To put this in the correct place in the narrative, we are at Friday 31 August and this comes directly after "Telling People".
Friday is a work day and I attempt to conduct it normally. Normal apart from the conversations about me having cancer and needing at least 6 weeks off work, that is. I admit the actual condition to some people and not to others, for no reason other than I find it hard to deal with the reaction I get: pity, tears, shock. And as I'm in denial anyway, it feels like a colossal fuss about nothing. It's just a few cells, surely this is OTT? The veneer cracks only when I speak to my consultant's secretary to book the procedure and she indicates that next Thursday might not be possible. I'd pinned my hopes on that and the possibility of a change in plans is more than I can cope with today. But she (God bless her, from the position of being on a day off and out and about in a nearby cathedral city) shifts things around so next Thursday is once again possible AND she has all the extra pre-op appointments organised. There need to be pre-op assessments, a chat with the stoma nurse in case I need an ileostomy bag and a CT scan to look for secondary tumours. The calls to fix the first two come in whilst I'm having my legs and bikini line waxed - seems like ridiculous vanity but who knows when the chance will come again?
My boss's boss is hugely sympathetic and says all the right things about taking time and not worrying about the job, but it doesn't assuage my guilt that their expensive and relatively recent hire is deserting them at a rather important time. I know no-one else thinks like that, but I do. So I stay late and put together a hand over note detailing everything I'm working on, who could take over and what needs doing. I cycle to and from my mainline train station, just as usual. This may be going to be a reason for things, but it is not going to be an excuse and besides, I don't know when I'm going to get on my bike again.
For the same reason I go running on Saturday, before my Mum comes round for lunch. We have asked her over, conscious that she would never insist on coming round but probably needs a hug as much as I do.