The Ride

Life is a rollercoaster, right? I want to tell you something that’s been happening over the past few months. I wrote last year about a little scare I had. You can read about it here, and here… but if you can’t be bothered reading about it, let me tell you about it in a nutshell: My GP noticed that my platelets were slightly elevated, so sent me off to a specialist. Specialist guy noted that my platelets were high, and my iron was low so I decided to monitor them  and give me regular iron infusions. He mentioned that he was worried that I could potentially have Bone Marrow Cancer during one appointment {which I rightfully so freaked the heck out} and then decided that I probably didn’t… and I was pleasantly happy and got on with life thinking I’d be just fine.

Fast forward to March 2017. Life was going really quite good. I had joined the gym. I felt strong. I saw Adele in concert. I had a great weekend with my sister and my cousin. Life was good. I went to my regular appointment to get an iron infusion with my specialist, and life was not so good. “Look, I’m a bit worried. The numbers aren’t great, and I think we need to do a Bone Marrow Biopsy.”

My specialist is one of those super brilliant brains who knows his stuff, but he also drives me a little bit bonkers because he moves so fast that I can’t even keep up {and I’m good at keeping up!}. One minute he’s all “hey, nice dress!” and the next he’s “blah blah bone marrow cancer” and then “see you next week!”. I walked out feeling shell-shocked, and having to process it all. I also like to go to my appointments alone, because Hubby gets emotional and I find it better to go solo, only having to worry about myself.

I booked in for the biopsy the next week, and then promptly took myself to the cafe for a takeaway ham and cheese croissant {hello ultimate comfort food}, and took myself to my car to unravel. Bone Marrow Cancer? Really? I drove out of the car park and opened my bag of lunch and realised they’d given me a toasted sandwich instead, and I thought it was an omen so I cried. Have you also noticed that whenever you’re sad all the songs on the radio have such heartbreaking lyrics? So I cried some more.

By the time I’d arrived home I’d sorted out my emotions, and walked inside to see Hubby concerned. Our calendars on our phones are synced, so as I added my appointment into my phone for the ‘bone marrow biopsy’ it pinged to Hubby and he started freaking out. I’m the person that keeps the wheels turning, and everything together, so I told him it was all fine and there was nothing to worry about. On the outside I was cool, calm and assuring… on the inside I was a bundle of knots, stress and worry.

I kept it cool for about 24 hours, and then I couldn’t any longer. A friend came over, and I was outside on the steps watching the kids ride their bikes and I lost it. I didn’t mean to, but there comes a time where it won’t stay in any longer. I can’t even remember what I told her, or how it all came out… but there was tears, and sobbing and irrational thoughts. She’s the sort of person who is compassionate to a point, but then tells you sternly to stop thinking all of the crazy, sad thoughts and to pull your head in, so I did {for a moment anyway}.

That week leading up to my biopsy was a blur. I cried silently while I patted the kids to sleep. I woke at 3am, and sobbed into my pillow so not to wake Hubby beside me. I thought so many dark thoughts. I cried because I love my kids so hard. I sobbed because I felt like Hubby had loved me enough for three lifetimes and that I felt so lucky. I got so caught up in thought after thought that I ended up deciding that I definitely wanted Hubby to marry again, but I didn’t want his new wife to make the kids call her mum. Oh, I cried a lifetime of tears in that week, but only when no one was watching; in the shower, in the car, at night, in the dark, while doing the laundry. I also learned that no matter how many times you tell yourself to stop being ridiculous, or to keep positive, sometimes it’s inevitable to have your mind wander to places you really don’t want it to go.

The day before the biopsy Cyclone Debbie had hit, and we were flooded in. I desperately wanted to get it over and done with, but wasn’t sure if we’d actually get to the hospital or if my doctor could make it either. It felt so selfish to be worrying about such things when people were going through such devastation, but selfishly I thought of myself, a lot.

All my well-oiled plans for the biopsy fell apart. School was cancelled and we no longer had childcare. I palmed Lacey off to a friend, and took Lulu with us to the hospital.

I was quickly taken to my room, and prepped for the biopsy. I was given the sedative, and the doctor started digging into my hip in an attempt to reach the bone and take a sample. Only the sedative didn’t work. I kept looking at the nurse, who kept looking at me waiting for me to fall asleep, while the doctor performed torture on my hip {with no numbing or anything}. “I’m awake!” I called out to him, “I can feel everything you’re doing!”

He replied in disbelief, “Really? Where can you feel it?”

“In my hip!”

He ordered the nurse to double my dose of sedation, and kept digging… until I exclaimed, “Ouch! I’m still awake!”

