Surgical stockings, drains, dressings, injections.
Nausea, ulcers, swelling, tiredness, bone pain.
Nose bleeds, constipation, hair loss, nail loss, infections.
What do all of the lists above have in common? It's not a SATS question, I wont ask you to find the determiner or adverbial phrase or some other grammar thing Child 1 can identify on her own while I have to fire up The Google.
Don't guess. I'll tell you. They're lists of things I wont miss now The Cancer is gone.
I whisper that to you. All day long I have clutched that knowledge in my mind in much the same way as Charlie Bucket grasps his golden ticket on his run home. (I LOVE that film!)
I'd forgotten there would be 'news' at the surgery follow-up. I was so preoccupied with showing the consultant his handiwork and asking how long it would be before I could use my arms properly, have a bath, take off the surgical stockings, start exercising (not post-operatively but for the first time in my life!) I was taken off guard. This was the same consultant, who almost seven months before, had broken the news of my breast cancer. Today, he turned to the Macmillan nurse who has accompanied me from that diagnosis through every major step and said, as I sat before them showing off my scars, "shall we talk about results now?"
The results are these. They removed a 1.8mm tumour with clear margins and the lymph node that was biopsied showed no sign of cancer. In short, the tumour is gone and there was no spread. I have a check up with the oncologist to discuss radiotherapy but the unofficial word is that with results this good I wont need further treatment.
It may seem strange that I'm choosing to share such news with such an expressionless tone but there are sound reasons for doing so.
Firstly, now the endless spin of appointments, discussions, treatments and side effects are over, I'm beginning to process all the emotional stuff. My brain is catching up. But more than this, so very much more than this, I can't forget everyone I've met who isn't getting out of it as easily, or at all and it wouldn't feel right to insensitively shout about 'the news'. So I whisper and blow kisses to everyone of you who has helped me and my girls through the last seven months by showing us kindness and giving us hope. You have given us much more than cancer ever took.
Time to go now and make some plans for the future. Whatever that may hold.
With lots of love always,
Ballsybaldy, Child 1 and Child 2