16/10/15-Hospital: There is a different feel here in the waiting room today. The room has an energy, a kind of buzz. The room is busy, packed.
The room is noisy, people are talking. They are talking to their nearest and dearest. They are talking to the neighbour at their side they are talking to their neighbour across the room. They are talking to me.
What time was your appointment?
How long have you been waiting?
I’ve never known it this bad!
A nurse braves the baying crowd offering apologies for the delays but no explanation.
There’s a strange positivity in the room generated no doubt by the shared curiosity and the comforting conversation it facilitates. Feeling disgruntled by a longer than usual unexplained wait offers the room a sense of community, a safe communal cause.
Today it is not simply cancer that unites the room and for that the room is truly thankful.
Finally, silver note book in hand I sit down before Consultant No. 3 to receive the findings of my surgery.
Finally, where speculations and guestimations reigned, fact will now prevail.
Finally I will know. Will have all the information. Will have a clear pathway in front of me…
Ah, how naïve little one!
What I do now know:
My tumours turned out to be in fact, a tumour. One single tumour measuring 51mm- this is good news.
My tumour was successfully removed with clear margins all round- this is very good news.
My cancer cells retain their original grade 2 status- also good news.
My cancer cells’ stage however is confirmed as 3a and not 2 as first indicated-this is slightly less good news.
What I still don’t know:
How many lymph nodes are involved and therefore if I am eligible for the clinical trial and therefore what and when my next step is.
With the blue dye acting as road a map to my sentinel lymph nodes and the radioactive fluid providing an audible alarm effectively grassing up my cancer cells- Consultant No. 3 removed what she thought to be three lymph nodes, one too many for the trial.
Over at Pathology H.Q. Mr Pathologist laid out what he thought to be three lymph nodes, one too many for the trial.
Here in Consultant No. 3’s office however, my pathology report is only showing results for two lymph nodes, just the right number for the trial.
One of my lymph nodes is missing!
So as I sit here prodding at the letters on my keyboard, the pathologist is prodding once more through the detritus of my left breast in an attempt to clarify whether I actually have three nodes or the more desirable two nodes and a blood vessel involved in this unfolding drama.
And once again I find myself in the now familiar information holding pattern until maybe Monday or hopefully by Thursday or perhaps one day soon…