All This & Cancer, Too, But Not Much Cancer, or Yeah, Cancer, You Better Keep Running

Well, it’s been an eventful autumn. Having high blood pressure was a new experience for me. My mother didn’t get cancer or hypertension until she was 90. Old Eternal got away with a lot.

So I threw out the salt shaker (it was really difficult breaking up with salt but I’ve found that most savoury foods are salty enough for my taste). I quit smoking almost thirty years ago and we live on the austerity plan, which means we don’t have alcohol in the house (I can only tolerate the good stuff; cheap lager is dead to me). I’d run out of things to give up, so they had to raise the dosage on the blood pressure meds and add a calcium channel blocker. But—pro-tip—I’ve discovered the slightest bit of exercise is beneficial so now I’m trying to get outside and walk up the street and back again whenever possible.

Then I had my oncology blood test. After adding hypertension to the list of things to put on a MedicAlert bracelet, I started to feel nervous. What else was going to go wrong?

As it turns out, nothing. The level of cancer in my body has sunk a little more. Just a little, not to the point where I’m in remission, but there’s less of it than there was six months ago, and in this case, less really is more.

So, it’s green bananas all around until next May, when I have my next oncology appointment—they check on me every six months now, over the phone (though of course I still have to go to the Macmillan Centre for the blood test).

Next month, it will be seven years since I got the Diagnosis of Doom and five years since my original expiration date. Pro-tip: it ain’t over till it’s over. Never, never give up.