Tuesday, 10 November 2009

November 11th 2005 not a day I'll forget.

November 11th will always be etched on my mind as a date I'll remember. And not just for it being the 11th day of the 11th month and the guns standing still. And it is November 11th 2005 the day I'll never forget

But before talking about that day I need to set the scene....

When I got to be fifty I asked for a mammogram,only to be told that my surname wasn't going to be called for a couple of years, as the letter hadn't long been done on the NHS. Well I wasn't hugely impressed with this answer, as I thought I should have one, so I booked and paid for one myself.

What was found was a build up of calcium deposits in the milk ducts. Nothing to worry about immediately, but because I was now in the private sector health care it was decided to offer me another mammogram the following year.

I had this and was due to hear the results on the 11th November.

From getting the mammogram onwards I'd been at work,I was convinced there was nothing wrong with me. I'd coped fine doing all my counselling and not letting my thoughts get in the way of helping my clients.

Until the 10th.... I walked into work, cheerfully said Good Morning to everyone, went down to my room and burst into tears. I tried to stop and I simply couldn't. I was just so scared, all my bravado had gone. I knew without a doubt that I couldn't talk to a single client. I told the boss and said I needed to go. She did not want me to drive the 27 miles home. So we compromised and I phoned a friend nearby and she, bless her, opened her door to me, and held onto me. She made me talk and talk all my fears out. She missed going to work, and she didn't care. I was so grateful for her putting me back together.

Eventually I did go home, and like so many people when faced with the unknown I did some caring for others and I made food for my youngest son. My eldest son was coming to the end of his second year at Cambridge University. He knew I was putting on a brave face. I hadn't asked him to come home I knew he'd got exams coming up And I was going to be fine going by myself the next day.

So Alex went out, and I was playing cards on the computer. 10 minutes after leaving the front door opened. I thought it was Al and he'd forgotten something. He didn't answer when I called, so I went into the hall. And there standing in front of me was my eldest son.

I started crying again as he held me tight. He does give me the biggest most reassuring hugs in the world. And he just said 'I knew you'd like me to be here and I knew you wouldn't ask me, so I didn't say anything, as you'd have told me not to bother as I had exams' He knows me so well!!!

To say I was happy just doesn't cover it. To think my big son just knew what I wanted and wouldn't ask for, was a wonderful moment.

The next day we set off for the hospital. I was so convinced that I was ok that we went in my car with me driving.

I went into to see the consultant by myself, Kit sat just outside the door in the waiting room.

Mr M, just said I'm sorry, you have cancer.

I went into this weird place of organisation and no feeling, and sorted out what happened next, when it would happen, and any other detail I could fix.

I even said thank you with a smile, as I left the room.

My son stood up as I came out, I just said I've got cancer and burst into tears.

We left the hospital and what followed was a very surreal moment in time. Before we set off I phoned my sister and told her. She wanted me to go straight to her home.

Then I drove home, my son wasn't insured to drive my car so it never occurred to me to let him. Instead he dialled number after number on my cell phone. Then handed the phone over to me and I told friend after friend that I had cancer. It was the strangest journey.

We got to my sisters, and I'd asked school to tell Alex he was being collected. Finally I let Kit drive my car to get his brother.

What do you say, how do you say it, how can you tell your 14year old son who only has you, since his father walked out, that you've got cancer. And how do you deal with the pain of watching him cry, he never cried he was a tough cookie. And there he is crying like a baby scared for his mummy and himself.

The three of us went home, and I spent hours on the phone telling people over and over what was going on. The boys lost themselves in a computer game together.

And life went on


Merry ME said...

Four years later, I pray that you are healthy and happy. I will for sure put you on my gratitude list tomorrow.

Be blessed, dear friend. Know peace.

lakeviewer said...

Oh my. I held my breath through this retelling. We are four years ahead; hope you are all well now.

speck of dust said...

What a really lovely moment to have with your son in the midst of awful fear. Thanks for sharing the story of this really difficult time for you. x

Minnie said...

I am very glad indeed that 'life went on'. Understand well that certain sinking feeling ...
Adding my own prayers to those of Merry ME.
It must have been enormously sustaining to have loving family around you, although I imagine that this could add an extra burden in some ways.

Zan said...

You must have been terrified. I am thankful that so far I have never recieved such news. A friend of mine however, got those news last year. At the age of 28 she was informed that she had breast cancer. She's OK now but just told me recently that she read a post of mine and broke down crying, remembering how much she had tried to shut the pain out, how unreal everything had been but she also told me 'it IS important to remember'.
Thank you for sharing this.
I am very glad you are OK now.

Linda - Gold Coast said...

Thank goodness you decided to pay for the mammogram Mandy. What a wonderful surprise to see Kit standing there and gosh poor Alex, such a lot to take in at 14. It certainly is a day to celebrate now that 4 years have passed♥ Good health always Mandy♥ Linda xoxo

tattytiara said...

Yes, a memorable day. Hard to hear about, but I'm so glad you're hear to tell us about it.

Lori ann said...

Everything that everyones said Mandy. I say it too. I don't know how you held up, you are so brave and strong. Thank goodness for your beautiful sons and for your health now.

Bless your heart.

kj said...

man are we ever channeling, mandy! 2 for 2. i'm keeping my eye open now for # 3. :)

you are brave and i presume healthy--all good.

i too held my breath reading this and i so felt for all of you. congratulations on making it through and thriving. and i know you're thriving because you're a spunk!


Gin said...

You're amazing you know? I hope all is well 4 years later.

Paula said...

I am so very happy that he walked into the door. Love straight from heart to heart :-))) Mill of hugs, you have done so awesome.

Helen said...

Hello there dear blog friend! I have been away from home since October 30 and am so enjoying reading my favorite bloggers! Your wisdom, strength and character shine through in every word you write. It feels good to be back!

hele said...

oh how much this post touched my heart. all th warm support folding around you in your vulnerability and just holding you so gently.

Sorrow said...

Do you understand how profound your life is? how much honesty and integrity you share? how much strength and hope you give with your words?
LOve you lady!
buckets and buckets!

nitebyrd said...

What a story. I cried for you as I read it.

I'm happy that you're a survivor. Very happy.

trousers said...

Well I know this story to a certain extent, but there's much power in the retelling of it: I'm glad you have done.

Nov 11th hugs from me xx

Mel said...


Made me cry. Both sets of tears--sad for the moments and joyous for the blessing of having you here--today.

((((( HUGE hugs ))))))

Buckets and buckets of love!