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