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The 3AM Thought Rush
Why is it always three in the morning when my mind gets rushed with thoughts about the results of my latest test?
Like a novice boxer unwillingly put into the ring, I am acutely aware of the count that is going on above my head. I, however, have no referee working out my future actions in ten brief seconds.
The key question I come back to time and again is how will the results of the latest biopsy be translated into my life?
All you can do is wait...
Living in remission for the last year has been a humbling but fantastic experience. I have achieved so many of the simple goals I set out to achieve when my medical trial was deemed to have worked. I was lucky enough to be only the 7th patient offered a chance to take part in the CAR T-Cell therapy trial at UCLH. Humbling when you consider the vast amount of resource, both human and financial that has gone into my survival. Fantastic, when you get a second chance at life and are able to make the most of it.
As the current biopsy results wait drags on (two weeks normally before I get a call from my hospital liaison guy), all you can do is… wait.
Healthy Body; Healthy Mind
In many ways I already have a good idea how it will play out. After all, this is the 5th time I’ve encountered this long wait so far this year.
I know what a healthy body feels like. Yesterday, I did a challenging bike ride up into the high hills of rural Derbyshire. Up high, riding, climbing up the pitch of a mountain, up where the green leaves quiver in the cold sun. Drawing the life-giving oxygen deep into my lungs, the adrenaline rushes through my veins as I make a long descent down the other side of my challenge.
Eventually, I pull over at the side of the road for a sip of water and to give my burning legs chance to offload some lactic acid. On reflection in this moment, leukaemia has no place here.
So you’d think the biopsy result should be a breeze – but of course it’s not!
Here, at 3AM I ask myself - what if it’s not what I’m hoping for?
What will happen to the dreams, hopes, aspirations of a future life, a life after leukaemia?
Then it starts: a full run down in my mind of events that have unfolded over the last three and a bit years since I was first diagnosed. I think of all the people I’ve met, been involved with, been treated by… all the characters that have shaped the journey.
Usually, I then shuffle to the edge of a warm bed. I reach across and open the curtains a notch so I can look out across the street, dark and quiet at such an early hour. I know I need to get up now, as trying to get back to sleep will be impossible.
So I get a rush of positivity to my actions, let’s see what I can do with the time. Determinedly, I head downstairs and see what’s happening in the world… on the TV… on the internet.
I tell myself: I know what a leukaemia packed body feels like. And you know what -this ain’t it!
So regardless of the impracticality of getting up at three to potter about… I need to be excited for that biopsy call. Let’s have it. Let’s move forward with hope for the future... The journey continues.
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