I had to have some alone time today and so walked Maggie back from the supermarket one and a half miles away again.
I had my oncologist appointment this morning, and although we only had to wait something like ten minutes, it felt like hours.
By the time he came in, I was tearful and a nervous wreck.
Hubby was beside me, and we had made a list of questions so that we didn’t forget anything.
I was scared. I mean, really scared. I have tried to keep it together these past months, making jokes and keeping things light, but at the end of the day, sitting there in that consultant’s room was crunch time, and we would finally know what lay in store for me.
Humphrey was described as a grade 3 tumour, but because we had caught him early and nothing taken surrounding the mass showed any sign of invasion, he was a ‘good’ stage 3.
My Oncotype DX test results came back in the low risk bracket, so chemotherapy is not required.
Hubby said afterwards he saw me physically slump in the chair with relief.
I have started my medication tonight which I will temporarily sum up as the ‘Menopause in a Box’ as one of the side effects is hot flushes. The accompanying leaflet is a yard long on both sides of the sheet, so I will just play it by ear (and not with a comb) and deal with whatever comes my way as I can expect to be on meds for years.
An appointment to tattoo my boob for foolproof target practice and plan my schedule of radiotherapy sessions will be sent to me in the next few days. It is possible these will start either just before Christmas or the New Year taking into account the festive holidays.
I am relieved beyond belief. Hubby is too and I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without him there with me throughout it all.
We did a little bit of shopping, but I needed to be alone, and he understood that. He knows me so well, better than I know myself sometimes.
I hadn’t gone very far when the tears started to fall, and the sobs began to gather in my chest.
Maggie did her business and I cleared up, so I must have looked a little odd with tears streaming down my face, a poo bag in one hand, and a dog leash with dog attached in the other.
But it was passing the bus stop that was my undoing.
Two elderly ladies were stood chatting, and I suddenly felt the need to hug my Mum. It was impossible of course, but I put my arms around one lady, a complete stranger, and broke my heart.
The other lady came and put her arms round me too, and I told them I had just been told I wouldn’t need chemo and wanted to feel close to my Mum. They understood, and held me while I cried.
Their bus came along and somewhat embarrassed, I let them go. Both said everyone needs a hug once in a while, and they were glad to be there when I needed mine.
I decided to go into the Abbey, sat down in the Lady Chapel with the dog and cried some more.
Not having my purse or any money, I apologised as I took a single candle and spoke to my Dad as I lit it. I felt better and started my journey home.
I am still tearful, but they are positive and happy tears.
Tears of relief, tears of hope for a full recovery, and tears of thanks to the nurse who put me forward for the Slimming World programme which instigated the weight loss and revealed Humphrey lurking where he shouldn’t, and the speed of medical treatment I received so that he couldn’t extend himself which could have resulted in such a different outcome.
It’s going to be a long and possibly rocky road over the next few months, but I am not and never have been alone in this. Maybe because of my current emotional state, the love around me is tangible. And that is the most precious gift of all.