So Claire is having her treatments and I thought I would write a Blog for all the Bears. This is fraught with issues however. What analogy fits best? I first thought Head Coach but the more I ponder it the more I think Colonel is the way to go.
So when Claire had her first diagnosis this was nothing more than a small uprising. I read up and it seems that this was very treatable, the doctors were very confident and on advice it seemed that the standard treatment would work to put this uprising down and we could get on with life.
If you are at this stage then please stop right now and realise that, the doctors aren’t always right are sometimes over confident and start acting now like we all have at stage 2.
Stage 2 is about 6 months later and comes with a terminal diagnosis, all of a sudden this local issue has gone global and you are engaged in a full scale war, with no Geneva Convention, no prisoners and an attrition rate that makes a Battalion in Afghanistan look safe as houses.
So what does a good Colonel do? Well like me you probably started with knowledge. Lots of knowledge and mine created the 10 point plan, that we still live by today. Then you gathered your staff officers around you. Mine are incredible. Our friends and family go through hell with us and then come back for more, they are our strength and motivation and we could not love them more dearly or be more grateful for their support.
Next comes the Battle plan and for this we need strong allies.
Veteran troops who have been fighting this battle for years, with traditional methods, but also new recruits, who are fellow soldiers with exciting and innovative ideas. These are the special forces, at the very edge of this fight and to support them we have “Q”, the scientists and physicians we have met who with passion and dedication have stepped outside of convention to search heart and soul for a cure.
As Colonel in charge you then have responsibility to make this work. How many times do you hear, “we can’t give a cure, this is about living with canSer and dying of old age, not a cure”? Well maybe this is true but the aim is to win, so let’s keep that vision in mind and settle for long term survival. The reinforcements are coming – I can see advancements every day and the awareness is getting stronger. This is an unstoppable force if we all fight together.
So how does our role differ from the loved one we support (not much I hear you say) but to me there are two huge challenges.
The first is to preserve normality. From day 1 we both decided that we would acknowledge canSer but not give it the respect to dominate our lives. We have lived to this and try in every way to be “normal” (not easy for us) but then you have the big “abnormalities”.
Waiting on a scan result, effects of a new chemo, trips for treatment abroad. This is almost insurmountable and like me you probably approach them with dread and determination. Dread at what is outside of your control and determination to action that which is. This is our job, to make the best platform for our loved one to be healthy and happy and that means “normal”. I remember asking Claire, “Where in the world would you like to go, what would you like to see and do?” when we were faced with mortality and her reply, “ I love it at home being loved and in my safe place”. If you can maintain normality when all about you is falling apart then you are succeeding and should be proud of all you do. I am still trying!
So what’s the second thing? Well to me its support. It has to be real and has to be from the heart. There are two types and both scare me (I know the little phrases about worry but I just can’t control these), emotional and physical.
When you are faced with THAT question, “It’s all going to be Ok isn’t it?”, then you had better be 200% certain in your head, have all the facts and know the theory because the answer is the world to your loved one. Knowing where we go from here – That’s the Colonels job and hopefully sites like Claire’s are huge support in that. Having the right allies also helps – I’m here if you need me just pop onto the forum page.
Then the physical support. Fighting this war is not cheap and the fear is that funds will run out. Well perhaps it’s not resources but resourcefulness and I am going to dedicate my life from now to ensure that all treatments are available to everyone – if anyone can or wants to help with this, let’s talk. Nothing can stop a determined group of motivated individuals let’s do this together.
Who knows guys maybe we’ll get a promotion to General – love to all your brave soldiers’ xx
I will blog soon about my feelings on the different treatments we have been having.