02/09/15- Hospital: So far I have attended all of my appointments on my own. Don’t misunderstand me, I haven’t been alone- I have had a whole army of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues by my side-a mighty force, let me tell you.
I find myself in unknown territory. I recognise I have no control over what is happening in my body and I have no control over how the treatments that are recommended for me, will impact on my body physically and probably psychologically.
How I choose to receive each new piece of information, how much time I allow myself to process each new piece of information, how I choose to relay each new piece of information back to my troops…well there lies the small amount of control afforded me…there I find the sense of empowerment I badly need and I hold tightly on to this in spite of loving protestations, in spite of a natural tendency to people please, in spite of the fear!
Today is different.
Today will mean the difference between treatment and possibly cure or treatment to simply prolong a time limited life.
You see I have done my research and gathered the information and acquired the knowledge which as we all know makes me more powerful! And here’s the thing, see…if today’s results show that my cancer cells are in fact holidaying abroad say in Boneland or have boated across to the Isle of Lung well then my cancer has metastasised…it is stage 4 and is in fact incurable or to use another term-terminal.
Today is different.
I ask my brother to do one of the hardest things someone can be asked do in a situation such as this.
I ask my brother to wait for me in the waiting room.
I ask my brother to wait for me in the waiting room in case I fall apart.
I ask my brother to wait for me in the waiting room with the emotional shovel he doesn’t even think he possesses, in case I need someone to scrape me up from the consultant’s office floor.
And so he waits.
Consultant no. 3: The scans are showing no spread
and I can breathe…
Consultant No. 3: it is Lobular Cancer, grade 2 confirmed, strongly oestrogen positive, no Her 2 receptor status results as yet.
I scribble this information in my little silver notebook.
Consultant No. 3: size and spread of the tumours indicate mastectomy over lumpectomy and traditional, standard procedure with any lymph node involvement is a lymph clearance.
My consultant then describes an alternative to the standard treatment though it is dependant on the number of lymph nodes affected-a clinical trial where I would be selected for either the control group-lymph node clearance or the trial group where the lymph area would be treated without surgery.
I’m interested in anything that offers my body the option of less aggressive therapy so I say I’m in and we book my left breast mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy!
As I round the corner back into the waiting room, I find my brother’s eyes. He’s searching for clues but I’m afraid to burst into song or dance my way across the waiting room which is what I feel like doing because I know that the ‘others’ here may be facing news that is not so positive.
Barely out of the doors of the Breast Care Clinic, I share the good news with my brother-no spread! no spread! We cling to each other our bodies racked with sobs. Tears of relief and release and of simple joy mark the moment where I am gifted once again with a future.