Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The waiting game

Author: Christina B

So it's time to hear "the news".

I'm waiting with my mum in the hospital waiting room, ready to be summoned in to hear the pathology results from the mastectomy surgery I had last month, although I'm dressed like I'm about to go to an audition for X factor. For some unknown reason I thought power dressing in a tight floral midi dress, knee high black heeled boots and a leather/ fur fitted jacket would give me some courage and chutzpah. It hasn't at all and neither has my new Kim Kardashian style hair and face full of war paint. So much for using clothes and make up to get confidence and courage. It really has not worked in my favour today. The Look Good Feel Better cancer session where the beauty therapists told us make up is courage in a bottle was a lie. That day they must have given me faulty fear only make up bottles. For want of a better phrase I'm shitting it.

In the waiting area people are being called through and I'm waiting to hear my name, it's 10 minutes already passed the time I am supposed to be seen and the added waiting time is doing nothing for my nerves.

Fast forward another hour and I'm getting increasingly bored and frustrated. I decide that if I paint my nails (yes I had polish in my handbag) I will get called immediately. I'm thinking it will work a bit like Sod's law. A fresh set of ruby red nails later and nothing, no call or mention.

Another half hour passes and by now my nails are very dry and I still haven't been called in. I'm bored, on the verge of hunger and starting to tire of taking selfies of me and mother dearest.

Finally my name is called and a nurse apologises insincerely for our long wait. We are ushered through and I'm sitting opposite the doctor in no time. "Well Miss B we are pleased to tell you it's good news"he relays. "All of the cancer was removed at the operation, however the grade of cancer was grade 3 rather than grade 2 as we first suspected so we will recommend a course of 6 sessions of chemotherapy."

Boo... Spoilt chick pipes up inside of me. Chemo..... that's shit, I hear her moaning. No hair, no eyebrows, holy shit no lashes, frigging great. Vanity chick pipes in too and between them a whole list of reasons to hate chemo are compiled in a nano second....The scientist chick in me struggles for airtime, if only I can rationalise this. Chemotherapy is used to prevent any stray cells that have the audacity to remain in my body. Belts and braces approach. By having chemo I give my body the best chance of getting fully rid of this beast. Obviously the side effects are undesirable but then again I've been through childbirth and eventually stopped moaning about the horrific birth and awful morning sickness because I gained the precious gift of my son. So if I do the horrid chemo my gift hopefully will be my health. No brainer really.

The doctor must be wondering why I'm not hugging him and rejoicing at the fact that I'm cancer free.

I turn back on the point he made earlier about my grade of cancer. He explains to me that Grade 3 means that the cells are more aggressive and are prone to growing quite fast. I already knew this from my trusty cancer Facebook support group so it was more confirmation. Knowledge really is power. If I didn't find out all these facts I could have walked out of there thinking yeah cancer is gone and I don't want chemo because who wants no hair eyelashes and eyebrows. Instead with the information I know I can make a fully informed choice which means putting up with crappy chemo side effects.

So to summarise my feelings I'm pleased the cancer has left the building but hearing this news feels like finding out you've won the lottery but still need to work six more months in a job you hate and live in a squat before you can get the cheque. "Delayed gratification " that's what my dad would say. If I endure this I can reach my goal.

I guess I just need time to process the information. I thank the doctor and the BCN (breast cancer nurse) and we leave the consultation room.

My mum offers to take me for a slap up meal to celebrate but quite frankly I'm craving the safety and security of my own sofa. So home bound we go and when we get home she gives me the biggest warmest heartfelt mum hug ever. I hold her for ages and get some sparkle from that one hug. Xxxxx

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