I had the scan yesterday and today I found out that all was clear.
Inbetween the spaces of these words you might be able to glimpse at the kind of day I had today....
If the cancer had returned my prognosis was as good as terminal. Please bear this in mind as you follow me through the day.
I knew that scans were discussed in the morning by the multi-discipliniary team. So this morning I was kind of ok. I took Martha to her speech therapy appointment at 10.30 and took her back to school. I went to the supermarket to get some stuff - getting close to lunchtime now - getting wierd and trembly and twitchy in the queue.
By the time I was home the stress levels were ratcheting higher.
From 12, baby elsewhere, I huddled on the sofa next to the phone, waiting.... I had arranged with a nurse that she would call me in the afternoon. But the call didn't come. I tried to call and the phone rang and rang and rang. At each ring I thought that someone would answer and after necessary and desperate explanation somone might tell me my fate. But no-one answered the phone. All afternoon I repeated the call. By the time that I spoke to someone and expressed my desperation clearly enough, it was close to 4pm. They promised a doctor would call me back. And half an hour later, she did.
I'm pleased of course - understatement there!! I'm relieved and able to look my children in their eyes tonight. But I'm wrung out like I can't tell you with the level of stress I've had to manage today. There has to be a better system of care for people like me at times like this. I'm 40. I have three kids under 6 and I need to live. It was possible that I could have been given what would have amounted to terminal diagnosis today. If I hadn't kicked up an almighty fuss today, in all probability I wouldn't have been told anything at all and faced a harrowing weekend. It's not as if they said it was impossible to get the results so quickly. In my last conversation with the consultant and specialist nurse they agreed that it was reasonable and entirely do-able that I got the results today. But in the end the plan collapsed. That's some of what they were discussing on the radio the other day when I wrote my post. That sense of abandonment which I and so many others have experienced when we're not receiving treatment anymore. And all the doctors, nurses and other staff have got to know me well over the past 18 months. And I know they care about what happens to me and my family. I know my day was not made so unbearable on purpose. But unbearable it was.
However - it's clear, it's clear, it's clear. And I've achieved a year in remission. I'm going to spend the weekend planning how to move forward into 2010 with all the happiness and optimism I can.
It was on the... 18th January, actually
23 hours ago