I find that my mood tends to change quite quickly when it comes to thinking about my treatment. Having Stage IV cancer means a life of uncertainty. The doctors think I have no chance of surviving this and so don't want to do anything to save my life. Okay to a certain extent I can see that, the NHS can't afford to waste money - they have management wages to pay after all, but I don't understand the concept that when things get worse they might think of doing something! But there is no indication as to how they will be able to tell when things get worse when they completely missed that my cancer had already spread before I had been diagnosed, mainly because they did not listen when I told them about symptoms. They seemed to think that it wasn't an indication of how bad it was that I was walking with a stick at the age of 47. Their criteria seems to be that you have to be knocking back the pain killers like smarties for it to be serious.
I am trying not to be difficult but it makes me very anxious and scared as this is my life, not a broken leg. I feel that I have been a failure because breast cancer is all about primary cancer and how many survive this, and not about those of us who have secondary cancer and will not survive this. They give no encouragement or tell you about ways that you can help yourself. If I had a heart attack or a stroke I would be given advice about lifestyle changes etc, but with secondary cancer - nothing.
But there are things I can do to help myself and that is why I think I am doing rather well. The doctors will say it is the Tamoxifen and the Zoledronic Acid, but I know that I only really started to get better when I changed my diet. But I already knew where to look because of information that had been sent to a friend who had stomach cancer 5 years ago (and sadly didn't make it as she was never well enough to try any alternatives to conventional medicine). Why will the NHS not at least guide patients to these alternatives? They don't have to say that it will cure, just that it MIGHT help. Think of the millions that could be saved and the hope that it would give patients that by empowering themselves they can help to heal themselves.
Hope is about small things, not "I hope I can win the lottery" or some other dream. Hope is about reality and things that are achievable. I don't view the future as a long term thing, and I'm not sure that I ever did really, but it is about next week and next month and possibly next year. None of us actually has a future because it has not arrived and we have not experienced it, but we do have the present and the past. But I can hope that the future will be better than today, and that I can have a good quality of life. After all I feel better now than I have done for years, and in so many ways having Stage IV cancer has made me a more positive and optimistic person. Without the worry of the long-term future I can have hopes for tomorrow that can be achieved.