Analyse That


The last tumour marker was done 3 months ago. I had another this week.

Over time, stating numbers becomes meaningless so I drew a picture. It’s all in the perception. Who says accounting isn’t creative! When I underwent surgery, the count was 300+. The chemo’s side effects and disappointing results didn’t warrant continuing and the count was at 206 when I opted out almost 18 months ago. Now I’m much happier but the count’s at 1099. Meh.


I can cut this any way I like. Although there’s a major jump every now and then, there’s a 9-month gap between those. So my indolent tumour is being true to its nature. A little good news in the picture is those UFOs in the middle who show faltering in the increase. Even though the trend is clearly still on the up, there’s still no obvious solution. Welcome to my world. Choose the facts you like, ignore those you don’t. And carry on regardless.

The cancer package

There’re the hard numbers and the softer medical theory and the subjective murkiness of my quality of life. Everything has to be considered and the most important stuff is not the science or the numbers. It’s so difficult to understand this when you’re panicking at the diagnosis stage. I feel for the newbies. You can’t possibly measure up against a single other person and you have no clue about what’s coming. You have to just go with it. And that’s frustrating to hear but I came across this, this week which fits in perfectly here to help the perspective – like laughing does:


Much a freak out about nothing

Do I freak out that for the first time, the count is over 1000? Or is there something I can learn from the big picture? And if neither tell a favourable story? Well then, I ignore it all because surely the anxiety – over a number that can be swayed by a myriad of factors – is worse than not knowing? I do wonder why I subject myself to being prodded.

This is a long haul journey. In a way, it’s like weight loss. If it took you 5 years to gain 20kg, you can’t expect to lose it all in 5 weeks. I started this a long time ago. Besides, I don’t claim to know everything that’s going on within me but I’m learning and I sure as hell know more than what any other person does on the subject.

I’m doing the best that I can and that’s enough.

The next prodding’s in 3 months’ time.


6 thoughts on “Analyse That

  1. Marsha Corcoran

    Hi Claudine! Thou my journey has been different, you remain my heroine! You are such a joy to know, our together times in Ireland are very precious memories to both Frank and myself. I think of you and your courage when I am in pain, and you make it so much nicer! I wish we were back in Kilkenny or Kinsale sharing a pint! You are in our thoughts and prayers forever, much love Marsha in Texas


    • Thnak you, Marsha.
      A friend has moved to Ireland from SA. I see her photos and remember some great days with you guys! There’s a wonderful spirit in that place that I think my soul recognises.
      I think of you often. Pain is a pain; I’m pleased to see it’s not dulling your sparkling, kind nature which is such a gift to everyone around you. On the “off” days when it’s bad, may it be short-lived.
      Sláinte to you both xx


  2. Roger

    Dear Claudine, thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is so honest, you are so open. There is so much we learn from you, each time you write. Keep going…you inspire us to just keep going. Love, Roger and Simla


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