So they stopped. Turned out the sedation doesn’t work for me. I filled in a form, unaffected by the drugs at all and lay in bed with Lulu and Hubby waiting for the all clear to go home.

I was devastated. I wanted the procedure to go head, and for I to get results and answers. I wanted to know that I was fine, and that I could get on with life. I wanted to avoid that grey area, where there were just questions and doubt, and be in that place where I knew for sure what was going on.

I was given an appointment for two months after that date, and left in the grey area, not knowing. For the most part I got on with life, and the other part I had a humming of worry and sadness going on in the background. I kinda put life on hold, putting off trips/work/life and promises because I had no idea what lay ahead for me. It wasn’t fun. For someone who likes to have control, I felt like I had hardly any. Despite feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt, with no physical symptoms at all, I was worried.

Last week was my appointment. I want to tell you that I wasn’t worried, but I was… but surprisingly not as worried as I thought I would be. I assumed that it would just be another appointment where we made more plans {perhaps to have the biopsy done under a general}. Hubby came with me, but I asked him to stay in the waiting room while I spoke to the doctor. During my failed biopsy I had some expensive bloods taken, and my results were in. They showed I didn’t have cancer, and while the results aren’t 100% accurate, when they’re teamed with the results that my platelets have returned to a beautiful, normal level… it rules out bone marrow cancer. I don’t have cancer.

It was the most enthusiastic I’ve seen my specialist {and he’s an energetic, excitable guy}. He was thrilled for me, and I was thrilled for me. I’ve been smiling ever since. I am so grateful to have received such good news, to be one of the lucky ones. This past 18 months has been a roller coaster ride of uncertainty, fear, tests, and worry… and I’m glad to be lucky enough to be jumping off the ride.

86 thoughts on “The Ride”

  1. Oh Chantelle !!!! I’m so happy to know you are well, what an ordeal 🙁 you poor thing! Sending much love x PS I vote you book a holiday stat x

  2. Oh this is the best news! I’m sorry you’ve had such a scary ride these past months, but THRILLED this story has a happy ending. xx

    PS. I would totally have cried about that ham cheese tomato sandwich too. A xx

  3. Oh my gosh, that was a roller coaster of emotions just reading this post!! I’m so thankful and grateful the results came up fine. I agree with Jade, you need to book a trip asap! Sending virtual hugs to you lovely. Xxx

  4. Hey there I went through exactly the same thing 6 years ago, it was horrendous, stressful and it hurt like hell for me too. Got a clean bill of health and still healthy today. 🙂

  5. Oh Chantelle I can’t imagine the stress and anguish you’ve been going through. I’m so glad that they’ve ruled the cancer out and you can stop living in the grey area. The waiting is always the worst. Hope you get some time to decompress and realign yourself after going through such a stressful time xx

  6. I can’t believe you were awake that whole time. Far out!! I’m so so so so so so so so glad you are free from fuckity cancer. I hope they are still going to work out what’s going on with your iron. Man!! I just took the hugest breath. Love you xx

  7. Can’t even. So relieved for you Chantelle.
    I’ve had those same new wife /mother thoughts and tortured myself with dark thoughts.

  8. Not knowing is hideous, the mind can go to some crazy dark corners. I’m so relieved you’re ok xx

  9. Phew, what a big couple of months for you. The waiting is simply torture. I am so relieved that everything is ok. xo

  10. I’m so glad to hear that you’re in the clear. The bravery you’ve shown by just sharing your life with us is so appreciated. I always seem to lose my words when ever I try to write about my life or my general feelings. I’m so honored to be apart of your life (Well not really apart but somewhat apart. If that even makes any sense) even if we haven’t met in person. Wishing you all the best and a very happy but belated mother’s day to you. <3 <3 and hugs.

