Patricia Brown Clinic

'LIFE' Blog

'LIFE' Blog

The 'It Probably Is' Appointment

Posted on May 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM

So, the day came when little medic phobic me had to step foot into the hospital again. This time it was to meet my consultant, it was at the haematology department in the hospital. I have to say, my consultant was amazing, I obviously cannot thank him enough, a job well done after all in treating me, but he truly was brilliant. He asked me all the questions on how I'd been feeling etc, I did a little more beating around the bush, think I told him about the tree planting incident and the steroid cream! But he had my CT scan and that was fact, there was no denying what it was. He explained to me that it was most likely to be Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which was a form of cancer, but he made sure that he got across that this was highly treatable and that if all my tests came back to show what it was what he thought, that it would be a case of this is what we do, then you get on with life. This is what you want to hear when you're told it's cancer. I have read some comments (forums again, sorry!) that people have found it insulting that consultants have said this, or said if you were going to have any cancer, this is the one to have. They say they are annoyed because its as if it is been dismissed, not a big deal and that it is still cancer. Me personally, I can't understand this thought process, maybe I'm missing something. If you are unfortunate enough, to have to sit in a hospital room and be told you have cancer, you don't want drama, the least drama the better! You don't want be told you have a slim chance of survival, you want to be told it can be treated, yes its cancer and your consultant fully appreciates its cancer, but what they are saying is that out of all the cancers, you are in the best position with the one you have. This is why I think its so important to take the best out of the circumstances you are in, and you have to find the positive and hold onto that. Every cancer is different, every person is different. Don't just assume that you will be or it will be, what you think it will, our impression of what cancer is, is often very different to the reality of it. I think the problem is when cancer is on television, like soaps etc there needs to be drama, there needs to be the horrific side of it, now I know that some people do suffer terribly through their cancer and treatment, you cant dismiss this, but on the other side a lot of people don't have all the ill times you expect, yes they have certain things but they take cancer in their stride and power through until that day when you are told its gone, so why cant we see that story from time to time too?

 

 

This appointment did as funny as it sounds put my mind at rest, like I say I took the positive, if I had to be in this position I was I wanted the odds in my favour. So I walked out of that appointment and we all went to Starbucks, this was the start of the trend that normal life would continue, cancer was just coming along for the ride for awhile, but I was determined it wasn't stopping me. I had been told I'd have to have a PET scan and a biopsy and my results appointment was booked for August 12th, ironically my mum's birthday. As you now know I didn't like hospitals and all that went with them, but funnily enough you don't panic about them, you know you've got to have procedures done. I found that from around this time life seemed to slow down, maybe its the mind's way of dealing with it, goes on automatic pilot maybe, but you just take each day as it comes. Usually we are all busy, living today but thinking about tomorrow. I found that all I thought about was that day, and no matter if I really tried I couldn't see past that day, it was just one day at a time. It helped that I ended up having a week or two inbetween appointments, or tests, just gives you the chance to get your head around each event. I do think that these first few weeks were the hardest, its just the waiting game. I still worked, work can be a great distraction and my partner would have us out somewhere if we were both off, we went somewhere every night we were both at home, whether it be for a walk, the cinemas or going for a coffee, just anything really, we never said it but I think neither of us wanted to just sit at home, we both needed a distraction. You never forget it, its always in the back of your mind, hanging over you like a dark cloud, but keeping normality, as much as you can do, really is your sanity.

 

 

In the few weeks that followed, I had a PET scan, which is a very advanced scan to check if the cancer had spread anywhere and can spot any other problem areas called Hot Spots, and a biopsy to take a lymph node or two from my neck to determine the exact type of cancer. I liked that I had about a week or so inbetween these appointments, it gave me chance to mentally deal with each one and be ready for the next. After the biopsy was probably where I felt at my lowest both physically and emotionally. The physical after effects of surgery, the cancer also taking it out of me and the mental realisation of what was happening. If you have a low, let yourself go through it, this is natural, but don't stay low, as soon as you can get that fighting spirit back and take back your control, this may feel lost but it really isn't.

Categories: Cancer and Me

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