would be lying, and I promised never to do that. I’ve had multiple break downs by text to my Mum, Connor and Connor’s Mum, I’ve had meltdowns when I’ve got home, and I’ve had to have numerous chats with myself at work telling myself to get a grip and pull it together.
But as usual I don’t cut myself any slack, the pressure I put on myself is immense. So along with other people and myself I did keep giving myself a gentle reminder that I have been off seriously poorly for a year, I’m in a brand-new role until I go back to university next April and I’m suffering with a bad case of chemo brain (YES! This is a real thing) it feels like a constant fog is over your brain and I cannot remember things like I used to, this is what I struggle the most with I find it challenging and frustrating on a day to day basis.
But I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do and I’m getting there. I’m back doing what I love but now I’m in the “driver’s seat” and knowing I’m making a difference to poorly patients when they are at their most vulnerable, providing them with help when it’s needed the most makes me proud to do what I do every day.
My 3 monthly check ups come around quicker than you could ever begin to imagine.
Although I haven’t had active treatment sin 19/11/2018 I didn’t gain my remission status until 28/02/2019. So, my next check-up was a biggie (my second check-up). With it being 6 months since my remission status, I was due for a CT scan of my Abdo, Pelvis and Chest with contrast dye.
Queue the SCANIXETY!!!
Even though I knew I had to have the scan you cannot stop scanxiety, if you have experienced it you know what I mean but if you haven’t, it is a complete different feeling to how you would feel if you were anxious. It completely takes over your whole body and if you let it would drive you insane.
Due to not getting my results until my clinic appointment providing nothing is wrong added more stress to the equation and I started to think about all the what IF’S. So, I put myself on a ban to not think about the scan until the day and to try and not think about the results until the day of my clinic appointment (which I will touch on a little later as this became very difficult). I’m an overthinker and I could possibly think of every scenario in my head over and over which would officially drive me up the wall.
The date of my scan was 02/08/2019 there I was again fasting for 3 hours prior to my scan. I couldn’t control my nerves and anxiety I was a wreck. I was petrified of having the scan, I couldn’t help but feel like history was about to repeat itself.
After about an hour if drinking a litre jug of water as I required a full bladder for my CT Abdo and Pelvis I then needed to have a cannula inserted for the dye to be inserted during my scan. Within 30minutes I was reunited with my worst enemy.
The scanner machine/room.
It’s always extremely cold and when your led down the scanner sounds like it’s about to take off. Breathe in breathe out, 6 times and the test were done. GET ME OUT OF HERE.
I worked out for my clinic appointment to be the 15/08/2019. However, this wasn’t the case at all, when I finally received my letter my appointment was 29/08/2019, 4 WEEKS AFTER MY SCAN!! It was the worst 4 weeks of my life, I couldn’t sleep, I tried my best to not think about it, but nothing worked at all. Instead of 4 weeks it felt like 4 years. It also didn’t help matters that it was the week before my fundraiser. The pressure I felt was immense.
In the meantime, something massive happened. Connor messaged me at work telling me to book off the 26th and 27th of August as he said he was taking me away for a night to take my mind off my results that week as he could see how much is was getting me down. Little did I know that on the 26/08/2019 “HE LIKED IT SO HE PUT A RING ON IT”. He took me away to Ribby Hall our favourite place. We used to go here for every birthday and anniversary but due to me falling poorly we hadn’t been in over a year. He completely caught me off guard as his cover story was so good and It was truly the most perfect proposal.
I cannot wait to be the future Mrs Mills.
We were on such a high and I remember turning to Connor on the day of my clinic appointment and saying if she burst our bubble today I don’t think I will be responsible for my actions.
BUT! The good news didn’t stop there. “Your scans are still completely clear, your blood counts are still completely normal and within range, I can now report you do not need any more scans just your 3 monthly check up’s and bloods” the knot in my stomach instantly went away and I just cried with happiness looking to my right at Connor, my Mum and Dad. I will now only require a scan in the future if they feel some thing is wrong.
My Fundraiser finally happened. I can’t believe how quick it came around. Obviously it also turned into triple celebrations; raising money, engagement party (of course I got some engagement balloons as well) and clear scans celebrations. It was a complete success. ONE of the best nights of my life. I looked around the room and I just felt so privileged that the people who mean the most to me came and supported me at one of my biggest milestones. Watch this space for another news paper article on what happened on the night, how much work went into the event and how much we raised; its very impressive.
That night made me realised I had reached the end of my nightmare! I had woken up and realised I can now start living my life how I want to live it. Yes, I still have my 3 monthly check up’s, yes, I’m still worried and have bad days, but most importantly I am still here, and I will not let this beat me, EVER!
So that’s all from me for now, I’ll be back soon,
Lots of love, Ashleigh Maggie xoxox