Friday 18 Januari 2019 was my D-Day about the treatment that I had gone through. It was a very confusing day because the whole day long I was nervous about the result. The doctors were going to tell me if the treatment that I had gotten (chemotherapy, external and internal radiation) had worked or not and wether I am clear of this rotten invader in my body.
Sidekick Saar went with me off course, always ready to support me. Actually I was feeling really positive all day. The last few weeks I was feeling well, doing sports again. I had started going to the gym again. The last months my whole body was stiff every morning, my ankles, my muscles, my joints. After only two visits at the gym where I actually immediately was able to run twenty minutes on the treadmill, my complete stiffness was gone! I was so happy to feel that my body had not disappointed me. It gave me good hopes to get back into the physical condition that I had before this story. I told myself before the start of it all that I would give myself ONE year to get back in shape. Feeling that I still could run like this after heavy treatment and doing absolutely nothing made me super strong again in my mind. And the effects were super! No more pain on the body and lots of energy. I could already smell my squash racquet!
But when we were waiting and waiting and waiting for my name to be called, I started to feel uncomfortable and a little bit worried. My worries were legit. The young assistent who had to break me the bad news told me that the outcome was a mixed result. The primary cancer had shrunk and was almost completely gone. However they detected metastasis further in my body. On the liver membrane and on some lymph glands. Absolutely bad news. We asked some questions, mainly Saar, and the young assistent told us to wait for the professor to explain us more. My brain was probably already gone somewhere else because I didn’t remember him explaining too much. Luckily Saar is with me to be able to hear the whole complete story. What I heard was: ‘Madam Tahon, you are in bad papers, you need 18 more chemos, there is only a small chance of cure’ which translated in my mind: ‘Nele you are going to die in about six months.
We had to wait for the head nurse of my oncology department to explain me more about the next treatment. When she came to get me she was a bit sad and told me that everybody on the department was shocked that it was me she had to come and get. It was only when we got out to get the elevator that my tears came. Damn!! WTF is going on!! This is too ridiculous for words. I had told the professor that I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. I am (was) healthy, sporty and always told everybody that I want to become 120 year old. Of course he doesn’t have much to say about that. But what he did say when he went out of the door and gave me immediately a sparkle of hope was: ‘120 years madam Tahon, 120 years’. I’m not sure why he said it, for moral support or because he really believes staying positive helps, but it immediately switched something in my head. A small chance is also a chance, and then I just need to be in that chance!
Saar and I got the explanation and I cried some more and so did she :-). Thank God for Saar, my rock!! I had no clue how to deal with this, I was just numb. What to do? I didn’t know what to feel, what to do,… I didn’t want to see anybody. How do you cope with the news that there is a possibility that you can die in the near future. How quickly can it go from becoming 120 years old to maybe not even a year! Huge bombardment in my head here!
So since I didn’t know or feel anything at that point, I decided to buy a big screen television. Sounds strange but since I had to die anyway, I might as well make myself comfortable for those last months. My tv was tiny, You needed a magnifier to watch it. So I got a very nice, big one. When I was buying it, a friend called me and I explained my situation on the phone. The boy preparing the tv heard the whole conversation and when we were arranging everything he apologized for the question he had to ask. Whether or not I wanted the five year guarantee on the the tv. Fuck that!! I told him. He told me it was on the device. Fuck that too!! I told him. I don’t give a damn what people will do with that tv when I’m gone. The poor guy. 🙂 Saar didn’t really know how to respond to that either and I absolutely understand. You want to be positive for your friend and keep up the spirit, but this happened about an hour after the bad news. Also for her this was very bad news and very emotional.
I’m not a cry-baby but I cried a bit that weekend, trying to process everything. Saar stayed with me that night. We didn’t say much just watched a movie, although off course I didn’t see a lot of it. I just enjoyed and appreciated her presence. The day after I met my two other best friends Katrien and Sara. We have a lifetime together. We were in the same kindergarden, went to the Boy Scouts together, went to study together, did many traveling together and so many more things. A lot of crazy stories with these two ladies 🙂 Katrien and Sara have always been my safe-haven to come home after my various missions abroad with the army. The adventures I had with them are priceless, but the friendship is the best. It overtops everything. We are all three of us very different and still it has always worked. It makes our friendship very strong. Sara’s dad used to call us the KNS Triumviraat 🙂 (KNS: Katrien, Nele, Sara). So I met my girls on Saturday in Kessel-lo to have a drink together. We stayed together all afternoon, went out for dinner with my brother and his girlfriend and my niece Ella and afterwards went to have another drink. And suddenly it was late in the night at the bar. It was a very well known situation and I loved it. The three of us at a bar talking and not letting anyone intervene our discussions. We were talking about us, about life, about emotions, the love we have, the good life we have led already and sometimes we cried. I had a perfect coping night. It felt so good to be with them and I love them so much. One can imagine the state we were in when we went home hahaha. We had been talking of doing a city trip or so, but when I was sober again I figured who needs a city trip if you have these nights out with your darlings. City-tripping is for when I’m done with this mess.
So the weekend I was trying to deal with the whole situation and trying to prepare myself again for the next round that already started on Tuesday again. No time and life to waste! My thought exactly!!