I can’t believe the response my first blog post received on Monday. Thanks to everyone who read it and those who shared it – it was read over 1000 times in less than 24 hours and has had almost 1500 hits up to now. If it helped anyone in any way, it was worth writing.
This last week has been a long one. I’ve had appointments every day, ranging from discussions about surgery to fertility stuff, which, to be honest, I’m not too comfortable talking about. One thing I will say on that is please, please think before you ask a couple of a certain age when they’re going to have kids. It’s never been on my agenda, apart from knowing I wanted to do it one day. Well, that option might be lost to me now (odds are it won’t be, but chemo can leave you infertile). It’s not a nice question to ask anyway, in my opinion, and if I am ever asked that question again I will quite bluntly tell that person EXACTLY why I don’t have children yet. Then I will politely request that they shove their question where the sun doesn’t shine.
I’ve been in and out of hospitals (four in total) this week. I’ve had blood tests, been shown how to give myself injections and had to manoeuvre myself into the boob holes of an MRI machine. I’m sure there’s a fancy name for that, but boob holes does it for me. I’ve got to admit, I laughed out loud when the nurses showed me how to position myself for that one! On Thursday I visited The Christie in Withington, which is a world renowned cancer treatment and research facility. I sat there in the waiting room, the youngest person by at least 30 years, and thanked my lucky stars that I had this place on my doorstep, on the NHS. I met with my oncologist, who left me feeling incredibly positive. Everything I’m facing in the next six months is designed not only to get the cancer out of me, but make sure it doesn’t come back again. With that in mind, I felt like I could tackle this head on-it would be six months of crap but I would come out of the other side healthy and well.
Thursday was a good day.
Then Friday burst my bubble a little bit. I went for a pre-op assessment, as I should have been having a small surgery on Monday, where they remove a couple of lymph nodes to be certain the cancer hasn’t spread. Whilst I was sat waiting, one of the Macmillan nurses appeared and took us off into an empty room. The MRI had shown up something in my left breast that needs further investigation. After weeks of research and reading and feeling I have come to terms with what’s ahead, this was a total curve ball. I’ve already had the left side biopsied, something that took two attempts as I passed out the first time (that has NEVER happened to me before) so I’d thought it was all clear. I was half deflated at the thought of going through it all again and half happy that they had seen something and want to be certain what it is before making any big surgical decisions. My doctors are certainly on the ball.
So, last night I went out for a few drinks. Then, a few more. I spoke to some people who are close and who know what to say and when to let me talk and when to change the subject. I even spoke to someone in a really similar situation to me and my hubby and I think it helped us both a little. And that was nice-it really helps. When it’s on my terms.
But I also spoke to some people who wanted to tell me how worried they were about me even though they barely know me and their stories of family member having cancer and the hard times they’ve been through. Now, that’s fine. I’m a nice person who will help others in any way they can, but let me give you a piece of advice; do not be that person. Do not be the person who wants sympathy and advice from a person whose world has just been dropped from a great height. Yes, I’m positive about things, but that does not mean that you can offload your stress and worry onto me. I’m tired and I will probably tell you to feck off. By all means, ask me how I’m feeling. If I want to discuss it, I will. But don’t tell me about your mate/granny/second cousin twice removed who lost their fight and certainly don’t make me reassure you that I’m not going to die, FFS.
So, apologies for the rant today and please don’t take it that I’m a miserable cow who doesn’t want to talk to you. I’m not-there’s just a hell of a lot going on at the moment! Thank you for the outpouring of love and support this week, I’ve loved hearing from people I haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s an amazing feeling to know so many of you care.
Just don’t tell me about your uncle Frank’ mate who died a miserable and painful death, okay?!