So through the mail comes one of those usual NHS letters inviting me for a Breast Scan. I didn’t even query it, just went along to the local Hospital like a good little girl. When I arrived on the Breast Screening Unit they checked my date or birth and address details and then asked me when my last scan was. Last year, I responded. “Oh, why are you here then?”, came the reply. Thy was easy, because they sent for me! The radiographer continued: “Was there any reason why you were referred back after only 12 months, it’s usually three years?”. By this time I had stripped off and was stood half naked behind the screen. “No!” I assured her. “Well you don’t have to have this scan then if you don’t want to”. Seriously, this was a no-brainer. I don’t have a problem with my boobs being squeezed in the machine, much better then cancer, that was always my view. So I responded glibly, “Well I’m here now with my tits out, best get on with it!”. And she did!
Well, that’s the end of that – or so I thought. Within the next two weeks I’ll get the all clear and we can put that to one side for another 3 years! Never imagined I’d get a call back, to the local General Hospital. This is compete madness I told myself, I’m fine. But just to confirm my certainty I went upstairs and lay on the bed, there was nothing wrong with me!
Oh shit!!! a lump in my left boob. Felt like a large marble from when I was a kid, you know the sort we used to call dobbers! I lay there and took a deep breath. “Dave where are you now when I need you!!” Next to the bed was the book “When life gives you Lemons”, a book I had been reading slowly to help with the grief I was still wrestling with. I picked it up, opened it and started to cry. “God, where are you now?” That was the question I’d asked more in the past 5 months than ever before in my life. I had felt like he disciples being tossed and thrown around in the boat when Jesus was asleep in their storm. This storm which he had lead them into as he invited them to get into the boat on that dark and stormy night on Galilee. Suddenly my storm changed from a really bad thunder storm to a whirlwind or was it a hurricane? and there was nothing to do but sob like a baby for several minutes. I went back to the lump, tried to assure myself it was nothing, but failed drastically, it was definitely something, something most unwelcome.
Within two weeks I lay on anoter bed, this time at Worcester Royal Hospital as the Doctor took pictures, carefully, slowly, silently. As he asked me to move onto my side and he began to take even more images from under my arm, I begin to cry as I knew this wasn’t good news. He confirmed I had stage 2 Breast Cancer and it was also in two of more of my lymph nodes also. He informed me he had been doing this job for over 20 years and he was certain this was cancer. He took the Biopsy to confirm the bleeding obvious, and I was immediately referred to the breast cancer nurse, where my friend Karen took copious notes of all that was being said. She said loads, but all I remember her saying now is having big boobs is an advantage at a time like this! Hallelujah for my 36F’s!
Karen and I want for cream cakes! Never has a cream cake been so welcome. Wouldn’t it be great if Breast Cancer could be cured by cream cakes and not Chemo, Radio and Surgery?
So on the 27th September 2017, I was told I have cancer. I type this a month later and Im sorry to report I still have cancer! Since then I’ve had scan, blood tests, appointments etc etc. I’ve been recommended to McMillan Nurses, depended on friends for lifts, had all the family up to see me, received many good wishes by Card Facebook, text and many many bunches of flowers. I’ve bogged off to Paris to escape the long waiting with nothing happening (But it’s ok I m confidently assured they are still within the NHS recommended time frames!)….. it’s not really ok if I’m honest!
I’ve never minded waiting, yet suddenly waiting seems dangerous and that scares me. The Doctor at Worcester who had my breast scan images from a year ago and two weeks ago used the work “aggressive” as the compared the scans that were 12 month apart. I have spoken to the cancer and told it to calm down, we don’t need all this crazy unnecessary aggression just now. I hope it has listened, I really do!
Another thing the Doctor did was express genuine surprise that there had been a cock-up in the system and I was sent for a breast scan after only a year. He said clearly someone was looking after me. I hope he’s right. I know he’s right! Someone is looking after me and that together we will get through this. Please Lord, I would like to live. Id like to see my grandchildren, like to see Esther get married, I’d like to fall in love again, Id like to swim in the Med again, I’d like to succeed at being a Regional Minister (whatever that means). There is so much I’d like to do. PLEASE!