I had my annual mammogram yesterday. First day of the school holidays, first day of decent weather and it was off to the hospital to get my left boob clamped and photographed.
I kept myself busy in the morning, not hard to do. The triplets at nursery, Jake and I hit the park – him on his bike and me ‘running’ alongside. He was my Mr Motivator and wasn’t taking any nonsense pushing me on for another lap when I weakly gestured in the direction of home and allowing me just occasional sips of warm tap water from his Barcelona FC flask.
Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to a local cafe, milkshake for him and a vegetable juice for me. My diet’s been pretty poor in recent weeks and so slurping on a carrot, celery and apple juice three hours before my appointment steadied the nerves and made me feel as though I was doing something to ensure a postiive outcome. That’s the way my warped mind works these days – I counteract a diet based around houmous and oatcakes, chocolate and red wine with a few days or weeks of frenzied juicing and green powder figuring that surely if I’m pouring such large amounts of pure, undiluted goodness into my somewhat battered system then any rogue cells don’t stand a chance? I choose not to think too much about the sugar, caffeine and occasional ready meal that are also consumed and no doubt making their mark. I’m hoping they balance each other out…
Anyway, I made my way to the hospital and was doing okay, jitters wise, until I arrived at the Radiology department. The Radiographer was lovely and it was all over and done with very quickly but as I headed back upstairs to wait for the results I felt drained and anxious. It was the memories, not the procedure that made my bottom lip wobble. After a painfully long wait I was eventually greeted by my lovely consultant – the man who diagnosed me back in 2010. He’s wonderful but very grounded and never holds back from telling it like it is. “Everything is looking good, ” he said as he scribbled some notes into my file. My insides dropped with relief. He examined me and we talked for a few more minutes with me doing my usual needy thing of wanting some kind of verbal assurance that I was going to stay well forever and ever – or at least until the children were all grown up. He doesn’t work like that.
“Am I doing okay?” I asked rather feebily, wanting an answer I knew he couldn’t give me. “You’re doing great,” he replied smiling but serious. “But, there are no cast iron guarantees and with an invasive cancer like yours getting through the first two years, post surgery, is quite a milestone.”
I gulped a goodbye and gave him a slightly desperate hug. Blimey – it’s not a walk in the park, this moving on from cancer business. It’s cartwheels one minute and free falling back down to earth the next. It’s ten weeks and three days till I hit that two year ‘milestone’. I’m already planning how I’m going to mark the event. Sorry, London – horaay for the Olympics and all that, but I’ve got my own personal countdown to be focusing on. I hope you understand.