  11. Oh gosh, what a roller coaster you’ve been on. I can’t imagine having to go through all that. I can say I’ve been on my own in the last 3 months or do so as I have 2 autoimmune conditions (lupus SLE & fibromyalgia) and they have been rampant and painful. I send you and your family blessings and love and thanks that you don’t have cancer Chantelle. Love reading your blog. Thank you for being so honest and open with what you share. I pray you have a beautiful day, much love Virginia, aka Wirgie101, Sydney.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal journey. I am in that space right now and have only told a handful of those closest to me – the roller coaster ride has been awful but it’s slowed down a little. A couple of weeks ago I went to my GP after persistent, recurring pain in the region of my left ovary. Ultrasound was ordered and ended up requiring an internal one – the pain was off the chart and the scan also showed an irregular mass on my ovary. My GP reviewed my results on the Friday and dropped in the C word a few times then referred me off to a gynaecology oncologist for an urgent appointment which was the following Wednesday, also ordering blood tests for tumour markers. I spent the next 5 days in emotional limbo – I felt hollow, afraid, angry and upset. We had family staying over the weekend which was a minor distraction, but I was struggling to be sociable. My partner came home from work early on the Tuesday after struggling through the previous day and it upset me to see my rock so shaken and worried.
    Wednesday arrived and by my mid afternoon appointment I was a jelly like mess of emotions and nausea. The dr was wonderful and gave me the all clear on the tumour marker tests. It was like the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders in that moment. I still have some more tests and maybe surgery ahead, but now that the chances of it being cancer are greatly reduced, I can sleep and breathe again. I’m off to a CT scan today and will take it from there, one step at a time.

      • Oh Chantelle – the CT looked good but it looks like the Dr will be going in for a closer look via laparoscopy. I have relaxed 95% about the whole thing now, but I’m struggling to sleep as that’s when my mind starts to wander. Fear of the unknown can have a powerful effect. I’m so ready to get off this ride so I hope the wait for surgery isn’t too long!

  13. Oh what a hell of a time you’ve been through and sorry for all those dark hours you’ve had to face alone. Nothing like crying alone and in the dark. I’m more than beside myself that your news is great! I can’t imagine how stressful it’s been, however knowing you you’ve probably taken a few lessons from the journey… including how precious life is. Much love and big hugs and massive fist pump! xxx

  14. OH my goodness I am so happy you are ok now but I felt every bit of emotion through that post. I am having some ‘tests’ at the moment and I too am a bundle of nerves awaiting the outcomes. Glad, so glad things are going to be ok.

  15. Chantelle I am so pleased for you that the news was positive. Those periods of ambiguity are the worst. I hope your health just continues to improve.

  16. Chantelle you have no idea how happy I am to hear you came out great after such an awful time. You took me back 5 years ago. Although my ride lasted a bit longer, after 6 months of treatment I can assure you that feeling of relief is something we all share when we get the all clear. It’s the scariest most horrible time and the thoughts of not being there for your family is just devastating. I bet you had an unforgettable mother’s day yesterday. Such a huge relief! It’s these things that make us value what we have so much more. Lots of love to you. Xo

  17. That not knowing, being stuck in limbo, and on the emotional rollercoaster of going to the black places one minute and putting on the positive face the next is the hardest place to be. Thankfully you can now rise above the fog and celebrate your clean bill of health.

  18. Even after you shared last week that had received good news, I still read this holding my breath.
    Much love to you lady. Xx

  19. Oh my goodness! I am just catching up – I had no idea you were going through this! Big hugs! What a roller coaster ride indeed! I am so so happy for you that you do not have cancer! How scary that must have been xoxo

  20. Chantelle! OMG!!! I am crying at my desk at work, into my tuna salad, in relief. I am so happy that you have the all clear. xx

  21. So happy everything is ok, you are a beautiful soul!
    I’ve had a similar wake up call. It just brings us all together as a family as I know I can sometimes take things for granted.

  22. … I’m so relieved and happy for you and your family Chantelle….. what a fantastic outcome after all the horrible time you’ve had .. Happy Days are here again … xxxxx Barb xxxxx

  23. Thanks you for sharing your very personal journey. I hope the good-health fairy continues to shine upon you and your family

  24. SHITBALLS. Chan. Wowsers what a heavy cluster fuck of shiz. I’m so pleased all
    Is well. A dear friend of mine does have leukaemia. She is a lovely wife, Mumma to two, a daughter, a sister and the loveliest souls I ever did meet. My heart breaks for her as there is no bone marrow donor for her on the world wide database. That’s a list of 28 million people and not one match. Devastating. Search on Facebook ‘Find Tan A Donor’ we are trying to raise awareness for bone marrow donation. And find a match for Tan, she has Australian/English and Croatian/Balkan heritage and it’s proving tricky. Call theAustralian Red Cross on 131495 or go
    To donate to make an appointment and go on the register. Saving a live would be so bloody cool!

  25. Oh Chantelle! What a bloody rollercoaster! I cried and laughed reading your post because I went through a similar emotional ride last week (due to an abnormal pap test – all is benign though, phew…) and it is exhausting. About an hour after the all clear my 8yo asked to go on her iPad. I said no. She told me she hated me. I told her I didn’t care and that I loved her, all in a sing song voice. Still cannot wipe the smile off my face. It’s NOT cancer. I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for me. x

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