Sometimes I really should take my own advice, idiot that I am. How many people have I told not to Google? That it's inaccurate, unhelpful, scary. For goodness' sake, I've done it myself and scared myself silly in the early days so you'd think I'd know better.
But I got curious. As I'm now down to the last two cycles of chemo my thoughts are turning more towards what happens next and how I live the rest of my life without this dominating my every waking moment. And most of all, how I live with not knowing whether it has come back or not. Whether there's some rogue cells still drifting around waiting to take root, or another polyp slowly growing in what's left of my bowel. How I live with that anxiety every day. I should explain that I have form for anxiety related depression and had counselling for it ten years ago, but nothing that could prepare me for this.
So, rather than waiting to take the step of seeking out some counselling first (which I will do anyway; DH has agreed to some too - after all, it's not just me that has to live with this), I Google the five year survival rates. First hit is the Cancer Research UK page, so at least I'm looking at a reliable site. Wish I wasn't. Stage 3 bowel cancer 5 year survival rates 2004-2009: 47.7%. You can tell me what you like, but those aren't odds I like unless they're on a racehorse.
I haven't really shared the numbers with anyone, although I did mention it to my Mum (who told me off for Googling :-) ). Time to call in the counselling cavalry methinks. But where to start?