Tissues at the ready


Returning from holiday I was anxious to see my eye consultant. I had pretty much convinced myself that my tumour had grown. I was back to being unable to sleep or read, getting snappy with my family. But before I could be seen by my consultant I had a wedding to attend. My oldest friend (not old in age but in years known, just in case you’re reading this xx), was getting married. I was anxiously saying to my husband that I didn’t think I could go. I didn’t want to start crying. This was her day and I didn’t trust myself to keep my emotions in check. We agreed that we would drive so that we could play it by ear. If it became too much we would sneak off without anyone noticing, if I felt O.K. we would pick the car up in the morning. Well everyone who knows me well will know, the car got picked up in the morning!

Her wedding was just what the doctor ordered, being around gorgeous people in love, catching up with people I hadn’t seen for years, drinking far too many bubbles and dancing the night away badly with my gorgeous husband was just perfect. We made our way home, tired and happy and I slept soundly for the first night in weeks.

Monday morning took an age to arrive, when it did the kids were dropped off at school and the repetitive journey, which I was beginning to hate, was made to Waterloo. I felt as anxious going in to this appointment as I had at my very first. I knew something was wrong and I was right to feel anxious. She asked how I was and I explained about the flashing lights and flickering. I had the sight test, no change, still a small discrepancy remained between both eyes. I then had the eye drops put in and waited outside for ten minutes. I was called back in and put my chin on the rest and leaned my forehead up close to the light. She looked for a while and then told me to sit at the back of the room for the ultrasound. This pattern was all becoming routine to me. The ultrasound calculated the measurement of the tumour.No change in size. But it was leaking fluid again. This was one of the bad signs. She took me back to sit at the desk and for the first time since I’ve met her she look concerned. My husband says she has a good poker face, but at this time the mask slipped and she looked a little unsure of what to say. She was trying to word something very diplomatic to me and i could feel the tension build. I didn’t want her to speak but I also wanted to shout “just bloody tell me!”

She was very careful in what she said. The tumour was leaking fluid. This was unusual. This was not expected. This was a sign that perhaps the tumour remained active. She thought the best plan was to wait a month to see what was happening and then make a plan from there. My husband asked her what I also wanted to know “if the fluid is still there in a month what then?” “Lets not discuss that now” was the reply. I knew it was further surgery and highly likely to be eye removal. We walked out of the office. I turned to look at my husband, maybe he had heard something positive in there that I had missed, maybe I was just concentrating on the bad news “Oh Rufus” he said and just put his arms around me. I cried. The whole time since this monstrosity had arrived in my life he had been saying he wasn’t going to allow it to win and suddenly he was standing there looking defeated. I sat on the Jubilee line home from Baker street to Waterloo with big fat tears rolling down my cheek. People were side glancing at me and I didn’t care. This was becoming an all too familiar part of the journey. The apprehension on the way up and the tears on the way back. I cried into his shoulder, “please let me get my youngest through primary school.” “You will” he said “you will.”

O.K. I am stopping there as it is making me cry, but can I just say that that was a year ago and yesterday I celebrated my eldest daughters 21st. We had chocolate cake and champagne. Looking back the story is sad and the dark times were hideous. But life moves on. And I remember saying I just wanted to get my youngest through primary school, but now I say that’s not good enough. I want to get her through secondary school, university, dance badly and cry at all of their weddings and have my grandchildren to stay for weekends. That is what I want and that is bloody well what I am going to get. To all you June birthdays out there, what a wonderful month to be born. Happy birthday! xx

Oh! and just one more thing. I noticed I wrote my name as Rufus. This wasn’t a mistake this is what my family and husband call me. It’s not a lovely pretty feminine name. Or a sweet gentle name. It’s a man’s name or a scruffy dogs name. I had sort of hoped it would die out as I reached adulthood but once my husband cottoned on there was no going back. So every now and then it might pop up on my blog – just don’t you lot start calling me it and we’ll remain friends xx

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