Vicious Cycle (from Annie Has Hodgkins)

Please welcome Annie to LymphomaInfo.net. Annie has generously agreed to syndicate her blog, Annie Has Hodgkins Lymphoma, on our site.

I have the most horrendous lower back ache. I can hardly walk and there is no relief- not lying, not standing, not putting myself in rather precarious positions against the wall - Nothing!!! The doctor has prescribed vallium which means that most of my day consists of lying half conscious in a semi-dimmed room. As you can imagine, the memories flood back to me.

Beside the expected: "I hate 2010" and "I wonder what I have done to deserve this much in one year"; the mind drifts in directions beyond your control.

Naturally the next time you get sick after ceasing treatment and getting the 'all-clear' will be tremendously stressful and conjure up panic about this being the same thing as it was before.

I think I've spoken on this before, how after five hours of Christmas shopping with screaming kids all around the stores and the non-stop chiming of 'Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas' rings in your ears like a bad case of tinnitus- you have a headache. But of course, for us it's not a headache. It's a brain tumor.

Come on, you know what I'm talking about? You have cold sore on your lips because you're run down because you're getting the big C again, not because of some germ you've picked up unknowingly. And the doctors, sure they indulge you and send the swab off to pathology or peruse your full bloods but lets be honest, that smirk is not so easily hidden. They tell you that it's all right that you are a little on edge but it's followed by a nervous chuckle because they (just like everybody else) wonder why it really is so hard for us to let go.

It's a fine line between being vigilant and paranoid. I've crossed over, I'm sure. Slouched with my swollen, crying face buried into the cool leather of our couch, wailing that 'There's a lump! There's a definate lump in my back! Right next to my spine! Damn it, can't you feel that? I feel it, and I know my body!' And of course, it's the same as that other lump one year and six days ago. It is hard and cannot be moved. Lymphoma, for sure.

Then of course we Google (which is never a good idea) and learn that lymphoma quite often spreads to the spinal fluid. And off I go on tangents of whether I would have treatment agin, where I would spend my last few weeks, how I could possibly tell my mum. Don't get me wrong, I'm not dramtic by nature but these are possiblities which are not so far fetched now.

Realistically, my back is probably a strain or subluxtaion from where I lifted something and twisted or move in the wrong direction. The fact is, treatment has made my body an unrecognisable lump of flacid indulgence. I have the body of a seventy year old and it is weighing me down as much as these sombre thoughts are.

The term 'vicious cycle" is a shameful understatment.

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