Week 16: Back to Life, Back to Reality
Well, what a roller-coaster 4 months it’s been. 2020 proved that not only can life swerve in a different direction for people personally (e.g. me and my cancer diagnosis), but for the whole world too (Coronavirus). And truth be told being diagnosed then treated at the same time as the rest of the UK went into lockdown meant that my situation never felt special. Different yes, but not special. And that’s a good thing, as it meant that I felt like I had a hurdle to get through in life, along with everyone else, as we all had to adjust to living at home for extended, often stressful periods. Reflecting a wee bit on the experience, it felt like I had been pushed off track. But now I’m back on track, albeit a slower, more circuitous one.
And this is why I’ve decided to make this the final *regular* post at least, of this cancer blog. My recovery is still going well and according to plan. I’m off all the medications, I’m off all the dietary supplements, and I’m starting to do daily calisthenics during my daily walks. In fact as of today I’m going to start turning my daily 2-5km walks back into daily running again. And I’ll be on day 180 of my continuous daily running / walking streak since the start of the year.
I’ve also decided to go back to work tomorrow. Earlier than I planned to, I know, but the time feels right. Universities are undergoing their biggest challenge as far back as I can remember, and I want to get stuck back in. It’s time to get life back to normal.
I’ll still write posts the in future when different milestones occur. For example, I will have my MRI scan at the end of July / August, to determine how successful the radiation treatment has been. And let me tell you, if I’ve had to suffer all this pain for the cancer not to have gone, there’ll be hell to play 🤣 And of course I’ll update everyone about the outcome of that, good or ambiguous.
Finally, I'd like to end here by repeating if you have any of the following symptoms, regardless of gender, see your GP as soon as possible, especially if you are over 45, as these are common signs that you may have HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer.
a painless lump in your neck (which was my symptom)
a persistent sore throat
If you are a parent, please do get your children vaccinated against HPV. If are you fall under the MSM (men who have sex with men) category, a free vaccination is offered to men under the age of 45. We now have an effective, painless vaccine against HPV-related cancers, which we didn't have a few decades back when I probably contracted my HPV. If you haven't had the vaccine, I really recommend it.