Nineteen days since I found my lump and seven days since the hospital found the other lump, and I was back at the hospital hoping it would soon be the last visit.
I’d spent the last week not even thinking about boobs and lumps. I was now in the mindset that it was Pash, I would need an operation (no biggie), a couple of weeks recovery, and then it would be over. I would return to stubborn, feisty work boss, pushover mama bear, partner in crime to the man cub; all of this would be a little blip.
So Ryan came with me this time, he was a bit more worried than I was I think, but I still hadn’t told the parentals. Didn’t really see the point in worrying them. Nothing to tell means nothing to worry about in my book. I sometimes wonder who brought who up as when I do this kind of thing I get absolute grief but I am the most pragmatic person in the world.
At least the waiting room was a bit more tolerable having another person there (and not having a BBC2 programme about breast cancer on in the background – well, it was all about Brexit, so I’m not sure of the worst evil!). We tried to make a shopping list for when we were done as it was the childs 5th Birthday Party on the Saturday. Fifteen children confirmed, no plan for the actual two hours apart from hope it was sunny and scatter them in the park at the top of the village! While I hid somewhere and pretended I wasn’t the most anti social person in the world!! Then we had her Birthday on the Sunday. I was far to busy for this waiting around!! We also needed to sort our holiday in a couple of weeks – that had taken a back burner while we sorted a party and attended these bloody appointments. But still a blip. We had this!
The wait wasn’t so long for an afternoon appointment – it’s the results appointments, so they are either good news or bad news and no-one hangs around. People were getting called at a rate, so fingers crossed it would be over soon. I got called through by one of the nurses and taken into one of the consultants room (all medical, clinical and like someone had sterilised it within an inch of its life). I was met by Pauline one of the Breast Care Nurses. Apologies were made for the consultant as he had been called away but they wanted me to know the results of the biopsy. Still calm I waited for the next words.
‘Its Cancer Kirsty’
Its what now? My body went into shutdown as I tried to grasp what she had just said. Ryan was holding my hand so tight and my first words were ‘what do I tell my child’. My first words.
I was numb. I had no words after that. I had Cancer. Tears started falling without me even knowing, I was passed tissues. Then one of the other nurses in the room offered a cup of tea. I mean, I nearly laughed at that point. The good old British solution to any problem, have a cup of tea. No I didn’t want a cup of tea, I wanted a vat of vodka to dive head first into.
We moved rooms into a smaller space with comfortable sofas and bucket chairs; much less clinical and I realised that I hadn’t been in one of these before. These were the ‘bad news’ rooms. Where your world changes forever and can never go back to what it was.
How is it that one word can tip you off a ravine, never to return to the position you were in before? The word alone has such an awful finality to it.
That next half hour was an absolute blur. I was given a green folder with a tick list at the front, a long tick list. There wasn’t going to be any speed about this journey. Then I was given a book that I could read to the child. All I knew when I left was that I was to have a mammogram imminently to see if they could get more of a picture of the lump.
We walked out of there like empty shells. The confident jaunt in had been replaced by leaden steps, taking us into the unknown.
But typical us, by the time we got to the car I was jesting with Ryan that if I lost my hair I wanted it to come back ginger! Then I mentioned that I didn’t have a will. We laughed, but it seemed empty now.
We then went to buy party bag gifts like a normal couple. Yet we weren’t normal anymore. It felt like we had a black cloud just hanging over our heads. Following us. And we had to be normal. We were about to pick the child up from school. We couldn’t be anything else but normal. A friends partner was popping round after that to drop her present off for her birthday. We had to be normal.
The tears had stopped by then. There was no point. My baby girl needed a party organised, presents for her birthday sorted and a mammy who was 100% committed to her first week of six weeks holidays after her Reception year of school that I had pre arranged to spend with her.
We still had this. It was just a different ‘this’. But we had it, and with everything in my body I knew I would fight it.