Tuesday and Wednesday this week was spent in Bergen, Norway. It’s where I go to have my cancer check-ups.
In September 2013, it was discovered that I had a rare cancer in my sinuses. I was pregnant with Henry and ready to go on maternity leave. When it was discovered I was moved from Stavanger hospital to Haukeland hospital in Bergen.
I was lucky that Haukeland Hospital had specialists in that cancer and the location I had it and it is likely that that saved my life. Since June 2014 when I was finished with chemo, surgeries and radiotherapy I have been going there for check-ups every 2-4 months.
The check-ups entail: MRI scans, x-rays of my lungs, blood tests, a general talk about how I’m feeling with my consultant and an appointment with my ear/nose/throat doctor.
In the MRI scanner, my head is fixed to a bed and I am carefully positioned into the machine which scans my head and upper body. I must lay perfectly still for about 30 min and I never realised I was claustrophobic till I had my first scan.
The x-rays are for my lungs as if the cancer were to return it is one of the places it would likely be.
I have blood test done every time as the chemo made my kidney function a tiny bit worse than it was so the test just keep an eye on everything.
After that I see my lovely cancer consultant and we just talk about how I’m feeling. If I have any aches or pains anywhere. And if I do she then make sure that I will get the treatments that I need.
I finally see my “nose doctor” who checks my sinuses to make sure they are ok.
Even if I hate going to these check-ups it is very reassuring to know that if the cancer were to come back we would know very quickly.
This was the last time here in Norway but my consultant here has already got me a great consultant in London.
We took Henry with us this time, normally he stays at home and his grandparents come to look after him. But this time we took him with us and showed him where he was born, where he lived his first 7 months etc. It was quite emotional. I have not really wanted to think about those days when we lived in the hospital but the memories are always at the back of my mind. Memories keep flashing up when I least want them. Or when I see or hear good news/ bad news I always think “what if “. What if they had not been able to treat me, what if we had never found out and I would have died when Henry was born.
But mostly I don’t think about it at all, mostly I just take every day as it comes.