So after the initial shock and denial of the biopsy results, I had to still prepare for the childs birthday party and actual birthday at the weekend. But the worst thing I had to do was actually tell the parentals. After a ridiculously tense phone call where I quizzed them on their daily activity and worked out when they were free, I arranged to pop round. I could tell the mother was a bit weird about what I wanted (am sure she probably had thoughts that I was going to announce another shock pregnancy!) but I finally arranged to meet them on the Friday, while being off work to do the last bits of arranging for a party for twenty the next day. Well , life continues doesn’t it.
I arrived at the parentals and just blurted out the news. As expected the mother asked a lot of questions that I didn’t have answers too, a bollacking for not telling them sooner, all the while with my dad looking like he’d just been hit by a ten tonne truck. It was brutal. Because who ever needs to hear that news? Its not something that a parent ever wants to hear about their baby no matter how old they are. I’m pretty sure if they could both of them would have just cut it out of me there and put it in themselves. I know I would with my own baby.
While we discussed the next steps I mentioned about our upcoming holiday on 5 August. They said that I needed to do what the hospital said, I said I was going on holiday. It wasn’t even a thought in my head that I wouldn’t go on holiday. I needed to be alone with my family, my world.
The childs party came, happened and went. I was never going to enjoy it apart from seeing her happy little face overjoyed at all her little friends playing in ‘her’ park with her. I couldn’t have been happier for her, but I was hiding under a cloud that probably made me look more anti social and stuck up than I usually manage to achieve!
My next hospital visit was for a mammogram to try and identify the size of the cancer from all angles. It was a quiet waiting room and while I had a mammogram years back when I had my previous lumps, I had absolutely blocked out the craziness of the whole process. For the uninitiated, the process is not by any stretch glamorous. Now after having a child and everyone and their granny seeing your under parts, you’d think that I’d have given up on feeling like a prude. But when a young nurse manipulates every part of your boob to squeeze between two vice plates and then goes to x-ray them, I squirmed a little bit inside. And its bloody painful as these two plates squeeze your boobies at a level just short of tear inducing. I then had to have a tracker injected in which would show up on any further mammogram scans to enable the people in the know who were analysing to make sure they were looking at the right thing. Then I went back in again for round two of the mammogram. I came back out into the waiting room half an hour later feeling a bit battered. Hoping that would do the trick though in showing up the little bugger and surgery booked for when I came back from hols.
‘Kirsty, the mammogram didn’t show anything as the tissue was too dense. We need to do an MRI’ said Pauline, the Breast Care Nurse.
FML. Why? Just why? So a bloody MRI was the next thing. I remembered that well (funny isn’t it that you can forget some aspects of your memory and vividly remember others). I remembered that it was bloody noisy and that I had chosen my sleeping position to lie in (while lying on my stomach with my boobs essentially hanging in a pit below me – like I said, all the glamour!). I had got cramp in my arms half way through and had counted to many thousands before the experience came to an end.
At least this time I was pre-prepared. But I needn’t have worried. There was a new fancy bed for the machine! It held your arms up! They gave you headphones to block out some of the noise. However, this time as they put the headphones on me while I’m face down with boobs floating about in a pit, I didn’t move the hair that was wafting in my face. And then as I put my face in what looks like a massage table support (it is not as comfortable) three little random hairs just tickled my face. And proceeded to do so for the next thirty minutes as the clunking noise of the machine did its thing. Again – I was uncomfortable and learned more lessons! When they shut the machine down, the announcement over my headphones was not to worry about the fire alarm I could hear that had gone off while I was in there – the department wasn’t under an imminent threat and they would come and get me shortly. I could have laughed it was that surreal. I reappeared in the waiting room to a half asleep Ryan who had thought I’d disappeared down a rabbit warren he’d been waiting that long. But we had a consultant meeting straight after (first time introduction) so I could maybe get my holiday confirmed!
The consultant has a weak handshake, like not even touching handshake. I don’t care – he needs those hands to operate on me. Ryan wants a bloody man shake! But that aside.. We talked about the possible results of the MRI (it is super sensitive so could show up any other lump and I would need more ultrasounds – I was already convinced that would happen!), and then the next steps of surgery. Ryan asked about our holiday (I was sending every vibe in my body at the consultant at that point to say GO!). The consultant said GO! There was no indication in the lump, the biopsy results etc that would mean a big difference in me being operated on in three weeks or four. And because the consultant said it now Ryan was happy and the parentals got off my back about it.
We were going on holiday – 5 August to 18 August. And I was going to do my damndest to forget about it, love my family every day and make memories as we always do. This was in my control and I was taking it back.