Saturday, 15 September 2012

One step at a time

Another out of sequence one, but it can't really wait (in my mind) for me to catch up.

So I mentioned that my follow up appointment had been brought forward. DH and I had spent a nervy 24 hours trying to convince ourselves there was nothing in it and that it could as easily be because he wanted to let us off the hook quickly as be bad news. So, surprisingly, I slept quite well on Thursday night, only waking up at 5.30 am. Then I couldn't get back to sleep.

No amount of talking will change nine "involved" lymph nodes though. The consultant seems as upset as we are, he having been 90% sure that this was in situ only. His positive, and mine, is that he did a proper "cancer" op, removing the lymph nodes behind the polyp, and not just the polyp removal he could have done. I didn't know the two options existed, but I'd have chosen the more radical anyway. He gives us lots of time, carefully explaining the functioning of the lymphatic system and the fact that cancer cells use it as a transport network so we can't be sure where else the cancer cells might be, hence the broad spectrum sledgehammer approach of chemo. But this consultation is the first time anyone has used the word "terminal" in front of me and that's what makes me cry, properly cry, in the car on the way home. To be fair, it was used in the context of improvements in chemo, better survival rates, this isn't terminal. Until now, though, I've just stuck my head in the sand and refused to acknowledge that I have cancer at all. I don't want to think about leaving my husband, leaving my beautiful children, I don't want to think that this could lead there.

DH and I manage to pull ourselves together for when we get home. No-one cries until the children are in bed, and then everybody cries. Grown men shouldn't be crying, this is all wrong. We solve the problem in a temporary way by getting Chinese takeaway and drinking a lot of wine, which maybe not the right thing to do but at least we can all relax for a while.

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